Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Relationship Between New Technology & Self-Publishing

By Patricia Garza

The world of text publishing and authorship has seen many evolutions throughout its existence. With constantly evolving technologies such as computers, printers, digital publications, and e-readers, publishing today exists in many different media and genres. These technological advances have impacted publishing in many ways. While Kindles and Nooks have been detrimental in many major ways for publishers and major publishing companies, these devices have opened up exciting new avenues for the individual author who is interested in self publication. Independent publishing has seen a significant rise in the last several years because of new devices, technologies, and trends in user interests.

Independent and Self-Publishing
There are several pros and cons involved in having books or stories published with independent publishing companies or attempting self publication.


1. More Control Over Your Own Book: With a smaller publishing company, authors have more control over their books. You are able to go through the entire writing, editing, and publishing process as an active participant. This is one of the most obvious and major pros that self publishing has. Oftentimes, major publishing companies and their editors will take over all control once you give them your text.

2. Build Stronger Relationships: When an author seeks publication at an independent publishing company they are able to develop closer relationships with their editors and with the publisher themselves. With the ability to promote a positive relationship between each party of the publishing process, it becomes easier for each individual involved to get what they want out of the endeavor. Writers can become more involved in every aspect of their books existence. This personal relationship is rarely developed when publishing with mainstream and major publishing companies. If an author chooses the self publishing route, an even greater relationship can be built between author and editor because those are typically the only entities involved in the process.

3. Lower Costs: Smaller publishing companies and self publishing typically come at a lower cost all around. The author invests their own money into their own works most typically. This can be somewhat risky in the long run, but the overall cost of publishing is less than with a major corporation.


1. Smaller Audience Reach: Most of the biggest cons involved in self publication and independent publication involve marketing and exposure. The benefit that major publishing companies have is that they are well known and easily attainable. Books that go through major publishing companies are sold in major book stores. Generally speaking, books published by a larger more mainstream publishing company are able to reach a wider audience range. Of course, with a larger audience, comes larger revenue.

2. Fewer Marketing Opportunities: Another common con involved in self publishing and independent publishing is having a smaller marketing campaign. Major publishing companies are able to market through highly public and widespread media because they have the money to do so. This is a challenge for small and self publishers. There are simply few opportunities for marketing and advertisement when you have a lesser known name and a smaller marketing budget.

3. Immediate Cost Risk: This point can often go overlooked when discussing the positives and negatives in the different publishing worlds. For small and self publishers, the individual has to invest money into their book or project up front with no guarantee of a payout. This means that, self publishing authors spend all the money necessary to publish and distribute their material without having the reassurance that someone will pay to read it. So, small publishers and authors run the risk of losing the money they invest in their writing if their work turns out to be a flop.

The New Solution
Thankfully, new technologies and devices have made it easier for individuals to overcome many of the cons involved with independent publishing and self publishing. Consumers today are interested in instant gratification and digital access to almost everything. In this way, independent publishing and self publishing have really flourished. E-readers such as the Kindle, iPad, and Nook are quickly becoming the preferred platform for novel and book reading. Small publishers and self publishers can now bypass the need for expensive printing and pressing equipment that usually requires outside assistance and simply publish their works digitally. Furthermore, social media and the internet craze have made it easier for smaller publishers and authors to market their work to the masses. E-readers and digital publishing has taken much of the power away from the major corporate publishing companies and put it back into the hands of the individual. Self publishers can bypass much of the need for corporate assistance with the new trend in digital works, cutting publishing costs, creating mass marketing opportunities, and boosting sales.

Author Bio:
This guest post is contributed by Patricia Garza, who writes about gadget, technology, design, social media, e-learning related articles at online university rankings.