A couple of good posts that cover well-trod info about self-publishing, but good nonetheless.
In 1917 Virginia Woolf and her husband Leonard unpacked a small printing press in the front room of their home. They set up the Hogarth Press to enable them to print small volumes of books that “the commercial publisher would not look at”. The Hogarth Press gave the writers of the Bloomsbury circle, which included TS Eliot and EM Forster, the freedom to write what they wanted, rather than write what established publishers judged saleable.
Nearly one hundred years later, it’s happening all over again.
In front rooms around the world, people are unpacking Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), Smashwords, Nook Press, Kobo’s Writing Life, Lulu.com and ePubli, all online digital presses that empower writers to publish their work both in digital and print formats, bypassing the old publishing hierarchy which required writers to court literary agents, literary agents to court publishers, publishers to court book sellers, and book sellers to court readers.
“It’s impossible to sell animal stories in the US.” So said one American publisher after rejecting the manuscript of George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
He was spectacularly wrong, but not alone among the literary establishment in rejecting some of the world’s best-known and most-loved books.
For centuries, agents and publishers have acted as gatekeeper of the printed word that gives authors access to a potential audience of millions.
But a growing army of writers, emboldened by new technology and the proliferation of e-readers, are rejecting the traditional publishing model.
And for those lucky ones that get it right, the rewards can be substantial – e-book sales in the US grew by almost 50% last year and more than doubled in the UK, while traditional print book sales continued to stagnate or dwindle.