CompletelyNovel’s Anna and Oli are thrilled to be joining the debate at City University London and BookMachine’s conference Publishing Now: The Golden Age of Innovation, being held in London on the 2nd and 3rd of December.
As a self-publishing author, it’s always a good plan to stay on top of the latest developments in the industry to figure out where you can fit in. So why not put off the Christmas shopping for a bit longer and head along? Read on to find out more….
The Golden Age for Authors?
Innovation has blown the doors of author choice wide open. New platforms, new opportunities and new avenues to reach readers have led to a publishing proliferation. But how can aspiring authors get in on the action? And how can writers make the most of the changes?
Publishing Now: The Golden Age of Innovation is a two day event, aiming to explore new developments but also offering the chance to raise questions with professionals. As the content industries evolve, it’s more important than ever to gain a grasp of what is actually happening now, rather than getting tied up with predictions for the future.Hear opinions straight from the publishing horse’s mouth.
Talks at the event will be covering all sorts of ideas and issues, varying from opportunities in transmedia narratives, new technology and interactive content, to developments within print-based publishing. It will be a great arena for writers to explore possibilities and think creatively about how their own work can be enhanced by innovation. Lined up to shed light on these topics are: Joanna Rahim, Alastair Horne, Sophie Sampson, Dean Johnson, Bobby Nayyar and Gavin Summers, along with the founders of CompletelyNovel, Anna Lewis and Oliver Brooks.
Publishing Now provides a fantastic melting pot of publishing professionals, expert speakers, industry insiders (developers, designers, etc.), authors and MA Publishing students. A lively, informal debate is taking place on the Friday night at The Boadicea, giving the chance for everyone to get fired up about all the hot topics of the moment. Saturday is a mix of talks, panel discussions and sociable activities, with plenty of opportunities to learn, chat, share experiences and get advice! Authors can discover how innovations will make the best of their content, along with finding out about new gateways to getting work published and speaking to those that could make it happen.
Innovations may bring out further opportunities and risk-taking in publishing, as more platforms can deliver a wider variety of content, but then it becomes more necessary than ever that writers are up to speed with all of these possibilities.
Self-publishing, digital content, enhancements, interactions, apps, blogs, social media, audio…it seems that whatever route an aspiring author chooses to go down, what’s certain is that learning more about the industry is always a good way to start. Sign up for Publishing Now 2011 and have your say!
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I have found the self-publishing experience to be stimulating and enjoyable. I have published twice now through CN. The difficult part is the marketing aspect. There are so many of us out there that to say that it is a ‘Golden Age’ is a little over-optimistic in my opinion.
The plus side is that people can be published without having to suffer the mind-boggling ponderous process of going through agents and publishers. Even the most successful authors like J K Rowling and Joanne Harris had to wait an inordinate length of time waiting on the whims of their publishers to be able to move forward. Success is now more in the hands of the consumer and I must say that I feel that is how it should be!
While I praise Anna, Oli and all at CN I have some doubts regarding the concept of a ‘Golden Age for Authors’. Certainly more works are appearing in print than formally was the case, present financial restraints apart that is, but that does not necessarily mean recognition for authors, merely that more books by more authors are printed…or seen in electronic format.
Without the screening of an agent or publisher who decides what is worthy of publication and what is not? It is all very well assuming that a site such as CN gives agents an opportunity to see what new authors are writing but they are unlikely to read much simply because the works appear on the site listings. They have their own ‘slush pile’ and will not be over enthusiastic to look at what they know will contain much more of the same.
It is this lack of quality control that will be a major problem for those with works that are worthwhile, self published books will, by the professionals, generally be viewed as all of a similar quality until proven otherwise and that quality will be deemed as not very high…
Some mode of grading is required to ensure that only the works that are of a sufficiently high quality will be displayed on selected pages and this will then mean agents and publishers will at least have a selection of works to browse that are of a sufficiently high standard.
Currently it is too easy to get into print, simply, in effect, print your manuscript, good bad or indifferent…and who is to know the difference until the work is examined? What agent is going to spend time trawling through lists of ‘possible’ quality works when many are not of a suitable quality?
If this problem can be addressed then this self publishing exercise will turn into a fast track to success for many but until it does I foresee little change except even more books getting into print that require much editing and which will not be taken up by agents or publishers simply because the standard is not sufficiently high.
While I am fully in favour of people having their work in a book format in their hands, yes, it is good feeling, there does need to be some sort of selection process that does not currently exist. I have yet to see any signs of this problem being addressed and to be frank I don’t know how it could be achieved across the industry without an extension of the tradition system.
It is a Golden Age if you accept that marketing your book is about marketing yourself – my advice is to have something you can upsell which goes with your book and to see your book as a glorified business card – this works for fiction and non-fiction by the way.
It’s not about numbers of books sold or royalties, it’s about the connections the book makes and the doors it opens.
My first book ended up with me having a new career and I gave all the money to charity !!
Hi Harry – I started Live Ink to address exactly the problem you raise. We are the middle road. Why not pop on over and see what we’re about? We’re calling for submissions now www.liveinkbooks.co.uk