I’ve been a writer and publisher since the early 1990’s and over the years a lot has changed. Independent publishing has grown up and come into its own. I have to think that the Internet has helped spread the word and made it possible for legitimate independent publishers to reach the right clients. In addition to that, the Internet has served to educate and raise the sophistication level of the writers and authors themselves. (I’m talking about the predatory, pseudo-publishers that have been taking advantage of naive writers for decades.) It’s not so easy for them anymore. Today’s writer’s are savvy and when they need to check a company out, they know where to find that information. Print on Demand technology has revolutionized the publishing industry as a whole, and there is a fast-growing, vital and exciting community of talented people finding new and viable ways to see their books published and made available literally worldwide. At the same time, we are seeing more and more big publishing houses flounder and cut corners (that’s another article altogether).
One of the best ways for a writer/author to keep a solid footing, is to become involved in local and national conferences and networking organizations. Example: this weekend, I participated in the Bloomington Writer’s Conference and Book Fair in Minneapolis. It was a great experience, though I wish I could have attended more workshops. I did however, have the opportunity to give a 10-minute, televised reading from my book, Thinking Skinny. (I’m not sure when or where it will be aired, but if I can get the clip, I will post it here at the blog site.) Overall, I learned a lot and loved the one-on-one interaction with the public, talking about my book, and especially getting to know dozens of local writers and publishers.
Two organizations I can suggest: Midwest Independent Publisher’s Association (MIPA) and the Independent Publisher (IPPY) Book Awards.