Friday, 24 March 2017

Working in digital publishing

Amy Durant, Publishing Director of Endeavour Press shares some thoughts

Amy D croppedBuilding a career directly in digital publishing has given me a lot of insight on how the publishing industry is progressing; what the future is likely to hold; and the ways the market is shifting for authors and readers. I work as the Publishing Director for Endeavour Press, and deal with a mixture of authors who are keen to make their backlist available for readers again; Estate owners who want to make sure the Estate’s books don’t slip into obscurity; and debut authors keen to embrace the digital world. Digital publishing has opened up lots of new avenues for authors, both established ones who want an extra revenue stream to complement the books they have published traditionally; and debut authors who may be struggling to get a contract with one of the major publishers, and either want to have a go at self-publishing, or want to try out smaller indie publishers like Endeavour.

Although there has been some scaremongering about digital publishing; with publishers often pitting print and digital against each other, as two very separate markets, I think everyone is starting to realise that digital is here to stay – and it doesn’t need to become a threat to print, but an extra way of reaching readers alongside traditional paperback copies. Personally, I have hundreds of books in my Kindle library, and hundreds of books on my bookshelf, with some duplicates. Although I love printed books, I also love the convenience of Kindle, and I am happy to switch from one medium to the other – a practice which I think a lot of modern readers now follow. There are a lot of people out there who read a lot of books, so while they will always follow their favourite authors, and pick up new releases from traditional publishers, they will also scour the Amazon charts for Kindle deals, and books with good covers and compelling blurbs – meaning that the Kindle charts are no longer dominated by the top 5 publishers. I think this has made the future of publishing both daunting and exciting for authors – daunting because, for many, getting to grips with digital marketing, and social media seems an insurmountable task (it really isn’t as scary as it looks!), but exciting because a ‘no’ from an agent or publisher is no longer the end of the road for an author. Many smaller presses, like ours, take un-agented submissions, and there is always the option of self-publishing, which for many authors, particularly those who pay for professional editing and cover design, and who are willing to put as much time into marketing their books, as they do writing, has proven to be very successful.

Amy Durant, Publishing Director of Endeavour Press


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