Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Publishers Weekly Brings Self-Publishing Under Its Umbrella

Publishers Weekly has introduced a Publishers Weekly Select, a quarterly guide to what’s new in self-publishing.  The October 2011 guide was published as a supplement to the October 17th magazine issue and includes 35 reviews and listings of 130 new titles.
 
The establishment is definitely taking notice not only of self-publishing by also ebooks.  Here is what Publishers Weekly had to say about its decision to bring self-published words under its umbrella: 
“We are returning to our earliest roots. PW dates to 1872, when it was first known as Trade Circular Weekly and listed all titles published that week in what was then a nascent industry. We have decided to embrace the self-publishing phenomenon in a similar spirit. Call it what you will—self-publishing, DIY, POD, author-financed, relationship publishing, or vanity fare. They are books and that is what PW cares about. And we aim to inform the trade.”
 
The guide included two particularly interesting articles.  One was an interview with Joshua Talent, the founder and CEO of Austin-based eBook Architects.  Ebook Architects designs and codes ebooks for both independent clients and traditional publishers.  The second article was a profile of author Jane Ward who published her second book as an independent using Amazon’s CreateSpace.  She chose the self-publishing route for the same reason many authors do—traditional publishers operate on their timetable not yours.  After trying to market her book through the traditional route and failing to get their interest, Ward decided to take the plunge.  She explained that the one concern she had about going with CreateSpace is the current stigma of self-publishing.  In the end, she made the leap of faith because she believed in the book and believed that “quality writing remains the key to success” regardless of how a work is published.  It paid off for Ward, and she believes that the stigma around self-publishing is slowly changing.

I agree.  PW’s move to bring self-published words under its umbrella is evidence of that. Creative destruction is reshaping the publishing world; self-publishing is wining market share from legacy publishing and the agent/publisher model; digital is wining market share from print; print-on-demand is winning over large initial print runs. Ebook pricing has not yet caught up with the change, but more realistic pricing is emerging lead by independent authors.

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