Independent Publishing Is Killing the Big Houses
Here Are Ways You Can Lend A Hand
When the first Gutenberg Bible rolled off the press, there was probably someone criticizing Johannes for going with something so obviously commercial instead of seeking out new voices. For most of the past 600 years, the dudes with the printing presses have called the shots on title selection. Until recently, when e-books and advances in small-run printing made it a lot easier to for folks to make things happen. You’d think it was the end of capitalism as we know it by the ruckus the publishing houses kicked up. From their perspective, it makes sense. As independent authors – both self-published and from small presses – started making inroads, traditional publishing’s revenue declined. While we’re convinced it’s not a zero-sum game (more people reading books is better for everyone, if you ask us), there’s a lot of cause for alarm. At least for the majors. Maybe it’s when they tried securing rights for 35 years for indie authors or when indie authors secured 40 percent of ebook sales. Or maybe it was when the number of ISBNS for self-published works jumped more than 200 percent in a year. Whatever it was, small presses and independent authors have a lot more options now than ever before. As far as Headlong into Harm is concerned, that’s a great thing. The more independent voices we can hear, the richer our literary culture is. In that spirit, here’s a list of resources for fans of independent publishing and small publishers and self-publishing ninjas can use.
Independent Publishers Group
Helping to normalize distribution issues small publishers face, the Independent Publishers’ Group represents more than a thousand publishers. Getting their publishers’ books into every channel conceivable – book stores, gift shops, specialty stores, you name it – the group distributes about the same volume of books as one of the big three.
Book Market’s Top 101 Independent Publishers List
Looking for an independent voice to support? Book Market’s Top 101 Independent Publishers gives you several dozen from which to choose. This list isn’t fucking around – to qualify, a publisher needs 10 books currently in print and at least one volume that sold more than 25,000 copies.
Pint Sized Press
Getting a book off the ground is a real pain in the ass. (Trust us.) It’s even more rough if you have to figure it out as you go. (Again, trust us.) Pint Sized Press is there to help independent authors navigate everything that isn’t writing that novel. Need editing services? They have editors from newspapers and publishers to help. Want a cover that doesn’t look like it was made as part of your neice’s art project? Agency designers are ready to help. Want formatting, e-book conversions or promotional pushes? They have folks who can help.
There are a shit ton of awards out there, but few that focus so wholeheartedly on independent publishing as the IPPY Awards. Embracing 65 categories, the awards dish out acclaim to the best of the under-represented.