We are returning to our earliest roots. PW dates to 1872, when it was first known as Trade Circular Weekly and listed all titles published that week in what was then a nascent industry. We have decided to embrace the self-publishing phenomenon in a similar spirit. Call it what you will—self-publishing, DIY, POD, author-financed, relationship publishing, or vanity fare. They are books and that is what PW cares about. And we aim to inform the trade.
To that end, we are announcing PW Select, a quarterly supplement announcing self-published titles and reviewing those we believe are most deserving of a critical assessment. The first supplement will appear in our year-end issue in December. Each quarterly will include a complete announcement issue of all self-published books submitted during that period. The listings will include author, title, subtitle, price, pagination and format, ISBN, a brief description, and ordering information provided by the authors, who will be required to pay a processing fee for their listing. At least 25 of the submitted titles will be selected for a published review. There will also be an overview of the publishing trends that can be identified from among the titles from that reading period. We will also focus on the opportunities that the self-pub world offers. A resource directory will accompany the section offering names of companies providing services in the DIY space.
The entire PW editorial staff will participate in a review of the titles being considered for review, and we'll likely invite a few agent friends and distributors to have a look at what we've chosen. No promises there, just letting some publishing friends take advantage of the opportunity to see the collection.
The first reading period for self-published books will be from September 1 until the end of October. All submitted titles will be registered online by the publisher at www.publishersweekly.com/diy; a processing fee of $149 will be charged. Once the registration process is completed, shipping instructions and a confirmation code will be issued. Additional copies of the supplement will be available for distribution.
We briefly considered charging for reviews, but in the end preferred to maintain our right to review what we deemed worthy. The processing fee that guarantees a listing and the chance to be reviewed accomplishes what we want: to inform the trade of what is happening in self-publishing and to present a PW selection of what has the most merit.
Titles submitted for our first supplement must have been published in 2010 and have a valid ISBN. We will not accept manuscripts or e-books (this time). Only final bound galleys or finished books will be accepted. Books cannot be returned; once finished the copies are donated to Housing Works Thrift Shop, a worthy local charity.
Please, please send your book in a bio-sensitive package (i.e., no bubble wrap or plastic envelopes). Also, please use packaging appropriate to the book you are submitting: no boxes full of packing peanuts or paper stuffing. We recommend reusable and recycled paper envelopes. An acknowledgment of the book's arrival will be issued via e-mail upon receipt.
We look forward to finding the gems worthy of attention, the sleeping indie giants—after all, books are our business.
George W. Slowik Jr.
P.S. The $149 processing fee also includes a 6-month subscription to the digital edition of PW.