It’s day 2 of SXSW Interactive (#sxswi) and the first event to kick off the rain-drizzled day was DIY App and eBook Publishing. The event discussed and demonstrated the latest in DIY publishing technology. Attendees were able to send in recipes for a crowd sourced cookbook to be made.
The event started off with why traditional publishing isn’t very good. Pepaj brought up how there are so many gatekeepers in traditional publishing. She had friends who had book deals who had to wait two years or more before their books got on the shelves. Publishers would decide what would go into the book, how it was structured, marketed, and when to release it. A humorous example of some of the books published through traditional publishing was brought up.
Self publishing gives a person creative control over their product. It lets a person make sure the product reflects their personal brand, who they are about and what they have to offer. Discussions about the advantages and disadvantages of traditional and self-publishing were discussed.
Although an explosion in self-publishing resources have come to light, it still has a long history.
Erika Mitchell (a.k.a. E.L James) is a great example of the rise in popularity of self-publishing. Mitchell worked as a TV executive prior to writing. In May 2011 James turned a series of fanfiction writings into a novel titled Fifty Shades of Grey. The novel was published as an ebook by The Writer’s Coffee Shop, a virtual publisher based in Australia. Without much of a marketing budget, the book was mainly promoted through niche book blogs and other fanfiction sites.
The event ended by discussing the ways to make and market a book and finding an audience for it. Niche sites/blogs, press releases, guest blogging and offering free services things discussed at panels end. eBook pricing was a notable question from the audience. If a person really wants a book, they will pay for it. Panelists discussed buying ebooks ranging from $0.99 cents to $20 bucks. Experiment to see what works best. Try to offer free samples to people so they can get a taste of what an author have to offer.