There are many authors amongst the amazing businesswomen in this network, but there are also many others who know that book is inside them and they’re just not sure how to get it into the right hands.
A visit to the Tamar Valley Writers Festival last week prompted me to consider the many ways the publishing industry has changed (and some ways it hasn’t), plus how that helps you. Credibility, higher profile in your industry, more speaking engagements and funnelling people to your other sales streams are some of many reasons topic experts write a book.
However, the question I’m looking to answer in this post really isn’t why you would write a business book, but how you would get it out to the audience you know is eager to read the gems you currently have stored in your head. Some of the sessions I attended during the writing festival looked at the publishing industry, including how authors could hack the traditional system.
As a self-published author who crowdfunded to raise the money I needed to publish Business & Baby on Board, I was asked to speak on a panel covering the topic ‘DIY Technology for Publishing Creating and Sharing your Creative Work’, which was facilitated by GoDigi. My fellow panellists Dale Campisi and Sue Bell and I had a great conversation about the many tools available to aspiring authors to write, publish and promote their works.
These tools included:
- Social media – Twitter, Facebook, Medium, Tablo, Prose and blogging
- Software – Microsoft Word, InDesign, PhotoShop and Adobe Acrobat
- Crowdfunding for writers – Pozible, Kickstarter, Publishizer and Patreon
- Publishing methods – print on demand through CreateSpace and Blurb and ebooks.
While researching for this panel, I discovered something I found fascinating: Mark Twain sold 40,000 copies of Huckleberry Finn using a ‘subscription in advance’ model. So it seems crowdfunding a publishing project is not that groundbreaking after all.
Rebelling against tradition
The following day I sat in on a discussion between Lou Johnson from new publishing company The Author People and Tasmanian Writers’ Centre Director Chris Gallagher. Lou is trying to challenge the very linear traditional system of author to agent/publisher to audience by connecting authors and people, in whichever way suits them.
Besides setting up a system that put the author at the centre of the systems, Lou also pointed out something that drives publishing: people still love stories. And we do. We can’t resist paying attention when someone starts a conversation with, “guess what…” or “have you heard…” or “let me tell you…”
Humans have always loved stories and now, it’s easier than ever to hack the publishing system and spread your expertise in book form.