SmashWords vs. Smashed Publishing Market
August 7, 2011 11:37 PM Subscribe
I would like to publish a non-fiction book so weird that no agent would possibly take it. Should I self-publish?
posted by shii to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I am writing a non-fiction overview of a certain variety of forged documents used in Japanese paranormal research. (My idea, don't steal.)
As a non-fiction cultural analysis it would best belong on a university press, but there are big impediments to this:
- I have no credentials
- I'm not in college
- I don't have the classical Japanese/classical Chinese ability to read the original texts
- I'm basing my overview (which is meant to serve as a guide for future researchers) on low-quality overviews of these documents printed in the Japanese tabloid press and on Japanese Wikipedia, which is not the quality needed for academic citation.
So, this is not an academic work.
I would happily publish this book as New Age/esoterica, but as an entirely new phenomenon to the Western world, I doubt there are many agents willing to take the risk, especially since I am an unpublished writer outside minor academic publications. Also, I live in Japan and I'm a stickler for historical detail, lacking the woo necessary to make these forgeries sound mystical.
Is there a publisher out there who will take really weird non-fiction ideas?
I have noted that most self published books are novels, and the nonfiction that is good enough to purchase has an air of "what a waste it was to self-publish this rather than finding an audience". I also note that AskMe has recommended strongly against the idea in the past. I have a perverse desire to have total control over my work, but I recognize that an editor can save a work from obscurity. Nevertheless, can I find a bigger audience for this through self-publishing?