Earlier this week I attended a debate by Byte The Book where they discussed the topic: The Author as Publisher: Opportunity or Vanity?
The debate was between Joanna Penn, an indie author who writes and sells her books without an agent or a traditional publisher.
The debate was lively and energetic, especially with Joanna’s presence who is a bundle of explosive energy!
Joanna is the author of over 20 books and makes a 6 figure income from her writing. She knows how to exploit all aspects of her writing and applies an entrepreneurial mindset to her business.
I recommend you check out her website which is filled to the brim with an incredible amount of information here.
I also recommend that you see her speak live at least once, her presence is energetic, positive and inspiring and I always learn so much from her.
Why Go To These Events?
I primarily attended the event to show my support to Joanna Penn who I regard as an online mentor and the ultimate indie-author who knows how to run her author business like a Pro.
Also, I think it’s a good idea to go to in-person meet-ups:
- To network with and support authors and publishers
- To keep up to date with the latest happenings in the publishing industry
- To explore a new venue and venture out! The event is held at the Groucho club in London which is a private members club, so it was nice to get a sneak peak inside!
So…..The Author as Publisher: Opportunity or Vanity?
The topic interested me especially as I embark on my author journey.
I have made the conscious decision to be an indie-author.
This means I will take responsibility for getting my book out to the market as well as writing it.
So the debate centred on whether an author should be a publisher or whether that is something best left to the traditional publishers.
In my opinion, Joanna stole the show with her energetic presence and her value-packed tips!
Here are some key takeaways from the night with some updates from Twitter too:
- The future for authors is very optimist IF you chose to take a global perspective
- Think about the markets in China, India where there are millions of educated people who read in English
- Everyone should write a book because writers are readers. We are our own ecosystem!
The rise of Technology
- The future is exciting according to Joanna – AI (Artificial Intelligence) is predicted to translate languages better than a human!
- Virtual Reality could allow you to read your books to people across the world. Opportunities are endless.
Make the right decision for you as an author
- Authors should be partnering with agents or publishers, but they should be empowered to make the best decision for themselves.
- Before I embarked on this indie author journey, I took the time to investigate what my options were, decided how much control I was prepared to give away and then made decisions accordingly.
- I prefer to retain creative control and can manage projects. I’m also happy to market and publish my books hence why I have chosen the professional indie-author route. I consider myself an Author-Entrepreneur-Publisher.
Is self-publishing done for vanity?
Joanna stressed there is a difference between self-publishing and independent authors, with the latter being professionals who work with other professionals to create the best product possible and work to monetise their products.
Surely striving for a traditional deal is vainer than those who self-publish?
It was argued that those chasing traditional deals are doing it out of vanity….as so many authors only feel like a ‘real’ author if they have a big brand publisher on their book. Surely that’s vanity?!
It was also argued that vanity is a good thing for authors…as it’s our vanity and ego that pushes us to get our book out to market and be published!
And my favourite takeaway from the night from Joanna:
Indie authors are entrepreneurs who take control of their own business. We are EMPOWERED to make our own career choices!
And that is exactly what I intend to do!
Thanks again to Joanna for an inspiring evening empowering indie-authors to think big and think global!
She really is the smartest and most business savvy indie-author in the publishing sphere (as evidenced by the tweet below!!)
There truly hasn’t been a better time to be an author-entrepreneur! I feel very excited about the opportunities ahead of us!
What is your favourite takeaway from the debate above? Please join in the conversation by posting a comment below or like and share.
I highly recommend you read these great posts on Joanna’s site on how she runs her business as an indie-author:
- How Joanna makes a 6-figure income
- A guide to rights and how you can exploit them as an indie author
- Author Entrepreneur. Why being an indie author is a great business model
- Creative entrepreneur: Business models for authors
- Author Entrepreneur. How to sell books and products directly to customers
Byte The Book – check out their upcoming events
Also published on Medium.