Naming, Branding, Labeling, & then Stereotyping


This post stems from many directions; coming to life from a topic I needed an extra day to better broach.

Periodically, or maybe a little more than periodically, I surf web channels to get a reading on the book industry. I'm not looking for anything in particular... just sort of checking on who’s doing what, saying what, and perhaps to see if books are still being published at that mind-whopping 790% (I think it last was, the last time I checked) growth rate. What I came across led to this post, which I'll try to keep very brief.

One blog post really caught my attention. It was written a little while back, addressing the work involved in book publishing. At any rate, and yes, I hear it all the time, as well as I know the work involved in publishing, but this wasn't even close to where I was looking to go. The article was really great...mad as the dickens I can't find it...because it enclosed a tone I don't hear often. Yet, and incidentally, on this surf I was looking for independent authors to read, as opposed to books published by independent publishers who sometimes operate as an affiliate to traditional presses.

And I know. It gets a little confusing sorting through the terms and terminologies, when the short of it was, I wanted to balance out my needle-in-a-haystack search efforts looking for books to suit my mood.  That's how I came to the blog post, and thus this post... musing on these nexus of terms and terminologies.

Now hang tight, because like I said, the labeling in the publishing industry is not all that transparent.

There are the self-publishers who I associate with iUniverse, AuthorHouse, and the likes; businesses that publish books for authors at a fee.

But also there were, (or are?) the vanity presses, which confused the heck out of me distinguishing between the two. I believe (last time I checked) the major distinguishing marker (between vanity and self-publishing presses) was that vanity presses published books at an exuberant fee paired against its services provided.

There are as well the independent publishers, whose term is appropriate for authors, and businesses in the business of publishing books in smaller quantities than traditional houses. In this model one of the distinguishing markers is no set-up fee is charged. Also, there may be no advance offered.

And then we of course have the traditional publishers, or big presses...and surely a flux of other names? terms? labels? such as subsidiary publishing, and the hybrid press; a recent one I not too long ago came across.

The thing about it all is, this is what really gives my needle-in-a-haystack search incontrovertible meaning. It's like this other topic I started to broach...separating all the genres I've been coming across. Let's see, and I'm only skimming the surface here...

...We have utopian, dystopian, steampunk, and why now even realistic-fiction, plus this other one I had to scratch off the tip of my tongue—pulp fiction. And oh, did I forget street lit?

Now, I'm sure there's bound to be at least one person who can point out how some, or many, or all of the labels and names I've touched on have always been around, but my point is how far I've gotten off topic introducing these few. All I'm looking for are books, either published by an independent, or self-published author, that for crying out loud will have me screaming, "I love this book!"

Note: I enjoy witty humorous writing, or witty personal stories. And before you scream, let me beat you to it and scream it for you, 'What the hell is that!?!'

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