Tendências emergentes, factos e dados reveladores da evolução dos media, cultura, economia e sociedade. Impacto social, económico e cultural da tecnologia.


domingo, maio 01, 2005


In a retail world increasingly dominated by national bookstore chains, it's hard to sell books by new authors without a track record, according to Gompertz. ''I often say to these people, 'You should try self-publishing first, get yourself known on Web sites and start building an audience and sales; when you have it, come back, because then we can make the case that we can get you out in a big way.' ''

Some established authors have turned to self-publishing because they're unable to interest their publishers in a new genre. Piers Anthony, who is known for fantasy and science fiction titles, has published more than 15 books with Xlibris, either to release serious historical fiction or to make out-of-print books available. Joyce Maynard, William F. Buckley Jr. and Marlin Fitzwater, the former White House press secretary, are among the authors who have turned to self-publishing to bring their books back into print.

One New York literary agent, Harvey Klinger, recently advised a best-selling author to publish her latest novel with iUniverse after it was rejected by several New York houses. According to Klinger, publishers complained that Kathryn Harvey's ''Private Entrance'' -- which he describes as ''sexy suspense'' -- fit into neither the ''chick lit'' category nor the older woman's audience (sometimes called ''hen lit'').

''The self-publishing route has become a viable alternative for a lot of these authors who can't conveniently categorize what they're doing,'' Klinger says. With the trend toward publishers consolidating, the number of houses where authors can seek out bids is also diminishing, he notes. ''I think the growth of iUniverse and small-press publishing is a direct result.''

Some industry observers suggest that established authors and novices who aspire to commercial success will remain a small fraction of the self-publishing industry. At six of its Philadelphia-area stores, Borders has been offering a take-home self-publishing kit for $19.99 as an experiment. For between $299 and $598, customers can have a manuscript converted into a book by Xlibris, be listed on Amazon.com and get shelf space in Borders.

Michael Spinozzi, executive vice president of the Borders Group, notes that the future of self-publishing may be in altogether less commercial forms. ''People are looking to come away with 20 copies of something very personal and very important to them: a cookbook with all the recipes they've collected through their lives; capturing a sporting season or a major occasion,'' he says.

Indeed, someday you may be able to walk into your grocery store and convert your Christmas photos into an instant coffee-table book written in your own deathless prose, Xlibris's Feldcamp predicts. Almost anybody will be able to say, ''I published my book last week.''

The New York Times > Books > Sunday Book Review > The Book Business: How to Be Your Own Publisher


Add a comment