Yesterday's Entertainment section of Time.com features the article "Books Unbound" (by Chris Jackson/Getty). The story starts with a true Cinderella-like parable about unknown author Lisa Genova's novel Still Alice.
Unable to interest an agent or publishing house in the novel, Lisa finally forked over $450 and had iUniverse publish it. Like Cinderella, Lisa's story has a happy ending.
"Genova wound up getting an agent after all," writes Jackson, "and an offer from Simon & Schuster of just over half a million dollars. Borders and Target chose it for their book clubs. Barnes & Noble made it a Discover pick. On Jan. 25, Still Alice will make its debut on the New York Times best-seller list at No. 5."
I have a friend in Denver who has a similarly amazing story - a self-published book picked up by a major publishing house for an outrageously obscene amount of money.
What's interesting about these stories is the light they cast on the contradictory transformations happening within the publishing industry.
Never before has publication seemed like such a daunting challenge.
Never before have writers had not only "the power of the pen" at their fingertips, but can now wield the mighty power of the electronic sword.
Read more about Genova's incredible story, the current state of the publishing industry and why 2009 may be an empowering year for authors in Time's online article, "Books Unbound."