The Age of Digital Publishing

It is no secret that in the last four-five years, digital publishing has literally exploded and has quickly become a dominant factor in the book publishing industry. Whether it is indie authors self-publishing their work or the various traditional publishers, both big and small, transferring their dead-tree versions to the digital medium. There has even been the entry of publishers who only put out digital products. Undeniably, Amazon has led this revolution with its Kindle Books, its Kindle eReader and its strong, often ruthless, practices where digital book formats are concerned. Amazon is currently the goliath of the publishing industry and it doesn’t look like that will be changing any time soon. However, Barnes & Noble is on the rise as well with its Nook eReader and Apple is also taking tentative steps towards it thanks to their iPad tablets and their recent iBooks Author publishing app.

So where does all of this leave an aspiring writer? Well, the answer is pretty complicated and unfortunately too extensive and contentious a topic to be discussed in depth on this blog. All, the same, I would like to offer some tips and strategies to all aspiring writers who, like me, wish to break into the industry as bona fide authors and want to do so successfully.

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Self-publishing Thoughts

Today’s guest post is somewhat different from the others. Indie author John C. Scott, a good friend of mine, is here today to talk to you about where he went wrong with his self-publishing venture. We both hope that his short and sweet reflections on his first published novel The Legend of Adam Caine serve you all in successfully navigating the murky waters of self-publishing.


I’m an idiot

I’m a complete idiot.

I’ve been asked (by my good friend Abhinav) to write about my experiences in the world of self-publishing.  I’ve been looking back over the last couple of years, and my conclusion is that I’m an idiot, completely and totally.

Okay, I should explain first.

Self-publishing (for those few out there who don’t know) is almost how it sounds.  Essentially, you send your manuscript to a specialised publisher who then prints your book through the print on demand system.  They’re all mostly online these days so it’s just a case of emailing the manuscript or uploading it to the website itself.

My book, The Legend of Adam Caine, was published with Authorhouse, a trans-Atlantic company.

The problem is that self-publishing is for those with money.  A lot of the paperback publishers have services beyond simply arranging the words on the page and printing it out.  They offer editing of varying degrees, marketing, reviews, the works.  But unfortunately, it costs… a lot, usually.  Or at least that’s been my experience.

The alternative in self-publishing is the upload direct option, where they print off exactly what you copy and paste or upload to their website.  Createspace is one I’m attempting myself, more for the experience and the special offer for Nanowrimo winners than anything else.

Another reason why I’m an idiot.

I’ve got no patience whatsoever when it comes to my writing.  When I started publishing Adam Caine, I was so desperate for it to be done and out and in my hands I was literally on the edge of my seat and watching for the postman to deliver the proof.  The only problem was that I was too impatient to get my free fifteen copies that I stupidly approved it before checking it.


The only problem was that the publisher only allowed a few changes to the proof before charging quite a bit for more.  Joy.  Insert tearing out of fur and enraged Wookiee growls.  Not only that, but the actual editing would have cost me something close to six thousand pounds.  Ouch.  Cue more enragement and annoyed stomping.

Of course, no matter what I’ve done, what I may think of the process, I still get goosebumps whenever I pick up a copy of my book, so it’s not all bad, hey?

So to sum up, I’m an idiot, and self-publishing isn’t a bad thing despite the obvious stigma, but you need lots of money, time, and patience.  Of those three options I have none.  Probably shouldn’t mention that to any potential future agent or publisher, should I?  Oops.

Anyways, I’m entering a submission to Black Library in May, hopefully it’ll be accepted.  Who knows, maybe I’ll have my name on a Black Library novel this year?  Probably not.

Oh yeah, that’s something else every author should have and don’t always have: confidence.

About the Author

John is an avid reader of Black Library fiction and just about anything else he can get his hands. His first novel The Legend of Adam Caine is currently available through Authorhouseand Amazon as well. Describing himself as an “insane hairly mumbler who likes to write stuff…” John has also participated in the National Novel Writing Month and his successful effort from 2011 is currently in the early stages of being publishing. You can find John rambling on his new blog Shaven Wookiee and also on twitter – @shaven_wookiee.

Next week’s Thursday post will be the January Artwork Round-up and the week following, I will be continuing the theme of today’s post and talk about some of the ways that you can all break into the e-publishing industry.