Independent publishing has never been an easy journey – without the support of editors, publishing companies and distributors it can be a tough route to go down. I’m not just talking about books, this concerns all publishing: newspapers, magazines, journals, supplements and membership publications included.
So how has digital publishing affected the publishers and writers who want to go it alone?
The Good stuff
If you’re willing to put the work in, you can act as your own one-man (or woman)-band.
Crowdfunding is a great way to not only raise some funds to support yourself but also to spread the word; people who fund your project have an investment in you, literally! They want to do their bit, support someone who’s braved the wilderness, and be able to say “I funded that” when the next underdog claims the viral throne.
Accessibility is a great example of how digital publishing has dealt a new hand to print. Today, you rarely see indie magazines floating around coffee shops, and authors rearranging the layout of Waterstones to get their self-published book some prime time shelf coverage. And why not? Because with digital publishing, you no longer have to wait for your readers to find you (which with print felt impossible for indies, given the limited support from the people who control distribution). You can go after readers alone. With social media and digital publishing working together like a dream, it’s in your interest to get online and start spreading the word.
Your publication can go straight to users devices and within minutes of publishing they could be reading it. If you’re not tech savy, platforms like Page Lizard are ideal to get your independent publication digitised and accessible.
The not-so-good stuff
So why isn’t everyone using digital media to self-publish?
A lot of independent publishers still love print, which is fair enough – working in publishing we know how awesome print can be. We just know it can be twice as good online.
Similar to authors that rearranged print books in stores, digital publishers now have to find a way to stand out from the crowd. With digital publishing going from strength to strength, more and more people are jumping on the electronic-bandwagon so you have to try not to get lost in the influx of content.
One benefit (that print never had) is that digital platforms level out the playing field. No one can put your publication to the back of the pile; once it’s online the game is on, and although you might not have as much money or as many people working for you as the big boys in publishing, with a lot of hard work and good content, there’s no reason you can’t be successful.
That’s the beauty of the digital world. It’s anyone’s game, you just have to work hard enough.