There’s no denying that technological advancements have greatly shaped the publishing industry into what it is today. There are now more options to consume stories and ideas through e-books and audiobooks. Readers also have more tools to read their favorite books, such as Kindle, Nook, and Kobo.
Because books have become more accessible, more people are encouraged to publish their own literary works. They can even publish on their own, without the aid of traditional publishing houses. In 2017 alone, there 1 million books that were self-published (both in print and digital). And those numbers have been growing since.
All these changes wouldn’t have happened without the creative drive and initiative of self-published authors. But in order to understand the influence these self-published authors made; it helps to know the background of the publishing industry.
A long time ago…
Ever since the printing press was invented by Johannes Gutenberg, publishing a book was a straightforward process. Writers, academics, and scholars had to submit their manuscript to a publishing house. After submitting, someone from the publishing house (usually an editor) would review it first. If the manuscript passes their standards, it still has to undergo extensive editing before it gets published.
Editors and publishers can be quite subjective, which can limit the options of aspiring writers. This grueling process was relatively unchanged since 1501—that is up until the internet was invented.
Then came digital publishing
Amazon played a key role in paving the way for self-publishing, particularly when rolled out Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Now, writers can circumvent the old system and publish their works by themselves.
Another surprising development is that writers can outsource the review and fixing of their manuscripts to freelance editors. Traditionally, it’s the publisher that takes charge of the editing aspect. More importantly, authors can market their own books by relying on social media. What this means is they can customize their marketing to better connect with their target readers.
As a result, publishers have to step up in order for more authors to sign with them. This meant that they had to not only improve but also diversify their services. This partially paved the way for the creation of book trailers.
More platforms equal more publishing opportunities
Because of the autonomy that self-publishing service provides, authors are now driven to take charge of their own writing career. But in no way does this invalidate more traditional publishing methods. It just means there are more avenues to get their work published. They don’t have to wait to get signed by a publishing house before they can publish their works.
More self-published services also mean that authors don’t have to conform to traditional genres, which can broaden their reading audience. And the more technology advances, rest assured that we at Rushmore Press would adapt to the changes to give our authors the necessary tools to stay relevant.