Most large newspapers, journals, magazines, establishment reps all have the same view of e-publishing…a giant collective “ewww”. Like you would only do it if you weren’t any good and had no other choice. Of *course*, they sniff, you would go with whatever format your obviously large and more knowledgeable publisher would do for you. I have little time for that stupidity, so often when I see those large establishment-supporters writing, I ignore them. If I want to see what is appropriate for 1975 instead of 2016, sure, maybe I’ll read them. Right after I read the tags on my mattress.
So colour me surprised when the NYTimes feed lists “Picking a Digital Publishing Format” as a headline. Technically, no pun intended, it’s not a full NYTimes article, it’s only on the website, and a Q&A in the “personal tech” area at that, but hey, I’ll take a gander.
The question was pretty straightforward — the reader wanted to know what the “best” publishing method for digital books was in order to ensure they could reach beyond Apple devices. » Read the rest
Since I aspire to being a published writer, and will be eventually when I get some time and some butt glue to keep me in my writing chair, I haunt lots of writing sites and blogs and discussions to keep learning more about the business. Recently I came across a link to a post from Jane Friedman, one of the gurus in the indie biz talking about marketing, digital tools, and such. She was basically summarizing presentations at Digital Book World (DBW), and while I think JF has tons more experience than I, I found myself wanting to quibble with some of the conclusions (4 Lessons for Authors on the Current State of Publishing).
An author’s online presence is more critical than ever to long-term marketing strategy.
I don’t disagree that it is important, but hardly “critical” or even the greatest challenge in publishing. The changing nature of the marketplace from traditional to indie or self, the shifting weight from paper to digital, these are tectonic shifts. » Read the rest
I spend too much time reading policy briefs at work though because I want to take her arguments, condense them into a tight little memo to the universe, and go even further. For me, I’d pitch it even stronger.
Publishing is a business — Not just a cliche, but that publishing starts with a business contract between two business entities. On the one side, you have the supplier — the author who has created a great work, and now wishes to make money from it.
I admit that I have developed an almost unhealthy fascination with the publishing industry’s changes over the last five years. Separate from my own vested interest, I am also interested from an analytical perpective. People argue that “self-publishing” or “ebooks” are the changes that are sweeping their way through the publishing world, but I personally feel that it is more about the disentanglement of a previously integrated and controlled business model.
In the past, you had authors who produced content as a raw product, agents who marketed those raw materials to publisher after publisher, or editor by editor at each publisher, and publishers who took the raw product, massaged it, processed it, turned it into a final product, and took the sellable version to market. And there were huge barriers to entry into the market — agents wouldn’t take just anyone, publishers often wanted only agent-repped products, stores and libraries would mainly take books only from the Big Six publishers or their subsidiaries. » Read the rest
For those who read the rest of my blog, and not just the posts about writing, you know that I have a anally obsessively compulsive rigorous process for setting goals and tracking them — think of it as like setting New Year’s resolutions but on steroids. But there are some areas where “goals” are great, yet they only work if you can break them down in to digestible — and achievable — smaller chunks.
So let’s assume you have a big goal of being an author. Under traditional publishing, the ultimate end was outside your control — in theory, you could hammer away at agents and editors with proposal after proposal and never “succeed”. Your digestible “bits” were process stuff, not a measure of your ultimate outcome. With e-publishing, and self-publishing more specifically, coming of age in recent years (if not months), you can change your goal into something that is actually achievable i.e. » Read the rest