Lee—who has been on the forefront of every media trend over the past two decades—provides the following information to BATW members who may be considering indie publication, or who are in the throes and need a step up:
My book on self-publishing is now out. After doing 16 books with traditional publishers, why did I switch to doing four books “independently” published or “indie?” Why do I now recommend this path for most BATW authors?
The book is An Author’s Perspective on Independent Publishing: Why Self-Publishing May Be Your Best Option. See it on Amazon as a $14.95 paperback/$3.99 ebook (http://amzn.to/1F1DbNq) and on my Amazon Lee Foster Author Page (http://amzn.to/1jl9Lnz). My book will be in Ingram eventually for bookstores and libraries.
The book is both my author’s journey in this gradual transition from traditional to indie publishing and a practical how-to guide for authors who may wish to follow a parallel path.
Self-publishing is now an ascending practice and will continuing to thrive, in my assessment of the current market. More and more authors are pursuing the independent publishing dream. Technology developments make “indie” publishing more plausible with each passing year. Increasing market access for indie authors continues to erode the domain that traditional publishers once ruled exclusively.
My book covers the logical subjects that developed in my own practices, as the table of contents suggests:
1. How Traditional Publishing Worked (and Sometimes Still Works)
2. Why Independent Publishing, Also Known As Self-Publishing, Arose
3. Why Independent Publishing Today and Tomorrow May Be Your Most Viable Option
4. Your Print-on-Demand Book
5. Your Ebook Distribution
6. Your Book Content as a Website/Blog, Funded Partly by Advertising
7. Your Social Media Outreach
8. Your Book Marketing Strategy
9. Your Need for Quality Design in Independent Publishing
10. Your Book’s Possible Specialized Adaptations, such as an Audiobook, Chinese Translation, and App
Modern authors restless with their traditional publishing options and experiences may find some comfort in the self-publishing trajectory described in my book. Personally, I’ve had a very positive experience with my traditional publishing partnerships in the past. It’s just that with all the new opportunities, indie seems much more appealing.
Authors may also find my book useful as they think through the forms that their current and future books might take. While a printed book and an ebook might be obvious options, what about a book-as-a-website or a book as an audiobook?
Authors impatient for sometimes-lethargic traditional publishers to exploit their books may also find some inspiration in my book. If I had stayed with traditional publishers, it is unlikely that I would have books available today in Chinese in China. The entrepreneurial author can do a better job than traditional publishers in exploring the new markets.
Authors are also, however, alerted in my book to the new responsibilities that they assume in the publishing process, which are the burdens to design the book and to market the book. These new tasks are manageable, partly due to the technology advances in book-creation software and to the social media outreach that all authors need to master, whether indie or traditional. If an author needs to create the market for any and every book through a social media presence, why not just go the extra step and “own” the book?
The revolution now occurring in independent publishing has its parallels in many other aspects of our lives. New Internet technology makes person-to-person exchanges and buying/selling opportunities more viable with each passing year. I can now buy a room in a house while on a trip through Airbnb and bypass Hyatt or Hilton, if I desire that. In fact, Airbnb has more billion-dollar value in the stock market now than Hyatt and Hilton combined, even though Airbnb has never invested a single dollar in a hotel. The individual “hoteliers” of Airbnb love it. I can now travel around San Francisco with Uber and bypass Yellow Cab, if I wish. When I talk to Uber drivers, they seem to be happy with the direct exchange. Maybe authors and readers are at the outset of a similar long-term relationship, enhanced by technology advancing person-to-person indie publishing options.
In writing this book, my dream is that BATW authors and readers will find each other, fall in love, and embrace, possibly in cyberspace. Readers will receive the content they desire, possibly at a lower cost. Authors will earn sustaining income, possibly in a more transparent manner with fewer middlemen. The future of this relationship could be a utopia, not a dystopia.
I will continue to dream,
The Book: An Author’s Perspective on Independent Publishing: Why Self-Publishing May Be Your Best Option
ISBN for printed book 978-0-9760843-4-1; ISBN for ebook 978-0-9760843-6-5