Traditional Publishers Are Wooing Authors? The Times, They Are A-Changin’.

Nothing makes me get my butt in the chair and my fingers on the keyboard like hearing that an author made three million dollars in two years off of self-published e-books.

gavin-self-publishing
(comic courtesy of Bo’s Cafe Life)

But even more exciting is this: enough people are taking the self-publishing leap that [at least in Romance] traditional publishers and agents are actually having to go after authors instead of the other way around. Yes, you read that correctly. Barbara O’Neal reports that, at the Romance Writers of America conference this year:

For the first time I can remember, ever, editors and agents were wooing authors. One notable workshop featured editors from major houses presenting the things publishers could do for authors.

Meanwhile, speakers on the self-pub track, assembled single-handedly by self-publishing millionaire Barbara Freethy, packed the room. The ballroom. Amazon, Apple, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble sent their teams to hold meetings, present workshops, and even offer a wine-tasting. Authors were wooed here, too—by merchandisers and editors for the indies.

Read the entire article about the changes she’s seeing in publishing here.

Even Writer’s Digest is hopping on board the self-publishing train with their new self publishing service division, Abbott Press.

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They’re even trying to help consumers judge the quality of self-published books through the use of “Writer’s Digest Mark of Quality”:

Manuscripts published with Abbott Press will be reviewed by a professional editor hand-selected by Writer’s Digest. Titles deemed to be of exceptionally high literary merit will feature the Writer’s Digest Mark of Quality, a prestigious mark designed to convey the book’s excellence.

Now, I have no idea how successful that will be – nor how successful many aspects of self-publishing will be. Things will continue to change and evolve, and what works for a self-published author today might not work in two years. Or even one. And, of course, there are sharks of all types out there trying to take advantage of naive writers who haven’t done their research.

But still. $3,000,000 from self-published e-books is pretty amazing. Who knows what the industry will look like in ten years? I don’t know about you, but I find the possibilities to be very exciting.

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