A Light in the Tunnel

on December 10, 2012 in Misc


There’s some really good news for us writers who are self-published – a.k.a. “indie authors.” It’s even the kind of news that just might make the Big 6 traditional publishers get very nervous.

The New York Times has reviewed a self-published book.

Did you hear me?  The freakin’ NEW YORK TIMES!  Not only that, its grande dame of reviewers, Michiko Kakutani herself, wrote the long review of The Revolution Was Televised, by blogger Alan Sepinwall, and called it “a terrific book.”

OMG. I mean, this really is a breakthrough.

Think I’m kidding? Forbes ran a piece under the headline, “New York Times Reviews Self-Published Book.”  And what, among other things, does the Forbes article say?  “The best of self-publishing can compete on equal terms with the best of traditional publishing, as Sepinwell so ably demonstrates.”

And that’s not all.

The Revolution has also been reviewed by the New Yorker (double OMG) and Time and The Hollywood Reporter.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are witnessing the dawn of a new age in publishing.  Slowly, very slowly but inevitably, some nourishing raindrops of respect are falling upon books that have not been approved by any gatekeeper but instead have been humbly self-published by the lowly author.

Of course there are important details to point out.  First off, the author WROTE “a terrific book.”  Then he tried to be as professional as possible with the publishing details, including hiring an editor and cover artist.  There’s an interview with Alan Sepinwall about his process here:


Kudos to him.  Oh, and what helped him promote his book was the platform for his popular blog and his “social media presence.”

Okay, so in this last respect I’m at the bottom end of the SMP feeding chain.  But I do like to think that at least I pulled off a professional job in the publishing details for my own Compass Master.  It’s just my promotion that sucks.

So for all my blogging friends – both the indie and the traditionally published – have a wonderful week.  I really do think things are looking up for us all.

12 Responses to “A Light in the Tunnel”

  1. That’s a big breakthrough!

  2. Helena says:

    Alex — Indeed.

  3. That’s a huge breakthrough. But the New York Times is always progressive. That’s what makes it the best newspaper in America right now.

  4. Helena says:

    Michael – And if the NY Times reviews indie books, more publications will follow.

  5. This is good news – even for those of us who hang out at the bottom of the SMP food chain. Want to join me for a cup of coffee?

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Hart Johnson says:

    Oh, very nice. I still think this could be sped if there was a ‘guild’ of some sort to review from within so that there was an internal quality control. I think there are some great books (like YOURS) but they will rise to the top faster with a system. Right now it is a rarity.

  7. Helena says:

    Carol – Yeah, us bottom-dwellers should have a support group.

  8. Helena says:

    Hart – That’s a really good idea: a guild that specifies standards of quality for indie authors and maybe can offer a seal of approval.

  9. Misha says:

    Aaaah although I hope to be trad-published one day, I’m thrilled that this is happening. I believe all good authors deserve recognition, those who were kept out by the gate-keepers even more so. :-D

  10. Helena says:

    Misha – May you be trad-pubbed one day soon.

  11. Old Kitty says:

    Yay for this book – but also yay that this author gave a million and one per cent and then some to get his book as amazingly sparkly and shiny as possible to get noticed! Take care

  12. Helena says:

    Old Kitty – Yay indeed for book and author. May we all have such success.