The Slings and Arrows of Self Publishing

01 October, 2011

With the release of the value-for-money Kindle Fire and Kindle Touch, e-readers are now commonplace. A friend of mine is getting one for her elderly, reader-ly mother. E-book sales outstrip conventionally published books. In this rapidly shifting arena, it makes senses that the ground rules for self publishers to market their wares change rapidly as well.

Could self-publisher Godhead John Locke’s seminal How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months, published in June 2011, now be hopelessly out of date?

Reduced to a mantra, the book espouses using social media to drive readers to your website/blog and then sales. Does this still work? With more than 200 million people tweeting so much is all that chatter now close to irrelevant? Would the most earth-shattering literary post go unnoticed? And forging all these marketing links draws the author away from their dominion: writing.

The notion of traditional publishing houses has changed, even died. The writing, editing, cover design, actual e-text production and marketing strategies are the realm of the writer. But what needs to happen is that “houses” take over the marketing of a novel, with clout to get reviews in significant online/print journals and into some “e-stores” where independent authors are presently barred and cannot venture.

Trident Media Group have announced they will provide support services to their e-book publishing authors. (http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/content-and-e-books/article/48836-trident-media-launches-e-book-program-for-its-clients.html) On blog sites, there are endless debates that this traditional agent has now become a publisher.

But hasn’t this neat, known world of “agent”, “publisher”, “author”, “bookstore” and “reader” already broken down?

If any company, call them what you will, will put their weight and might to achieve things a single author would never be able to, I don’t really care what they call themselves.

And all praise must be given to Trident Media Group for embracing the new world instead of turning their backs on it, hoping it’s just a dying trend and we can all go back to the old guard.

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