by Carly Bornstein-Hayward

Everyone knows this fairytale story: Author self-publishes, Author becomes a bestseller, Author gets big contract with Big 5 Publisher, Author is super happy, lots of success. Sounds lovely right? Sounds too good to be true? But as the publishing industry evolves this is going to happen more and more.

The Big 5 Publishers are starting to adapt. They are mining the self-publishers looking for talent that they can grow and nurture. They aren’t only looking at the submissions from agents or the slush pile, now they are looking at the bestseller list.

Now publishers can look at that list and know that the author already has a fan base, a social media platform, and talent. Yes, it may seem a bit lazy of them, but in a changing industry these assurances are needed. It is increasingly risky to take a chance on a completely unknown author, and going after self-publishers decreases that risk.

This is going to be the new track that authors take: write, edit, self-publish, market yourself, and hope that people (and agents and editors) read it. Yes, it will be arduous, full of self-promotion and putting up your own money. But, if you succeed, and find the magic formula that sells your books, publishers (and agents!) will take notice.

Personally, I love self-publishing and I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. But there are still those people that don’t feel it has status. They think it is for those who can’t be published traditionally. They think that it means the writing isn’t good. But in a world where publishers are scared of taking risks, many very talented authors are turning to self-publishing. So, I vote that we get rid of any stigma that still surrounds self-publishing!

Traditional publishers are taking their cues from the self-publishers (in regards to talent and the next big thing). Self-publishing and traditional publishing don’t have to be separate anymore. They can work together to shape the future of the book world. So let’s all be one big happy family (too cheesy?...nah)!

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