And now for the news!
Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, specifically news from or regarding self-publishing companies!
You might have guessed the answer to this most provocative of questions, posed by Cath Everett of Personnel Today: there will be some who say yes, and some who say no, with a slow and steady progression toward embracing our tech-savvy future whether we like it or not. According to Everett, one company has already made the switch and might provide some important guidance for others looking to make the leap: Reedsy, a self-publishing company based out of the United Kingdom–but with staff in at least 15 countries. Reedsy has, says Everett, “taken this [trend] to the extreme,” with co-founder Emmanuel Nataf going on record to say “having people in the same room means there are more issues to manage and deal with,” a problem which is easily resolved by moving toward a fully remote model. There are additional benefits, Everett records Nataf as saying: “There’s less directed management with a remote team because everyone has objectives and know what they are [….] So results are the only thing we look at, not how much time people spend in the office.” That’s all well and good, but are there any downsides? “[Employees] need to be enthusiastic and know how to manage their time,” Nataf acknowledged: “If they’re only 50% into the idea, it simply won’t happen.” A word of caution in an otherwise enthusiastically pro-remote article, and if our own experience is any guide, this is a subject which will cycle back into relevance over the coming years.
Literature has no monopoly on the self-publishing method; games and art collaboratives have made inroads into today’s market using the exact same model, and in the case of KO_OP, they’re seeing phenomenal success. In this article for Cartoon Brew, correspondent David Calvo delves into the sort-of-cooperative, sort-of-corporation’s latest game came into being, and how KO_OP’s recent successes fall into place with the gaming world’s longstanding (but often tortuous) relationship with self-publishing. The game in question, GNOG, “ends up being a weird psychedelic journey in expressivity, a warped cosmogony holding more questions than answers,” writes Calvo: “Such a carefully crafted game could only emerge from a quiet, hopeful place. Montreal game studio KO_OP’s survival as a perpetual start-up is somewhat baffling, in a professional world of self-interests and coteries.” Perhaps the most profound connection between KO-OP’s GNOG and self-publishing is their shared philosophies. Says Calvo, “The refusal to engage in the trap of games as art (an already stale debate), the willingness to avoid the traditional pitfalls of gamemaking, like burnout or overthinking processes, are powerful tools.” Indeed they are–for everyone in the art-making business, whether visual or written or something else entirely. We can’t wait to play GNOG, and can’t recommend this article enough!
I know, I know, isn’t this just another gimmick from a member or the traditional enclave of media-production companies to boost diminishing sales? Maybe. But it’s kind of cool how Lonely Planet is going about it, especially if you look to Hassan Butt’s fascinating article on Transform (which touts itself as “The only global magazine for rebranding and brand development”). According to Butt, Lonely Planet’s “Trips” is, in fact, a “self-publishing content platform that aims to reimagine photo-sharing.” That’s quite a thought. What have we been doing with our Facebook photo albums, our Picasa accounts, our Twitter feeds, if not “self-publishing content” of a visual nature? It may just be a matter of semantics, but it looks as if Lonely Planet will be publishing quite a few of its well-regarded travel guides online for ease of use during travel. Butt’s article hits on all the right buzzwords: “storytelling,” “interactive user engagement,” “original, authentic outlook,” and “trustworthy reputation” all make a strong case for new users to give the app a chance. If you’re looking to travel abroad, let us know your thoughts!