Refer to Gauntlett (2010), you can see him so excited about his new book, Making is Connecting.
Although he had a website, videos and blogs to share his idea, he published a book to explain his thought.
The reason why he published the book, according to Gauntlett, is a more structured, elaborate form of expression.
It is so lucky Gauntlett live in a country allow him to express his thought openly.
In certain countries, especially in Far East, publishing material commenting the ruling party is prohibited.
However, the advance of digital technology brings the freedom of speech.
“A Changing China,” is a collection of essays by 17 of speakers from China Speakers Bureau about how they have seen China change.
The reason not to use a traditional publisher:
- There is hard to find a suitable publisher in China. In order to publish successfully, large amount of editing is required. Most importantly, much critical information would not be allowed to discuss.
- It takes about a year to materialize the book if publishing by a traditional publisher. They want to essay to be published in book and update.
- Book publisher interested in sales volume of the book. Publishers’ primary interest is the business plan, rather than the content. They want the author to promote and distribute the books as much as possible.
- Authors only earn a small potion on the profit.
The above points conclude that the value of traditional publisher is not meet the goal of the Bureau. By using digital media to produce and promote, the Bureau believe they are more capable than local bookstores. Therefore they decided self-publishing.
The book is sold on a range of online platform, like Amazon.com. When receiving orders, they will print on demand, and then mail to readers. The cost of print on demand is US$7. The book is sold on Amazon.com at US$ 24.99 including shipping. In the book’s first ten months, 800 copies were sold.
Experience on Self-Publishing
The Bureau has learnt several things on self-publishing.
Firstly, anyone can get an ISBN number, publish a book, and distribute it through Amazon and other online stores. Self-publishing is now a huge industry. But to succeed requires a stiff learning curve—and time to devote to details.
Secondly, design the book layout to suit the region. You need to how to calculate the width of the spine, how to embed a bar code, and how to account for the fact that
POD publishing requires an extra margin for the cover art and text.
With the introduction of iPad and other Tablet coming on the market, e-Book market is expanding, and attracts authors to shit to self-publishing in digital form. In early 2010, Amazon raised the pay to author by 70%.
Quote from Richard Nash, a veteran of book publishing:
It shows best-selling authors that there are alternatives—they can hire their own publicists, their own online marketing specialist, a freelance editor, and a distributionservice … If they already have a loyal fan base, will they want 70 percent of $100,000 or 15 percent of $200,000 for a hardcover?
Gauntlett, David (2010) Making is Connecting <http://www.makingisconnecting.org/>
Tuinstra, Fons (2010), ‘ From Journalism to Self-Publishing Books “Our experience with print-on-demand books offers promising and challenging news” ‘, Nieman Report, Vol. 64, No. 4, 65-66