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How self-publishing empowers authors...

It’s been many years now since the only way of getting your book published was to hope you’d get an agent, who could land you a publisher, who would publish your book. Since then self-publishing has become a common and empowering route to publication enabling authors, or, in fact, anyone with a story to tell, to get their writing from the page to reader through a variety of methods and formats.

I’ve often heard the rise of self-publishing set against the shrinking or increasing conservatism of the wider publishing world. In fact I don’t see it like this, the mainstream publishing sector is vibrant and full of creative, beautiful and courageous books. But the big publishers need their books to be profitable and so all are assessed and costed up on a quite specific basis – self-publishing is free from these considerations, working to a different set of rules and financial goalposts. Ultimately, it's the author (and therefore self-publisher) of the work who asks ‘what am I happy to spend on this project’, not the senior team of a publishing house deciding, ‘how much can we make from this project?’

So we see the growth of self-publishing being linked to the confidence of the indie writing community – people become authors because they have a story, they have a hobby (writing) they wish to pursue, and they want to publish on their own terms. This confidence to publish that sits alongside advances in digital technology have all led to an increase of writers choosing to take control and publish their books themselves.

Self-publishing is also liberating as there are so many different ways to do it. Some authors only want to go digital and free, others want to do everything themselves, others might commission separate services or providers to carry out each part of the publishing process, yet more use a self-publishing services provider like Matador to undertake the entire process for them. Each has benefits, each can have pitfalls, but all of these routes mean that authors are more empowered than ever.

Matador was founded over 20 years ago in a response to authors approaching us to help them publish the types of books that would never be suitable for traditional publishing deals – these were niche books or books on topics that certainly had an audience, but not in the quantity to make the return on investment by a mainstream publisher worthwhile. We also initially saw authors approaching us after failing to secure a publishing deal or agent. Fairly rapidly, however, the tide turned and authors started opting to self-publish as their preferred route to publication – not as a second-best choice.

For more information, visit the Troubador Publishing blog at:!Indie-publishing-empowers

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