Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hard, Soft and Unbound

From: The Upcoming

For better or worse, digital technology has permanently blurred the boundaries between the professional and the amateur. Whether it be in the gilded (and guilded) domains of accounting, law, design, or even medicine (you can now buy a cheep machine to analyze your own DNA); so why not publishing? — Michael Hale

"Attendance figures for the 2012 London Book Fair won’t be released for weeks, until the numbers are audited, but judging from the fairly strong traffic in the main hall (along with a large China contingent), it seems likely this year’s attendance will top the 24,802 who came to last year’s event. But one new exhibitor stood out at this year’s fair: Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing.
     With a booth nicely situated near the Digital Zone theatre, Amazon saw steady traffic, answering questions for potential authors, and making some of their most successful self-published authors available to talk about their experiences. 'It’s been great,' Atif Rafiq, general manager of Amazon’s KDP unit, told PW, noting steady traffic at the booth, good attendance at a one-hour session on Monday afternoon, and overflow attendance at two short presentations in the Digital Zone Theatre. It was Amazon KDP's first time at the fair, and Rafiq said Amazon KDP would also exhibit at the upcoming BookExpo America in New York in June.
     Amazon’s presence was part of a noticeable increase in the amount of programming geared toward self-publishing at this year’s fair. At the Author Lounge in Earls Court 2, roughly half of the programs focused on self-publishing, with titles like: Why Self-Publishing Is Not Only the Future but the Present; Serious Self-Publishing from Manuscript to Market; and E-Books for the Self-Published Author. Authors have always come to the London Book Fair, although not in large numbers—just 1,039 attendees of the nearly 25,000 who came to London in 2011 identified as authors. But as technology makes publication easier, and marketing more effective, that number appears poised to grow, whether to learn best practices or new skills, to potentially meet an agent, or, to find an alternate route to market, whether Amazon, or"
— Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly

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