Today, as never before in the history of the book, the business of publishing offers endless opportunities for writers and others to take charge of their creative efforts. Whether you are an aspiring author, one who has already self-published, or are newly independent from traditional publishers, you have access to new technologies, supportive book discovery sites, and social media platforms. Once considered a last chance, self-publishing is now the first chance to see your work published – in print and digital formats, available immediately to a waiting world of reviewers and readers.
uPublishU – an all-day session at BookExpo America dedicated to independent authors – opened with a panel of book business leaders offering authors their insights on what it takes to succeed.
“It’s never been about self-publishing, or traditional publishing, or legacy publishing. It really is about just different ways that people can tell their stories,” noted Jon P. Fine, Director of Author and Publisher Relations for Amazon.com. “And in that sense, the growth of self-publishing as a legitimate venue can’t be overestimated. everybody can be an author, and that’s amazing. Particularly from my background as a First Amendment lawyer, the idea that anybody can tell their story is just an awesome fact.”
As CCC’s Chris Kenneally, the panel moderator, pointed out, self-publishing is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the publishing industry with 211,000 self-published titles, based on ISBNs, released in 2011, up more than 60 percent from 133,000 in 2010. Those numbers are driving literary agencies to offer authors a range of e-book publishing services.
“At Trident, we have a dedicated e-book division. ppeople working in that group are not traditional publishing people, because we didn’t want any of the traditional publishing baggage to be brought into that area. We wanted people who were forward thinking, innovative, and open to new ideas,” said Robert Gottlieb, Founder & Chairman, Trident Media Group Agency.
“I want authors to think of themselves as a business, as a brand, and to think beyond your first book. Part of your job is creating amazing works — writing beautiful books, writing informative books. And the second part of your career is marketing those books,” explained Cindy Ratzlaff, President, Brand New Brand You Inc. “Every single thing you write in social media ends up being a piece of data that leads back to the brand of you.”