November 22, 2013 Last Updated 8:44 am

One Person Rally: the continued rise of micropublishing

If self-publishing is an alternate to commercial publishing, then micropublishing can be an alternative to self-publishing

During the early part of the summer, as TNM was being redesigned for a July launch, a book project was being completed that would launch our new company TNM Digital Media. The idea at the time was to begin launching eBooks into Apple’s iBooks Store to test the waters, learn the process, and possibly make a dollar or two.

My own experience with book publishing is limited: both at McGraw-Hill and at Cahners Business Information I inherited very small book publishing efforts. In the end, my decision was to wrap up those efforts and direct our concentration elsewhere.

OPR-Cover.480x480-75But with the rise of eBooks, newspaper and magazine publishers have begun to launch book publishing lines – and would-be authors are finding that self-publishing allows them to avoid the hassle and rejections associated with trying to find a publisher willing to take on their book.

But somewhere in the middle lies new publishing houses that have arisen to help authors produce their eBooks. Some of these are not really publishing houses as much as publishing solutions. These companies offer easy ways to format, complete and publish the author’s work. Companies like Blurb and CreateSpace (now owned by Amazon) can help you print books and eBooks and place them into bookstores.

On an even small scale are the new publishing houses that are arising that produce a handful of titles each year to either assist authors, or simply be involved in publishing on a scale similar to the old print shop of days gone by.

If anyone can be an author today, then anyone can be a publisher, too.

The problem, as any publisher will tell you, is getting these new works publicized and discovered inside the various new electronic book outlets.

So when TNMDM sought out its first eBook to publish I went to a friend of mine who had been a professional photographer for many years. Dean Brierly has written and edited for several photography magazines, and is today the editor of Black & White, a fine art photography magazine published by Ross Periodicals.

A Darker Sun was published in July and landed with a thud. But the project accomplished what its objective was: to establish the new account within Apple’s bookstore.

A second book was quickly created simply to move forward. That book, my own, will publish in a few weeks.

During the process of deciding what to publish I began looking for new projects. That is when I stumbled upon One Person Rally: I Have Something to Say. The photography series was created by Petra Sith, a local photographer who had a rather unique idea: she would give local Chicago and Milwaukee residents a pice of poster board and a permanent marker and allow them to write their own message. The photographs are simple shots of people holding signs. It seemed like a simple and crazy idea, but intriguing at the same time.

I showed some of the photographs to others for their opinion, what I got back was “interesting”. So One Person Rally: I Have Something to Say became our second eBook project and has just published inside the Apple iBooks Store this week.

As a side note: the book features a Foreword by famed rock ‘n’ roll photographer Robert M. Knight. The author reached out to the photographer known for his photographs of Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and others, showed her pictures, and he agreed to write the Foreword. Maybe Sith has a future in publicity!

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With so many new companies arising to enter the book space, and with newspaper and magazine publishers beginning to create their own imprints, it makes sense that Talking New Media begins to pay more attention to this portion of the tablet publishing world. To this end I will be posting some short interviews I will be conducting soon with both traditional book publishers that are facing new challenges brought on by the loss of many physical bookstores, and the rise of new digital ones, and with new companies entering the space.

Recently a number of posts, possibly including this one, have appeared on this site that smell of self-promotion. That is unfortunate and gives one the wrong impression. The recent launch of our own digital magazine, Tablet Publishing, is less about a new business venture, and more about a continued attempt to learn and stay current with digital publishing. How can you, the reader, trust a news source that writes about digital publishing if that source does not actually produce digital publishing projects themselves? The same concept goes for eBooks. That is the motivation behind our new publications, if it were financial I can tell you without the fear of contradiction, that there are better ways to make money.

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