Infinity Publishing was quoted in Publisher’s Weekly regarding the changing face of the publishing industry as self-publishing becomes more and more prominent.
The article, written by Jim Milliot and Michael Coffey states that “self-publishing industry is growing up in a hurry. Not only are more books than ever before being published by a growing number of self-publishing companies, but authors are becoming more knowledgeable about the publishing process and demanding more services from vendors.”
One of the growth areas of the industry is partnerships between self-publishing and traditional publishing companies. Another area that adds self publishing industry is education. According to the article. as this industry continues to expand, the education of its authors will be the first priority.
Infinity says: for small companies like his that get a slice of book sales, working with authors benefits everyone. "We want our authors to know we are on the same side of the table as them," Gutch says. "We make more money when authors sell more books."
Click here to read the full article.
by LinDee Rochelle
Sometimes the landscape of life – family, work, responsibilities, recreation (hopefully), and the myriad of other consuming chores – deter us from the pleasures and needs of our writing. This is especially true during the Holiday Season, as we add a round of social gatherings, gift-shopping and perhaps travel, to our already hectic schedules.
With this level of activity, it’s a wonder our books ever see publication! But we squeeze in a little “me” time for our passion. In haste, however, we can overlook learning some of the important nuances of our trade.
Rushing past yet another jolly gentleman dressed in red, swinging his bell, we may not have proper time for due diligence, and may neglect to discover publishing characteristics that could be of value to our books.
In speaking with hundreds of authors each month, many questions are oft-repeated; some may be less common but still impact your book’s content, appearance, marketing, distribution, or simply make you more knowledgeable about the industry.
L’s Seven Suggestions … for Author Awareness:
- Why should I know about Publishers Weekly
- “We are returning to our earliest roots,” said PW president George W. Slowik Jr. in an August 23, 2010 article (“The New PW Select: A Quarterly Service for the Self-Published”). “PW dates to 1872, when it was first known as Trade Circular Weekly and listed all titles published that week in what was then a nascent industry. We have decided to embrace the self-publishing phenomenon in a similar spirit. Call it what you will—self-publishing, DIY, POD, author-financed, relationship publishing, or vanity fare. They are books and that is what PW cares about. And we aim to inform the trade.”
- What that means to you is a highly respected and reputable source for publishing news and trends - “Subject areas covered by Publishers Weekly include publishing, bookselling, marketing, merchandising and trade news, along with author interviews and regular columns on rights, people in publishing, and bestsellers.” (Even not opting for the rather pricey subscription, their website hosts plenty of free information.)
- What is Books in Print®?
- Aka Bowker Books in Print, “Bowker® is the leading provider of global book information and decision-support solutions through services that support an efficient supply chain to publishers, books sellers and libraries,” says their mission statement.
- What that means to you is every self-respecting book title should be listed with Bowker. They are the go-to-guy to learn if your book is a viable title in the industry. Only your publisher can list with Bowker, as does Infinity – a free service for all of our titles.
- What is a book’s Front Matter / Back Matter
- Although these terms should be self-explanatory their content remains a mystery for some. Front Matter refers to everything in the beginning of the book, up to the first page of the body text. This includes the title page, dedications, Table of Contents, and more. Conversely, the Back Matter is comprised of everything after “The End,” to include index(es), appendix(es), author’s bio, et al. And, there is a specific order that is expected for each. The Chicago Manualhas a great line-up of the front and back matter pages, with brief, helpful explanations of each.
- What that means to you is you could be leaving out some information that might be valuable to your readers, or simply present a book that does not compare favorably with the mainstream industry. A paraphrased and partial list of CM’s is in my Author Nation article, “Front Matter / Back Matter – Does it Matter?”
- What does a Distributor do?
- Ingram Content Group, Baker & Taylor, and others are pure and simple, middlemen. They take book orders from retail outlets and place those orders with the publishers.
- What that means to you is unfortunately, you need them. Why do stores use them rather than going directly to the publisher for a better deal? Because they can order many books from many publishers through one distributor and write just one check. Talk with your publisher – what distributors do they list with, and what is the distribution coverage?
- What is BISAC?
- No, it isn’t a military term. It’s an acronym for Book Industry Standards and Communications which is a standards practice code list of book subject headings organized by the Book Industry Study Group. This not-for-profit US book trade association created the effective industry-wide list for physical and digital publications.
- What that means to you as author Walt Shiel explained in his 2009 blog, “Think of the BISAC subject heading as the shelf label in a bookstore, and ask yourself where in a bookstore you think your book belongs.” Give serious consideration to where you think your book fits best on store shelves and communicate that to your publisher.
- What is a backlist?
- Books generally are considered “new” for just one short, calendar year. (This is why I recommend inserting next year’s date on the copyright page if you’re publishing in mid-summer or later.)
- What that means to you is at 12:01a.m. of the New Year, they are still listed with your publisher, but are now on the “backlist” as perhaps a solid performer, but no longer new. (OK, I’m kidding about the time, but you get the idea.) I’m sure you can guess what “frontlist” means. J
- What is DRM?
- As author Nathan Bransford defines it in his 2009 blog, Digital Rights Management “… is software encryption that (theoretically) discourages piracy and which allows [the] publisher [or eBook facilitator] to do fancy things like sync your e-book between your Kindle and your iPhone.
