Candice: Phil and attended another Stratford Literary Festival event tonight ( I wasn’t on holiday this time) titled – The Book: The Next Chapter.
Obviously we’ve been to a few of these how to get published events over the years, so I said to Phil let’s try something different. They did also say it included tea and cake which was a bonus.
The event was chaired by Tim Davies from History Press, who we’ve seen before at Lit Festival events. He was accompanied by Sam Jordison, Journalist and author, and Charlie Warburton from a digital marketing agency with a publishing bent (though he looked like he’d be just as comfortable on the rugby field). The premise: where are books going now.
Tim opened with a discussion of an article from this weeks Bookseller magazine about the death of the paperback. They discussed about how discounting was affecting the market, how Amazon and their Kindle was having its own impact and that it was a hard world to be a writer or publisher in if you wanted to make money.
Then we got to the nitty gritty of the famous ‘how to get published’ question. It all came down to things Phil and I have heard before, that its 50% the book and 50% what you have done to promote it and you; be that social media, blogs or even being able to put yourself in front of a camera and talk turkey. Yeah, yeah we know this – we just need to get signed or self published and get a product out there.
However, the more interesting part of the discussion was about using independent publishers. Now this lot are all going to biased as it’s their bread and butter (Sam is a publisher as well) but they all said ‘independent is best’. And they backed this up. Big publishers need to make big bucks to cover their overheads. People are reluctant to pay for anything this days, Tim and Charlie used the example of apps which are much better received when they are free. The same goes for books, people struggle to part with a quid to buy a new book. So bigger entities need the JK Rowlings of the world to shore them up. And if you fail you get unceremoniously kicked out. However, a smaller publisher can nurture you, give you time to develop and be happy with a 1000 sales from book number one.
Now. we’ve said before we would love to live off the proceeds of our writing but realistically that’s not going to happen. In our world its all about being published and appreciated. So this idea works for us. We are already in talks with a small self publishing company, I think its time to give them a good push and get this ball rolling.
One thing I will add, as an aside, Phil and I dropped the age demographic by at least 20 years. So when Charlie started talking about html 5, only Phil understood him!