Goings-on in self-publishing

“The business race is on to have the relationship with the reader.”

This is the comment made by best-selling author, Seth Godin, in response to his recent decision to bypass his publisher and bring his upcoming book to readers directly through self-publishing.

“It’s going to make a lot of other big authors sit up and take notice,” said Mark Coker, chief executive of Smashwords Inc., an e-book publishing and distribution platform based in Los Gatos, Calif. “There are a lot of authors with fan followings.”

Coker went on to say that “midlist” authors who receive minimal marketing support from their publishers may be tempted to follow Mr. Godin’s lead.

This news comes not long after another considerable force in the publishing world, Stephen Covey, brought news of his decision to self-publish his forthcoming book in order to take advantage of significantly shorter publishing timelines. Think Kairos.

The reality is all authors are midlist, at least at one point or another. That an increasing number of self-publishing authors are turning the other side of the coin and getting picked-up by traditional publishers suggests viability of self-publishing across multiple channels. As Godin’s statement implies, an author’s ability or at the very least, willingness, to build relationships with readers is a key point. But then we’ve known that for some time now.


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