The first wave of independent publishing in the digital age promised a golden age of reading and writing. Many caught up in the excitement were swift to proclaim the demise of traditional publishing models.
What we see in 2015 is a world that has found room for both the upstarts and the established players. Authors frequently migrate from “indie” status to traditional houses and back again. Authors are making choices based on personal and professional “ROI” assessments – and not only about revenue potential but also considering their long-term career goals.
Depending on the book and the trajectory of an author’s career, independent publishing is the right choice now, or a year from now.
For the keynote panel opening this year’s uPublishU at BookExpo America, CCC’s Chris Kenneally spoke with a panel whose direct experience working in today’s “hybrid” environment covers editing, publishing and representing authors.
Angela Bole is executive director of the Manhattan Beach-based Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), the largest book publishing association in the U.S. serving small presses and self-published authors. IBPA’s mission is to lead and serve the independent publishing community by providing advocacy, education, and tools for success. Prior to joining IBPA, Angela served two years as deputy executive director of the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), and currently serves on the board of directors for BISG and IDPF, the International Digital Publishing Forum.
Robert Gottlieb is the Chairman and Founder of Trident Media Group (TMG) and has over thirty years of experience working in major trade publishing as an agent. Robert Gottlieb initially began his illustrious career in the mailroom of William Morris as part of the company’s famed Agent-in-Training Program. He discovered international bestselling author Tom Clancy, and later became Executive Vice-President of the WMA Literary Department, the youngest agent to do so in the history of the company. He continues to grow his list of authors which currently includes international bestselling authors Deepak Chopra, Catherine Coulter, Dale Brown, Elizabeth George, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lisa Scottoline, and Karen Robards. Since its founding in TMG has become the world’s leading literary agency, ranking #1 on Publishers Marketplace for overall deals and six-figure+ deals.
Kirsty Melville is President and Publisher of Andrews McMeel Universal, based in Kansas City, Missouri. A native of Australia, she was the founding publisher of Simon & Schuster Australia. In 1994, she moved to the U.S. as Vice President and Publisher for Ten Speed Press and led in its transformation from a niche publisher into an internationally recognized, award-winning house. In 1970, Andrews McMeel Universal was founded as Universal Press Syndicate by Jim Andrews and John McMeel. Today, Andrews McMeel Universal is the largest independent newspaper syndicate in the world and an emerging leader in book and calendar publishing and gift and stationery merchandising. Among the familiar names published by Andrews McMeel Universal are Charles Schultz, Ted Watterson, and Judith Martin.