What Do Self-Published Author's Ten Literary Prizes Mean?

As almost any industry blog will tell you, the publishing biz is in flux.  New formats, new challenges, new avenues to success have put every assumption and axiom of recieved wisdom up for grabs.

In the midst of all this chaos progress change, it is still possible to recognize an event that sheds new light on the evolving dynamics of publishing.

For example, promotional and marketing specialist Steff Deschenes has scooped up nearly a dozen literary prizes for her self-published commentary on everyday life, The Ice Cream Theory.  In it, she compares different personality types with different flavors of frozen treat.

As the press release describes:

With its upbeat, conversational tone and broad appeal, “The Ice Cream Theory” is the perfect summer read and not your typical self-help book. The book uses that all-comfortable, all-inclusive, all-relatable dessert as a non-threatening medium to share insight to life when it comes to friendships, hardships, love, and overcoming obstacles. This book utilizes humor, satire, and heart-warming anecdotes to encourage the reader to enjoy life despite its imperfection.

♠ Is this a good sign for self-published authors, an indicator that a well-written book with an interesting voice can do well without a literary agent or publisher?  Or…

♠ Does the fact that Ms. Deschenes is a promotional expert undermine this view, since she was able to do the professional marketing that publishers now tend to focus on a handful of “lead titles“?  Or…

♠ Can self-publishing authors take heart that they can succeed if they take the promotional steps a marketing expert like Ms. Deschenes would?

♠ Is the success of a non-expert writing about human personalities, relationships, and therapeutic matters diluting science with amateur opinion?  Or…

♠ Is the success of a positive self-help book about enjoying the diversity of life a nice, light contribution to our culture during a rough time?

What’s your take on the success of The Ice Cream Theory? 🙂

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One comment

  1. I’m inclined to say that marketing is the key to everything in the publishing industry. I have no idea anymore what standards are required to label something as “good” or if quality is even important. Success is the key now. Books that make the money, get the press; books that get the press, make the money. “Twilight” is literary toilet paper, but it’s a success, and millions of copies are being sold, and that seems to be the only thing that matters anymore. “What can we market and get a return on?” ask the publishing houses.

    So, not to smear this book “The Ice Cream Theory”, but is this more than what you would get out of a smart Facebook quiz? I think it doesn’t really matter. She’s a “promotional expert”, and therefore, regardless of what her book actually says, it’ll be bought and lauded simply based on popularity. And hopefully, it’ll be a good read, too.

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