And continuing in this vein, I was struck by the opening sentence in the front-page review in the Book Review by Christopher Buckley of a new (and first) novel by Tom Rachman called The Imperfectionists, which is garnering raves everywhere. Buckley wrote: "This first novel by Tom Rachman, a London-born journalist who has lived and worked all over the world, is so good I had to read it twice simply to figure out how he pulled it off." A highly successful writer himself (Thank You for Smoking and Losing Mum and Pup, among others), Buckley is still open to learning. He's so impressed with this novel that he wants to figure out how the author did it.
One more reference: Again in the Magazine, Virginia Heffernan writes about "how the digital age is making self-publishing respectable." As she writes, back in analog times, self-publishing reeked of "vanity presses" and had the unmistakable look of something that could only get published if the author paid for it. But times have changed, and she cites that last year 764,448 titles were produced by self-publishers and so-called microniche publishers--up an astonishing 184% from the previous year. She points out that "cheap, digital-publishing technology ... has been a godsend to writers without agents or footholds at traditional publishing houses." And she reminds us that "luminaries like Gertrude Stein, Anais Nin, and Edgar Allan Poe self-published books." So there's a whole new way for authors to get their manuscripts published. And Heffernan cites the names of some companies that writers can go to for printing and, in some cases, distribution and promotion.