Clays held its first Indie-Publishing event of the year this week at Goldsboro Books, London. And what an evening it was.
An incredible venue, filled with fascinating people, surrounded by beautiful books – we were extremely lucky to be hosted by one of London’s most prestigious independent bookshops.
So, what do you get when you fill a room with authors, designers, marketers, editors, printers and agents? A creative buzz like no other. Our speakers, Andrew Lowe, Mark Ecob, Rebecca Souster, John Bond, and David Headley offered some incredible indie insights from every part of the publishing process and all shared the same opinion that indie-publishing is thriving and collaboration is key.
But for us, the buzz word of the evening was adaptability. The adaptability of freelancers, publishers, printers, agents and bookshops is what is going to shape the future of indie-publishing. Editors need to be adaptable to author needs; designers need to adapt their approach; marketers and publicists need to adapt their campaign offerings; and agents need to adapt to a changing publishing landscape.
As a printer, we have adapted our workflows in order to work one-to-one with authors which, a couple of years ago, wouldn’t have been possible. We won’t only advise on book production but on the whole manuscript to market publishing process from sourcing your ISBN numbers and generating barcodes, to print and distribution, and everything in between.
But let’s not forget the adaptability of the authors themselves. In an industry that publishes around 200,000 new and revised titles every year in the UK alone (not including indie-published books), the quality of an indie-published book has to be fierce. Authors have recognised the importance of curation alongside content creation which has led to a boom in accessible and affordable publishing services for authors.
Here are a couple of the indie insights from our industry professionals:
Andrew Lowe, Andrew Lowe Editorial:
A beautifully edited book with sharp marketing copy and gorgeous cover/interior design doesn’t happen by cutting corners or using off-the-peg online tools. Authors need to seek professional help – to build their ‘crew’ of trusted professionals that they can ideally revisit for each project.
Mark Ecob, Mecob Design:
From running through production options, competing covers, market, audience and cost to discussing the plot, creative ideas and meeting author’s vision, we need to be all-rounders with patience to match our professionalism.
John Bond, Whitefox:
Don’t go into it half-heartedly. Embrace it. And don’t necessarily think that a supernova of sales and marketing penetration will explode on publication. Publication is the beginning of that part of the process, not the end.
David Headley, DHH Literary Agency:
Remember this is a business and you should work with professionals who can help you achieve a beautiful, well written and edited book that you’d be proud for people, who are investing time and money, to read.
Rebecca Souster, Clays:
We have created Clays Self-Publishing for you. You are continuously challenging us, helping us, teaching us, and in return we have created a collection of services that you can rely on. You have told us what you need as an indie-author and we have listened, creating connections with the top people in publishing to ensure that, by the end of the publishing process, you have a book that you love.
To everyone who attended the event, thank you for taking the time to come and see us at Goldsboro. For those who couldn’t make it, watch this space for the next Clays Indie Insights event.
Now really is the time to be an indie-author.