Independent Authors Stake Out A New Vision for Publishing in Orlando


Independent Publishing pioneer Jana Oliver’s keynote message 
– publishing is in a paradigm shift and authorship is in new day – launched an Orlando celebration

(l-r behind table) YA fiction authors Jana Oliver
Susan Burdorf, Raine Thomas, Nadege Richards
and Tricia Zoeller discuss techniques and ideas.

of independent authors and publishers at Indie Bookfest this weekend.

The July 31 to Aug. 2 event featured dozens of authors on panels. Writer after writer, as well as some of the 80 authors who displayed their works, greeted fans and introduced themselves to new readers, declared the days when writers pinned their hopes for exposure on agents and tried to woo their way into a few stodgy mainstream publishing houses have gone the way of the electric typewriter.

Travel author Lee Foster laments the decline of the traditional publishers, yet confirms that the shift is more than theoretical. The technology offered by outlets such as Amazon and CreateSpace have kicked open the markets.

“A critical aspect of the rise of independent publishing is each author’s answer to the question, ‘Who actually sells my book today?'” he writes in , “Independent Book Publishing: Is it the Viable Future for Books?” an essay on his website In the past, the publisher was a major seller. A bookstore would stock every book in a given publisher’s lineup. Now the author himself or herself is the main seller, aided by Social Media reach.”


Technological developments have allowed authors to publish and market themselves. That opens the industry to a wider variety of stories and perspectives.

“If an author needs to create the market, why not take 100% of the profit?” writes Foster. “That’s what I get from BookBaby for my ebooks, 100% of the net ebook sales, vs a “generous” 25% from Countryman Press. I use the word “generous” because Countryman upped the payment to me from 15% of net for printed books to 25% of net for ebooks. As mentioned, for my print-on-demand books, I earn about $4.25 per sale of a book through Amazon or Ingram, vs about $1 some six months later for a sale of a printed book from a traditional publisher, such as Countryman Press. Given these dollar disparities, it may be increasingly difficult for traditional publishers to attract authors.”

During the weekend participants explored methods to develop ideas and write for Young Adult, New Adult, Erotic, Adult and Mystery, Science Fiction, Paranormal, and Romance genres. Beyond that, various panels addressed the nuts and bolts of the business of being an author, Published writers and experts gave pointers on editing, promotion, formatting books and covers, as well as sales.

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VGwrites

I am a storyteller, author, editor, blogger, and retired university professor of Creative Writing. Now in Central Florida, I still teach every now and then, but write most of the time. Most recently, I poetry was featured in Mo Joe The Anthology. My last book, 10 Stories Down, a poetry collection published in September 2011, is inspired by several long-term stays in Beijing. Life and Other Things I Know: Poems, Essays and Short Stories (Elephant Eye Press, 1999), was the first. Throughout the years, the list expanded to include: African American Children's Stories: A Treasury of Tradition and Pride, Grandma Loves You: My First Treasury, African American Stories: My First Treasury, Like A Dry Land: A Soul's Journey through the Middle East and contributions to Take Two, They're Small, an anthology of poems, memoir, essay and fiction on food. My poetry, fiction and essays have also appeared in Yellow Medicine Review, Washington Living, Upstate New Yorker, The Southern Quarterly, Reporter Magazine, Drylongso, Fyah, MentalSatin, Pinnacle Hill Review, Invisible Universe, Bridges, Ishmael Reed's Konch Magazine, New Verse News, and UpandComing Magazine.

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