I enjoyed speaking at The Society of Young Publishers event, Digital Skills in Publishing, in London recently. My role on the night was to present the author’s point of view on indie e-publishing and I gave six main reasons as to why I’m making the changeover and recommending other authors to jump too:

  1. Supportive Connection. Digital draws our readers (you, o dearest ones) close. We can gather in a cluster of people who value what we do and speak directly to them without any gatekeepers or middlemen diluting or confusing the connection.
  2. Immediate Feedback. With email, social media etc, we  can learn from your  sometimes positive, always valued feedback — even before we put the final piece together if we serialise while we write.
  3. Creative control — including over jackets and book blurbs (some of you know my previous woes with that one);
  4. Power. Print publishers now have to treat us as respected partners, rather than a resource to be mined (or in some cases, exploited). Huzzah!
  5. Control over Marketing. With social media marketing, selling our books becomes creative too and can be integrated into, and supplement, our message. (It also teaches us new ways of writing.)
  6. And – most especially – Creative Possibilities.  I cannot understand writers who complain about digital, the copyright implications, the way their publishers now expect them to blog on top of everything else, blah-de-blah, whinge, gripe, moan… Aren’t we writers? Aren’t we supposed to be creative? This is the most exciting development in our world since Gutenberg — opening up a wealth of creative, commercial and collabarative opportunities.

In summary, what’s not to love?

More updates on my ePublishing ventures coming soon, so those of you who fancy giving it a go yourselves can learn from my mistakes.

In the meantime, you can read the full report of the Digital Skills event, which also featured Suzanne Kavanagh, Publishing Sector Manager at Skillset; Alastair Horne, Innovations Manager at Cambridge University Press and Sophie Rochester of The Literary Platform: Here.

Have a great weekend.

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