There’s so much talk at the moment about the growing freelancer economy, the pluses and pitfalls of going solo, that it isn’t always easy to differentiate between the reality and the myths of striking out on your own. So to try and understand what it is really like, whitefox has been talking to Jill Sawyer. Jill has been freelance for 3 years, working as an editor, typesetter and project manager for a number of individual and company clients. Previously, she worked at DK and Scholastic.
Category Archives: Publishing & Consultancy
You would had to have been on a long vacation from planet publishing not to be aware of the high profile success stories in and around indie publishing from the last few years. Hugh Howey. Joanna Penn. Amanda Hocking. No matter which routes to market they have ended up taking, these are the often-quoted big beasts, the patron saints of DIY.
Yesterday it was reported that Amazon was in the midst of R&D for one of its most radical projects to date. Seemingly expanding the footprint of the brand as far as it will go, the blueprints for the project were unearthed by GeekWire and would make the launch of Kindle, Prime and maybe even Amazon delivery drones pale in comparison. So what is this new top secret project?
Kindle and Waterstones have consciously uncoupled. Yesterday it was announced that Britain’s largest bricks and mortar book retailer is to end its era of stocking and selling e-readers. Cue a book commentariat awash with cries that this proves we are entering the swan song of the dedicated e-reader.
For many, to imagine a life dedicated to writing is to imagine long stretches of isolation, endless internal battles and unwavering determination. While this must hold true for many, in the cases of several well-known authors, the ubiquitous presence of the editor is often overlooked. Here are a few key author-editor relationships that many of us owe our favourite books to, plus one that left considerable controversy in its wake.
In a BBC poll this week, Citizen Kane was voted the greatest ever American film. Again. What is perhaps more interesting is how few recent films there were featuring on the list (the most contemporary being Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave ). This could, of course, be because it takes time and perspective for a piece of work to be deemed worthy of such critical acknowledgement. Or it could be that the studios, responsible, lest we forget, for Casablanca and The Godfather, for Singing in the Rain and 2001: A Space Odyssey just don’t want to make those kinds of films any more. I wonder if it is possible to draw analogies with book publishing.
Dr Alison Baverstock is author The Naked Author: a complete guide to self-publishing (Bloomsbury). A former publisher, she jointly founded MA Publishing at Kingston University. A long-time commentator on the publishing industry, her academic research into self-publishing over the past five years has both challenged much traditional thinking, and given heart to many writers. She is currently celebrating the addition of a self-publishing module in The Kingston MA publishing course.
Tom Weldon was brought up in London. After studying history at Oxford University, he was a graduate trainee with Macmillan. After three years as a non-fiction commissioning editor, he joined William Heinemann, then owned by Reed Elsevier. He spent nine years there as an Executive Editor, American Editorial Director based in New York, and then Publisher of the imprint.
Last week The Bookseller reported that big Publishers in the US are giving away $250m in free e-books as part of the Obama scheme. While this is a great initiative that will make children with low-income families (but who can afford e-readers) have easier access to discovering reading, this alone will not be not enough. Yes, it is tempting to throw money (or free books) at the problem, but doing so only creates a temporary fix. If we truly want to get to the root of the problem, we have to dig deeper.
Richard Nash is a strategist and serial entrepreneur in culture and media. He advises numerous start-ups in digital media and consults with corporations on using narrative to grow their business.