How extensively do companies that accommodate the increasing number of self-publishers change the industry landscape? Do they change it at all? Platforms like Amazon’s CreateSpace, Lulu, or iBooks from Apple, make self-publishing a more viable option than it once used to be, but does the existence of these options threaten traditional publishing? Maybe, maybe not. If anything, they highlight the selectivity of big publishers and encourage the creative produce from an untapped source. Understandably, big publishers can’t, from a business standpoint, take a risk on everyone they come across, even if an author shows promise, but are there ways they can make themselves more relevant to a growing pool of writers?
Whether traditional publishers step up their game or not, companies that support self-publishers are upping theirs. In addition to the few I’ve already mentioned, Blurb has been developing resources for authors, and surprisingly, the commercial segment of the industry.
An article published in The Telegraph by Andrew Cave highlights Eileen Gittins and her work with Blurb, and the way the company has grown since 2005. The company is entirely online and outsources its warehousing and production.
When set beside CreateSpace and Lulu, Blurb may not be a clear stand-out when it comes to self-publishing, but the fact of the matter is, the company is growing and is following the needs of the users. Until reading the Telegraph article, I hadn’t considered how self-publishing platforms could accommodate commercially for film companies or others that require photo-heavy productions. Is this a new source for revenue that publishers can take into consideration or not?