- What that means to you is whether or not your eBook is as secure from illicit copying as possible. A publisher (like Infinity) that is concerned about this issue will ensure your digital rights are maintained at the highest possible level.
Have any questions class? Did you take notes? Please don’t hesitate to comment.
by LinDee Rochelle
If you’ve been roaming around the book publishing industry for a while, you’ve likely stumbled across the Publisher’s Weekly blog that has everyone talking around the virtual water cooler.
From the president of PW, “We are returning to our earliest roots. PW dates to 1872, when it was first known as Trade Circular Weekly and listed all titles published that week in what was then a nascent industry. We have decided to embrace the self-publishing phenomenon in a similar spirit. Call it what you will―self-publishing, DIY, POD, author-financed, relationship publishing, or vanity fare. They are books and that is what PW cares about. And we aim to inform the trade.”
Wow. Do you know how long we’ve waited for someone in the “upper realm” to believe we exist―and have more to offer than formulaic prose? So why am I not happy? (No comments from you guys about women never being happy … very funny …)
Seriously, left-handed compliments are a thin disguise for disdain. In the eyes of Publisher’s Weekly and many others who either sit on the throne of traditional publishing, or grovel at its feet, we are still nothing more than the illiterate redheaded stepchild.
Those of you who have followed me through Infinity Publishing to Author Nation may be familiar with the blog I posted in response to recent years’ doomsday predictions of print books dying a horrible, imminent death, “Publishing’s Death Knell Premature.”
It didn’t take a crystal ball
One particular paragraph stood out in my re-reading of it: “Author-originated publishing has suffered long enough as the industry's redheaded stepchild! It was shunned in its infancy, kicked around in its adolescence, and is finally ready―with the help of the economic crisis―to experience its final growth into adulthood and stand proud as publishing hope for authors who have real talent.
Mmm, I love it when a prediction comes true. Much has happened in the industry since that post―some good, some not-so-wonderful. However, two points come quickly to mind: 1) print books are NOT going away―book STORES are; and 2) my prediction remains valid that traditional publishers and the rest of their pompous entourage better realize the power of the people in “self publishing”―or suffer the consequences.
Before you jump all over me, let me clarify―some book stores have already closed. Big-box chain stores are sitting on Humpty Dumpty’s shaky wall. Independent stores and book sections within chains will survive in moderation, IF they’re smart and find their niche.
But print books will continue to sell―online. I just bought another one for posterity and my research (Cousin Brucie: My Life in Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio, out-of-print). They will share more of the marketplace with digital books, but there will always be a need for print publications. Oh, you don’t think so?
Let me digress, please
A quick aside on “power”―the electrical kind: I am concerned about our technology―not because it’s usurping my beloved book-in-hand moments, but on a much more basic need level. I was without power for 12 hours last week. Now, that isn’t nearly as long as the 4-day stint my friend, John Harnish, experienced last month. But in the 7 awake hours it represented, I had to find something to do WITHOUT MY INTERNET! OMG.
What was my alternative? Certainly not reading a book on an eReader … while the battery would last for an hour or so … what then? Nope. And though my land line didn’t work, my cell phone did―5 minutes on the ‘Net sucked it dry. So, I turned to my trusty flashlight on my actually printed-on-paper books and newspaper. And I learned a lot. Foremost, I have more “D” batteries lying around than eReader batteries.
Power problems will continue to plague us, as nothing can predict natural disasters. However, I don’t believe any of our power grids are up to the challenge of the technology we’re creating. I’m keeping my print books. But back to PW and the power of self-publishing …
Well-meaning, or grudging jump into the money pit?
Although it’s nice to feel the fuzzy warm touch of a faction as venerable as PW, the announcement of their “Select quarterly supplement for self-published titles,” still relegates independent authors to the back of the bus. We’re not allowed to sit with the kids up front. In fact, we get our own bus. Add to that, not “charging for reviews” but requiring a “processing fee”―and still the redheaded stepchild must walk 10 paces behind on the way into the schoolhouse.
Only the toughest of new authors and the smartest of traditional authors turned renegade, have the self-pride to withstand the stigma and persevere.
While independent authors may take advantage of PW’s Select service because of its lopsided validation, they won’t be fooled into thinking the $149 fee is anything but pure revenue for PW, in times when everyone is looking for a new way to make the almighty buck.
Ah―I guess I should give them a little credit―we get a six-month PW subscription with that fee. Woohoo- but no guarantee that our books will be reviewed. Sigh.
I’m going to say it again, as I did nearly two years ago, “Right up front, aspiring authors MUST consider professional editing as mandatory to publishing their book for market. If it's going to be a family history only, then by all means, write with reckless abandon and cracked grammar (not grandma). But if you truly feel your story has merit―prove it. If you don't have enough dollars in the cookie jar for editing, you're not ready to publish and sell your manuscript.” Trust me- even editors need editors. I should know.
If we’re to win this self-publishing game, we need to take pride in our work and publish quality books through quality publishers―if we don’t take ourselves seriously, no one else will. Although we may desire reviews by those entities that have grown disproportionately advantaged and forgotten that the roots of publishing includes self-publishing (think Ben Franklin, Mark Twain and Virginia Woolf), with the advent of the Internet and our readers’ reviews- I predict it won’t be long when we can do without them.
Photos courtesy of Alessandro Paiva and Vjeran Lisjak.