Link of the Week: Literary Agents in the Digital Age

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This week on Jane Friedman’s popular book publishing blog she featured a guest post by by Sangeeta Mehta,a former acquiring editor of children’s books at Little, Brown and Simon & Schuster. Mehta interviewed Jessica Fraust, president and literary agent at BookEnds Literary Agency. Fraust also established Beyond the Page Publishing, a digital business where “authors still maintain the control provided by self-publishing, but receive editorial guidance and direction from publishing veterans.”

In the interview they discuss the effect self publishers choosing to bypass literary agents is having on agents and how an agent can assist in a debut or established writer’s self-publishing endeavors. Here is an excerpt:

SANGEETA MEHTA: The constantly shifting digital publishing climate has prompted many literary agents to launch spin-off digital businesses. Is this why you started Beyond the Page Publishing? How does Beyond the Page assist writers with self-publishing? Is it for clients of your literary agency, BookEnds, only?

JESSICA FAUST: Back in 2011 I realized how important self-publishing was becoming and was going to be for authors. I wanted to make sure I had something to offer those clients who might be interested in diving into that world, but didn’t want to do it on their own, so I launched Beyond the Page. We do all editing, and while we say we only offer copyediting, our editorial director Bill Harris is really wonderful and usually works with authors on a much deeper level, providing revision suggestions where needed and doing line edits. We also do formatting, conversion (including adding changed material and reconverting files whenever needed), uploading to all sales sites, marketing help and pitches, copyright filing, and we provide an ISBN and hire a cover designer.

We started working primarily with BookEnds authors, but have expanded well beyond just the BookEnds client list. In fact, I would say that most of the Beyond the Page authors have come from outside BookEnds.

To continue reading the interview click here.

Link of the Week: Serialized e-Novel Concept Sponsored by Local Bookstores

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Getting your book noticed is a difficult task, especially when it’s a self-published title. Everyone touts the online strategies: get on social media, keep an updated website, cultivate an audience, put yourself out there. These strategies are legitimate ways to publicize a book, but it’s not a foolproof way to get noticed.

One author, Michael Daley, tried all these strategies and still didn’t have much to show for it.

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Michael Daley – Found on PW.com

“The mantra for self-publishing is ‘go online.’ And I was doing that with disappointing results,” said Daley, who has posted information about the book along with sample chapters on his website. “The fact is, it’s hard to get noticed when no one is looking. That’s when it dawned on me—people are browsing bookstores” (Source).

Serialized novels have become more common in recent years; readers are more likely to follow a specific author these days, which gives that author more opportunities to experiment with different marketing methods. Daley not only created in an unusual format, he approached his marketing in a unique way. Local bookstores in Vermont have taken local author loyalty to a new level by partnering with Daley, sans retail intermediaries.

This arrangement is a unique one, and is certainly an example of thinking outside the box when it comes to getting noticed. Whether Daley’s tactics are successful or not, it’s nice to see self-published authors cultivating their presence in unique ways.

Read the full article on Michael Daley at Publishers Weekly!

Have you heard of any interesting marketing tactics recently? How valuable is community support for self-publishers? Let us know in the comments!

 

Link of the Week: Blurb and Self-publishing Revenue

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How extensively do companies that accommodate the increasing number of self-publishers change the industry landscape? Do they change it at all? Platforms like Amazon’s CreateSpace, Lulu, or iBooks from Apple, make self-publishing a more viable option than it once used to be, but does the existence of these options threaten traditional publishing? Maybe, maybe not. If anything, they highlight the selectivity of big publishers and encourage the creative produce from an untapped source. Understandably, big publishers can’t, from a business standpoint, take a risk on everyone they come across, even if an author shows promise, but are there ways they can make themselves more relevant to a growing pool of writers?

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 4.59.51 PMWhether traditional publishers step up their game or not, companies that support self-publishers are upping theirs. In addition to the few I’ve already mentioned, Blurb has been developing resources for authors, and surprisingly, the commercial segment of the industry.

An article published in The Telegraph by Andrew Cave highlights Eileen Gittins and her work with Blurb, and the way the company has grown since 2005. The company is entirely online and outsources its warehousing and production.

When set beside CreateSpace and Lulu, Blurb may not be a clear stand-out when it comes to self-publishing, but the fact of the matter is, the company is growing and is following the needs of the users. Until reading the Telegraph article, I hadn’t considered how self-publishing platforms could accommodate commercially for film companies or others that require photo-heavy productions. Is this a new source for revenue that publishers can take into consideration or not?

Self-Publishing Panel with Industry Experts

How to successfully publish your own book:  An Evening of Discussion with Industry Experts, a joint program with the Book Industry Guild of NY

Tuesday, March 11

Wix Lounge, 235 W. 23rd St., 8th floor

Free to WNBA, BIG/NY members, and students with ID (nonmembers: $20.00 at the door with credit card)

Use this form to register for the event.

*$20 for a WNBA Student Membership! Visit here to join*

Is there a manuscript on your hard drive or in your desk drawer that you’d love to  publish? Not sure if it should be published in print or as an e-book? How will you  market and publicize it when it’s published? Just interested in learning what self-  publishing means in today’s digital marketplace? Today there are many good reasons  to self-publish that book and many ways to do it. Our panel of industry insiders and  successful self-published authors will provide nuts and bolts information about the  promises and pitfalls of self-publishing. Come hear what they have to say–bring your  questions, too. There will be an opportunity for networking before and after the  program.

 

Moderator:

Bridget Marmion, Founder and President, Your Expert Nation

 

Panelists:

Tim Anderson, author of Tune in Tokyo: The Gaijin Diaries and Sweet Tooth

Justine Schofield, VP Development, Pubslush

Matt Cavnar, VP, Development, Vook

Andrew Conway, Fast Pencil

Karen Strauss, Founder, Strauss Consultants Inc & Publisher, RockStar Publishing

Link of the Week: IndieReader

Sifting through the electronic piles of self-published books on Amazon can become a little overwhelming. Sure, there are reviews from avid Amazon members. But what if there was a website that provided not only great reviews on popular self-published books, but also that truly cared about giving self-published works a chance? You’ll find all that and more at IndieReader. IndieReader describes itself as a “venue for discriminating book-lovers to find and purchase books published by the people who wrote them.” IndieReader believes in the tradition of book publishing on the writers’ own terms. Not only that, but IndieReader provides publishing services that can guide an author on a secure self-publishing path. Those at IndieReader want others to have the chance to find a great book from authors who wish to deliver their art straight to the reader without a publishing company as the middleman. Also check out this great article on the Huffington Post from self-published author of Wool, Hugh Howey, who explains the importance of writing simply to write. If you are truly passionate about your work, and you trust in your words, then self-publishing may be right for you. To work with a publishing company today may not be the best route for everyone, especially when profit seems to drive the present masses.