It’s no secret that the publishing industry has changed a lot over the past five years. Advances in technology have made the publishing process easier than ever before — and taken a lot of the power away from large traditional publishing houses that effectively controlled what material reached the reading public. All that is now changing, and kids (and their parents) are taking advantage of their growing options.
Self-publishing has grown into a huge industry that makes it easy for anyone to get his or her manuscript professionally edited, marketed and printed into a book. While industry professionals still look down on self-publishing and most self-published work rarely gains a large following, for kids and teenagers aspiring to be writers, it provides a much-wanted service: instant publication. What could be wrong with that?
The New York Times ran an article about kids and self-publishing recently and raised some valid questions about the value of self-published work and whether parents provide the funds for this service (which can range into thousands of dollars per book) more to make their kids feel good about themselves rather than as a reward for a truly monumental effort. The Times says:
The mothers and fathers who foot the bill say they are simply trying to encourage their children, in the same way that other parents buy gear for a promising lacrosse player or ship a Broadway aspirant off to theater camp.
But others see the blurring of the line between publishing and self-publishing as a lost opportunity to teach children about adversity and experience.
Photo credit: ralphunden
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