Tuesday, June 21, 2011

An Interesting Interview

So I was listening to one of the morning shows yesterday and an interview with the former mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, caught my attention. He had just written a book about his experiences during Katrina threaded with a post analysis of the disaster, an event and period of our history of which just about everyone in the world has some memory. Images of people stranded on roofs and those held hostage in the Superdome are seared in our collective memory, and now with the internet, seared in the digital memory of history.

It was an interesting interview for many reasons, and given his fame as the mayor of New Orleans at such a dramatic time, and given the bad press that the administration at the time received, it wasn’t surprising that a book was written about it nor was it surprising that it was receiving national media attention. What was surprising - at least to me - was that at the end of the interview, he quickly added that he published it through Create Space and it was available through Amazon.

His reasons for choosing CreateSpace are clarified in an interveiw published on USAToday at the following link:


Here's the paragraph that is most telling:

The book covers the first 30 days after the storm. The outspoken Nagin says he chose to self-publish on CreateSpace, a division of Amazon.com, after contacts with publishers left him worried about the editing process, feeling uncertain "that my voice would come out at the end of the day."

Just goes to show us that if the subject is notable enough and the author famous enough, even a self-published book can receive national attention. But it also shows that more and more writers are choosing non-traditional publishing paths to have more control over the process, especially when it comes to preserving their voice.


Debra St. John said...


I've been following some posts on some of my loops lately that have talked about how bad editing is at some places. Many people are debating 'going it alone' so to speak. Our publishing world is changing on a daily basis. Sometimes it's hard to keep up.

And, yes, I think we all will remember Katrina for a long, long time.

Bob Sanchez said...

That's fascinating, Terri. I wonder if he really thought editors would ruin his voice. Does that mean he felt his work needs no editing? I'm tempted to buy his book just to see the quality of the end product.

David DeLee said...

I saw him on Jon Stewart and he said the editors he spoke to wanted him to "tone down" some of the passages he'd written. That was where his fear of losing his voice came from, I believe.
Not sure what he did about editing.
David DeLee
Fatal Destiny - a Grace deHaviland novel

Deb Larson said...

I sure hope he has some professional editing done, otherwise it will solidify that self-publishing isn't of the same high quality as traditional printing.
DL Larson