Self-Publishing News: 6.9.2020

june

And now for the news.

Highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing:

Here’s a thought-provoking article to start off your Tuesday. Harshad Marathe, an illustrator, Rachna Kalra, a publicist, R. Ajith Kumar, a typesetter, and Lakshmi Krishnan, an editor: These four industry professionals from the Indian subcontinent put their heads (and their words) together to create a portrait of what it’s like to be working (or not working) during the time of COVID-19. Their experiences vary, of course, in the way that no one’s pandemic experiences are the same. What’s interesting is what they say about self-publishing. Kalra, the publicist, notes that “we must bear in mind that reading is a leisure activity and at the moment the focus is on safety measures and essential items.” This explains to some extent the variability in the market over the last few months as readers binge-buy and then plateau. Krishnan, the editor, has concerns regarding how the rapidity of change may leave many in the traditional publishing industry afloat:

Suddenly, one is faced with taking into account shifts in remunerative patterns of employers. Benefits of work accruing from independent writers eager to make the most of the lockdown and get their manuscripts readied for self-publishing can but to an extent balance the income sourced from the mainstream; palpable anxiety and fear loom large on the horizon.

Past data suggests that self-publishing and traditional publishing can have a symbiotic, supportive relationship, with authors moving back and forth between the two. What happens if the entire structure of traditional publishing gives way at once? This is an issue we’ll be keeping in mind over the coming weeks.

The title really says it all, doesn’t it? Well, save for one thing … the book in question is a self-published book. This article, courtesy of Washington Post’s Jay Greene, covers all the salient details to this still-developing story, in which two of America’s multibillionaire technology giants go head-to-head over a book. Really, the central question is about a monopoly as well as a book: What happens when one company can manage not only a book’s production from start to distribution as well as the distribution of all other publishers’ books? Sure, both traditionally and self-published authors have other routes to distribution–they just aren’t as centralized and convenient to many buyers. And in an age of COVID-19, increasing percentages of the world’s population is turning to Amazon for essentials. No matter what your view on the companies involved, this is one battle of personalities that could have ramifications for almost everyone. We’ll be watching this developing story, as well.


spa-news
As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry.This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog each month to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

Self-Publishing News: 5.26.2020

And now for the news.

Highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing:

As a part of their series, ‘Publishing and the Pandemic,’ Scroll.in hosted a piece by Siddhartha Gigoo, whose recently published Love in the Time of Quarantine is as winsome as it is earnest. Gigoo began the book as many writers have–as a record of his own experience, given new form and voice and presence by the page. Unlike most authors, however, he set himself what seems an impossible challenge in authorship. As he puts it,

That night I opened a blank Word document and saved it as “Isolation Diary”. I stared at the unmarked page for a long time, wondering what to do with it. After some time, I closed it and went back to reading Homer’s The Odyssey.

I couldn’t go beyond the first stanza:

“Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns, driven time and again off course, once he had plundered the hallowed heights of Troy.”

I kept humming it constantly in my head. Such was the spell cast by its imagery.

21 days

The next day I opened the blank word document again and typed a sentence. I posted a story on Instagram that evening – “Friends, I have decided to write a novel in 21 days.”

Even while he was writing nearly nonstop, Gigoo found time to think through his publishing philosophy and process. He writes, “During my stargazing breaks in the balcony, I wondered what to do with the manuscript after I was done. ‘Should I send it to my agent or pitch it directly to publishers?'” His decision was influenced by the immediacy of self-publishing. His goal? Write a book in 21 days. Publish on the 22nd day.

That’s just not something you can hope to do with a traditional publishing house and process! A fast-tracked manuscript can sometimes scrape by some of the usual delays, but the traditional publishing mechanism usually equates to a wait of eighteen months to two years between submission and publication. That wasn’t going to work for Gigoo. “The nausea of it all!” he exclaims. So he recruited his daughter to design the book cover and his wife to serve as editor and copyeditor, and he sat down to cram eight days a week of work into the usual seven day schedule we all live through. (Even though time now seems liminal and transient.) He made it work, despite last-minute hiccups and obstacles, despite his near-impossible timeline, and even now he celebrates the flexibility and functionality of the self-publishing way. Pondering the weighty reality of mortality, prompted by current events, Gigoo writes that “If at all I am able to finish my next novel, digital publishing will be my first choice. Less baggage is preferable in the current times.”

The perfect end note to our own piece, we find. Please read Gigoo’s entire article at the link, above! It is well worth the time to enjoy his original words in full.


spa-news
As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry.This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog each month to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.