Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Movers and Shakers in the Digital Self-publishing World: an excellent article from the Wall Street Journal

What one writer can do, let no corporation break asunder . . .

Word-of-mouth communication, with the evolution of the internet and social networking, has come to rival the impersonal advertising tools of the mass media.

Print on Demand publishing can now print books one-by-one as they are bought, a more ecologically sound and sustainable practice.  This has opened the door for authors to also become publishers, creating a more grassroots, democratic side to the world of books.

The above quotation is from my Book It Forward page this blog (see the tabs below the masthead).

The world is a village, and sharing what we create is as easy as leaning on our fence and chatting with our neighbors.

The Wall Street Journal has published an article entitled "'Vanity' Press Goes Digital" about how many writers are now also becoming independent publishers--self-employed business people. The article discusses the changes in the publishing industry, the societal and technological forces behind those changes, and the movers and shakers of the changing times. It focuses on the e-book revolution.

Much as blogs have bitten into the news business and YouTube has challenged television, digital self-publishing is creating a powerful new niche in books that's threatening the traditional industry. Once derided as "vanity" titles by the publishing establishment, self-published books suddenly are able to thrive by circumventing the establishment.(WSJ)

If we are all neighbors sharing our lives while leaning on fences--who is building and maintaining all those fences? Here are the new builders of fences, according to the Wall Street Journal writers Geoffrey A. Fowler and Jeffery A. Trachtenberg:
  •  Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos, CEO: . . . Kindle
  • Barnes & Noble, William Lynch, CEO: PubIt! and Nook
  • Apple, Steve Jobs, CEO: iBookstore, iPad, iPhone
  • Lulu, Bob Young, CEO: 20,000 titles each month at no charge to the author
  • Smashwords, Mark Coker, founder: digital platform supporting a number of e-bookstores, including Apple, Sony, and B & N
  • FastPencil, Steve Wilson, CEO: social networking for assistance to authors for publishing
  • Scribd, Trip Adler, CEO: online and downloading of documents/books, authors set the price
  • Author Solutions, Kevin Weiss, CEO: AuthorHouse, iUniverse and Xlibris, publication for a fee
So, from this digital blog post, link to the WSJ digital article about the digital revolution of self-published e-books.

Hmmmm . . . I think I see a trend.

Copyright 2010 by Thomas L. Kepler, all rights reserved


  1. Nice and informative blog. I've just turned my first book into an ebook-after a year of thinking about it.
    Ebooks are economical and another avenue of self-publishing. Let's not forget the readers who love the touch of an actual book.
    Vanity presses are still expensive regardless of their extra services.

  2. I found that by becoming a publisher and publishing on my own, using Lightning Source as my printer, I by-pass the vanity prices. I am fortunate to have techie friends who help me, though.

    Thanks for the mention about your e-book. I now can ask your advice when I get to that point!

  3. These are indeed exciting times to be a writer. I've been a print published novelist with Dell, St. Martin's Press, and NAL for 10 years, and have recently gone for being a skeptic about ebooks ever taking off to joining the parade. Can't wait to see how my first print-novel-turned-ebook will do.