Garrison Keillor fears for the future of book publishing in this new age where anybody can be "published." He says, in part:
Call me a pessimist, call me Ishmael, but I think that book publishing is about to slide into the sea.[…]if you want to write, you just write and publish yourself. No need to ask permission, just open a website. And if you want to write a book, you just write it, send it to Lulu.com or BookSurge at Amazon or PubIt or ExLibris and you've got yourself an e-book. No problem. And that is the future of publishing: 18 million authors in America, each with an average of 14 readers, eight of whom are blood relatives. Average annual earnings: $1.75.
He's right. Anybody can "publish" a book now, whether they can write or not. I got some evidence of that today. Several prominent authors have been spammed by a self-published "writer," and I use that term very lightly in this case, named Irene Matthews. Here's her note:
Hello how are you? PublishAmerica will be at the book expo with many book's from new author's my book will be among them. Title Dark Island by Irene Matthews. It's a pirate adventure like no other before it with twist's and turn's and an ending that no one saw comming, enjoy.
At first I thought the email had to be a fake, but then I saw the listing for her book at PublishAmerica:
I have been writing since I was 13 years old and really enjoy writing. I write poems, love stories, horror, adventure, etc. All my life I always wanted to write a wonderful book and finally my dream has finally came true thanks to alot of wonderful people who believed in me. I knew one day that my dream would come true one day, and to never ever give up. Since I was little I always had a love for pirate movies and stories, plus I always loved vampire stories and movies, I also believe dreams do come true and mine did come true.
If anybody ever needed proof that PublishAmerica is a scam, or that there's good reason for Garrison Keillor's fears, the publication of this book is it.