All Texts Look Alike in the Dark

By: Wendy Stephens  

The predominance of platforms providing plain-text ebooks has stripped the usual visual hallmarks identifying amateur and small press publications. How has that visual sameness of epubs changed the literary landscape? Small run “vanity presses” of the analog era have given way to push-button publishing, with the ease of digital production leading to major shifts in the percentage of books coming from outside traditional publishing gatekeepers. Optimistically, this could add avenues for developing new voices with “the long tail” of the online marketplace collocating demand for even the most niche products. But the situation of these born-digital books within online marketplaces creates a confusion about the nature of publishing that consumers and readers, complicated by the range of traditional publication (proofreading, editing, and marketing) available a la carte. How do the Big Five publishers attempt to signal unitary value in the digital book marketplace? How do authors from smaller digital presses conceive of their publishing relationships? How are library collections and literary awards are handling the proliferation of self-published and print-on-demand texts?

Self-publishing Library collections
Books and Libraries
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Dr. Wendy Stephens

Assistant Professor, Educational Reosurces, Jacksonville State University, United States
AL, United States

Assistant Professor and School Library Program Chair, Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville AL, USA