Friday, May 13, 2016

21st Century Publishing

It's an incredibly exciting period to be in small press publishing. Print on demand has dramatically reduced the cost of publishing while also eliminating the need for carrying inventory and the burden of returns. The Internet, especially, has redefined the entire distribution paradigm. E-books and other forms of digital distribution have made it possible for small publishers to garner worldwide sales. The Internet has also opened new low-cost, high-reach marketing opportunities, such as author blogging and social media.

The barriers are down and we can reach out to a global market, often on nearly equal footing with the major publishers. I see this constantly at Amber Book Company. One example is our arrangement with VitalSource to offer our books on its Bookshelf® proprietary digital platform; another is our upcoming release of audio books from

These factors have also ushered in a creative Renaissance. Unbound by the chains of the Big Five publishers who acted as gatekeepers and censors of what the reading public might see, authors are now able to publish their work without corporate interests exerting their discretion over what should appear in print. Books can now be tailored to discrete audiences in less popular genres or pertaining to less popular subject matter. Writing that pushes the envelope, no matter how offensive or politically incorrect, may now appear in print. Stories that might otherwise not be told can be read.

It's a time for experimentation. Writers can bravely try new directions and new approaches without fear of the consequences of failure. Some attempts may flop, either creatively or monetarily... Or both. The slush pile of poorly written books will grow exponentially. But beneath the heaps of manure, beautiful flowers will bloom.

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