Looking back over hundreds of years of publishing, it becomes evident that self publishing presses have always been around and are here to stay. James Joyce reportedly published through a friend’s press when he decided that no large publisher would take the risk on his masterpiece, Ulysses. Virginia Wolfe decided to start a self publishing press in order to promote friends and other writers who could not find home for their work. Today, largely owing to the combination of printing technology and Internet marketing, self publishing presses seem to be popping up overnight.
Recently, Random House, one of the big boys from the old school of publishing if ever there was one, invested in self publishing press Xlibris. Time Warner, who has multiple publishing imprints, recently launched iPublish.com, and even booksellers such as Barnes & Noble, Inc are getting on the self publishing band wagon (B&N owns part of iUniverse, another of the larger self publishing presses).
The Future of Self Publishing Presses
So why are these traditional publishers getting in on the self publishing action? True, most people who work in the publishing industry have a love for books, but the other reason is … there’s money to be made! Some of that money comes from authors, of course, but another portion of it comes from the consumers who buy books from self publishing presses. And some of that money goes to you, the author or publisher who made the investment from the start.
In addition to making money, self publishing presses are considered a valid launching pad for authors who will one day to be picked up by the big boys. With all of the recent success stories in self publishing, large publishers such as Random House are starting to look to self publishing presses the way major league baseball clubs see their farm teams. Many authors will not make the cut, for there are many poorly written books, but for those who do go on to sell many copies on their own, the future looks bright. One can imagine the self publishing presses of the future tracking book sales and ranking them the way Amazon does, offering incentives and percentage-based financial support to authors who reach a wider audience, taking them to their careers the next level, until critical mass practically demands that the author find a true home. A home where critics are invited to dinner, advances are large, and bestsellers are manufactured.