Tag Archives: Electric Alphabet

The evolution of the author/publisher relationship

I was over at Electric Alphabet the other day and was interested in Kate Eltham’s examination of the question posed by Mark Coker in his article for The Huffington Post, do authors still need publishers?

Coker argues that an author (he uses names like Stephen King and JK Rowling) with a dedicated fanbase could get a much better return from the marketplace by self-publishing. And while there are few poets (if any) who boast fanbases with the size and sustainability of King or Rowling, this also rings true in the poetry world. But as Kate points out:

the author that can make a self-publishing project successful is the author who is an entrepreneur, a small business manager, a savvy marketer and a tireless communicator.

No easy feat…

But this is something that poets worldwide have known for sometime and many are now fulfilling all of these roles quite successfully. As Seth Godin suggests in the article Tribe Building 101, increased communication between author and reader through blogs, online forums, and in person, encourages greater transparency and will help to consolidate your fanbase.

Blogging has opened up a new world for me and the countless other poets who regularly post their words each day. It is a way of reaching out to other writers and readers. It facilitates collaboration. It helps build community. And for me, it is a way of discipling myself to write. I feel like a novice in the blogging field, but already it has opened up many new avenues for my work. Combined with regular submissions to journals (online and print), regular readings (open mic and features), organising events, attending events and in general lending support to the development of the greater poetry community, I feel I am finally laying a platform to build on. All this has been ten years in the making and it has all been worth it. I plan to release my next book independently in 2010 and am feeling confident about the process.

That is not to say I am anti-publisher. Nothing could be further from the truth… I am one half of the team that runs Small Change Press and have recently been working on the Brisbane New Voices project. Indeed, I believe publishers have an important role to play, bringing new voices to a wider public, but it has to be said that independent publishers also require their authors to be creating their own platform through blogging, reading, submitting to journals etc… Being published, so to speak, does not mean that you can sit back and watch the sales roll in. In today’s writing/reading world, the entrepreneurial skills of marketing and communication need to be embraced by all.

It is clear that the relationship between author and publisher has changed forever. Some would argue for better, others for worse. What I am most interested in is how authors and publishers can survive and thrive (together or alone) in the future. All thoughts welcome…

 

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Dandelions and Language

Just a quickie this afternoon as I am heading off to Riverbend Books to catch five of the poets on the QPF 2009 program do their thing.

But, before I go I recommend you all head on over to Electric Alphabet and check out the link provided to Cory Doctorow’s article, ‘Think Like A Dandelion’.

“Dandelions and artists have a lot in common in the age of the Internet. This is, of course, the age of unlimited, zero-marginal-cost copying. If you blow your works into the net like a dandelion clock on the breeze, the net itself will take care of the copying costs.”

This is an article all writers should read.

And to finish off, here is a great little animation of Robert Creeley’s poem, The Language.

OK… live poetry, here I come!

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Do publisher’s dream of electric books?

I was recently reading Electric Alphabet and came across an article that provides some great reading around the topic of publishing and distribution:

Do publisher’s still dream of electronic books? is a great interview with Soft Skull Press main man Richard Nash about what is happening on the digital publishing horizon and the cultural economy of books.

Today on Electric Alphabet, Kate has also raised the idea of a poetry publishing co-op. This is a great idea and a role that the newly formed SPUNC may fill with flying colours…

Here’s hoping!

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Supply and Demand in the Art Economy

I was reading Electric Alphabet yesterday and came across a great article called ‘Supply and Demand in the Art Economy’. Really interesting stuff in light of the discussion we have been having here on Another Lost Shark with publishers regarding the state of poetry publication and distribution. Read the article here:

http://discussionleader.hbsp.com/silverman/2009/01/supply-and-demand-in-the-art-e.html

And for those of you who have not checked out Electric Alphabet, it is definitely worth the click: http://electricalphabet.wordpress.com/

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