You’d be forgiven for thinking that with the rise in digital technology, and boom in e-books, that traditional publishing was declining. However, in recent years the world of independent publishing has really taken off.
Rather than the internet killing the publishing industry it has actually acted as a platform for more people to publish their own work. Now, new up-and-coming authors do not have to rely on sending their work to publishing houses, as they are able to get their work out there to a significant audience all by themselves. Some of the world’s most famous authors such as the writer behind the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy, E.L. James, have self-published.
And, there are a wide range of reasons as to why more and more authors are heading down this route:
Set their own prices
One big bonus when it comes to independent publishing is that authors are able to set their own prices. Usually, it is the publisher’s role to make decisions such as pricing, but independent publishing gives the power to the authors.
Many writers, particularly those who are just starting out, often allow people to have access to their content for free as they try to build their profile, and it’s a technique that is showing signs of fruition.
While e-books have helped people self-publish online like never before, Amazon has also played its part. For authors who decided to publish their work on a Kindle, they will receive a guaranteed 70% of the royalties helping to support these up-and-coming writers.
It isn’t just online where independent publishing is making an impact, book stores up and down the country are also feeling its effects. Many of the publishing giants, think Penguin, HarperCollins and Bloomsbury, are based in London.
Whilst these do feature novels from some of the best known authors in the world, they are arguably lagging behind when it comes to diversity.
But, when you stray away from the capital, this changes. Many self-publishing authors are seeing success by entering markets away from the norm of white, middle class writers. As geography becomes less and less important in the publishing world, authors from more diverse backgrounds are bringing unique stories and loveable characters to readers everywhere.
More control over their work
It may seem like a given that an author has control over their writing. But this is not always the case. Often when an author is aligned with a publisher, the publishers have a lot of influence over what is being written and this can stifle creativity.
This is particularly an issue in the editing process where publishers are at liberty to remove sections, or even demand that authors alter the entire focus of their novel.
Whilst this is standard industry practice, and many of the world’s most popular writers have had to go through this process, self-publishing authors do not have to answer to anyone.
Able to adapt their work specifically to the way they like it, independent publishing offers a greater level of control for writers.
Quality over quantity
Many publishers want to publish a certain number of books per year, and so they often impose stringent deadlines on their writers. This can put pressure on authors to quickly get their books done, and therefore they may end up not producing their best work.
The writing process is an unpredictable one and putting a time limit on creativity is difficult. Many authors have discussed their experiences with publishers explaining how time constraints have previously meant they have not produced their best work.
Independent publishers do not have to worry about this as they are able to take as long as they want with their writing, ensuring they are completely happy with their work before they decide to publish.