Here’s an interesting article from The Hartford Courant:
In music, DIY is a source of credibility for acts that take pride in circumventing the music machine and the compromises often required to release an album through a record company, especially one of the major labels. With books, by contrast, do-it-yourselfers are usually regarded with skepticism, if not outright derision, when they pay to publish their own work through what is disdainfully referred to as a “vanity press.”
The Internet has helped to (slowly) change this. With many retail book stores vanishing from the streets, readers are turning online to find their books, and that makes it more likely they’ll stumble upon an indie author’s work. But there’s still risk. As was mentioned in the Courant article, there’s no track record with DIY authors, no guarantee that their books have been proofread or polished to any degree. Oftentimes it’s not obvious until you’ve received the thing in the mail.
Bands have an easier death. A new piece of music dies the night it is performed shittily. Audience members make a mental note: “This band sucks, don’t even buy a T-shirt from these schmucks—and certainly don’t buy their CD.” For writers it’s harder to clearly kick ass or outright suck. Writers don’t typically “perform” a work before it is published, and they certainly don’t go on tour unless they’ve got the financial clout and stage presence to do so. Again, the Internet is changing this. Blogs are to writers as nightclubs are to bands. Sort of. Well, with blogging the drinks aren’t usually as varied or well-mixed. 😉