The rise and rise of self publishing

OK, I’ll admit to a little self interest here, but bear with me.

I’m involved with publishing. You’re reading it. Blogs have unequivocally levelled the playing field when it comes to getting one’s thoughts out there for others to see at little or no cost. There is something unspeakably cool, however, about seeing your words printed and bound, and self publishing is on the rise.

My brothers and I, having already published a game, are making strides into publishing more of our own stuff (stories, poetry, scripts, albums, there’s no real conceptual boundaries once you start down this road) and even looking at publishing works by other people. It’s a great time to be doing things independently because for enough cash there are a myriad sites offering to turn your content into a physical (or ePub) product. Add to this the ease with which one can acquire ISBN registration, and you’re potentially away.

The myth about this pattern of working is that you have somehow wrested control from the big boys. No, not at all. The “big boys”, if they exist in that fashion, probably haven’t noticed you and would not have done. But you can have a stab at producing a final product which is high quality and over which you have exerted a fairly close degree of control. Nothing beats that feeling. Well, nearly nothing.

Of course, musicians have Bandcamp, film makers have almost endless options. Craft/cottage industry manufacturers have Etsy. It’s everywhere because the same freedom an online revolution gives to one creative sector it can extend to practically all. And that, I suspect is why it’s so compelling once you have a glimpse of it. Colleagues at work have asked me on the quiet about publishing their work for them, and then in almost the same breath, find themselves asking “I mean, how hard is it?” as they realise they can be the captain of their  particular created art. Master of their own fate.

The recent currency shenanigans mean it’s a great time to sell overseas from the UK, because exchange rates mean we get more GBP for every USD or EUR. Equally though ordering from abroad has become proportionately more expensive so do your sums beforehand. Having said that, if you want to hold your own novella in your hand, a copy of your album on actual vinyl, a physical copy of a game which was once only a concept, or even a full blown book of verse what you wrote, it’s never been easier to make it happen. Best of luck!



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