From the wandering mind of Tamela Buhrke.
“Having worked with several micro-publishers this past year, I have noticed that personal empowerment earned via micro-publishing is powerful. It’s like a gateway drug to authorhood.” Christina Katz
It’s like she read my mind... but wrote it better.
Last week I wrote about the changes in the publishing industry and how those changes have given authors more control over their lives. I suggested that these new options provide authors with the power to choose their own publishing route. Then yesterday, Christina Katz (the woman who literally wrote the book on author platforms) wrote a blog post about that very thing.
In fact, she suggests that we no longer look at independent publishers and traditional publishers as an “Us vs. Them,” but as a spectrum of opportunity. Opportunity that comes from getting our hands dirty in the world of publishing and marketing books.
In the post Stop, Drop, and Micro-publish, Katz writes: “Doesn’t it make a lot more sense to try and do everything publishing-wise you can in your lifetime?”
Instead of sending queries and waiting for someone else to decide our fate, this new publishing era has provided us with an unprecedented opportunity to grow and experiment. We can decide the best publishing model for our current book project. Then we might use a very different model on our next project.
Now isn’t that better than just waiting for someone else to hand you your author career?
Katz even suggests that we ditch calling it indie publishing, and switch to micro-publishing. That’s because “indie” suggests that they are different or apart from traditional publishers. In truth, most are doing nearly everything that the big publishing houses do, just on a smaller scale. Calling them micro-publishers acknowledges that a self-published author actually has a greater understanding of the entire publishing process.
Micro-publishers learn fast that they are selling a product. It's an artistic product, but still a product. It needs to be a good product—also known as good writing. But it also has to be a sellable product. That means it needs to find a market. And for those that worry this will stifle creativity, think again. Creative micro-publishers are learning how to find the niche that will buy their type of writing; usually in markets that have been under represented by traditional publishing.
All of this leads to authors who are more confident. They aren’t lined up against the gymnasium wall, terrified that they won’t get picked for the team. They are out there, creating their own game. Finding their own niche and building themselves an author business.
So are micros done with traditional publishing? Heck no! Time and again, we see micro-publishers getting contracts with publishing houses. Some of them are small houses and some large. But savvy micros are choosing them.
How’s that for a game changer?
Micro-publishers actively create their own publishing options. They build an author platform. Find their markets and build their brand. Then when their books reach a point where further distribution is necessary, they approach publishing houses with all the pieces in place. They go into negotiations with an understanding of how the industry works, where they are in the process, and what they need from a publisher.
Even better, the publisher benefits from this arrangement. They no longer have to take a risk on an author that isn’t tested by the market. They get an author who understands the industry from the inside out. Plus, they can easily build a successful campaign because the author has already laid the marketing groundwork.
And for those who’s micro-publishing ventures didn’t succeed?
They still come out of it with a greater understanding of the market and the publishing process. They see the author experience a lot more clearly. They understand the difficulties and the rewards. Then most of them roll up their sleeves, take what they’ve learned and apply it to their next book publishing adventure.
So what about you? Are you ready to go micro in 2012?