Welcome to our frequently asked questions. Here you will find the answers to your questions regarding EarthPeople Media and our publishing division. We respond to questions as we receive them. If there’s anything that we’ve missed, please email us and we will add your question during our next update.
Thanks! – EPM
How is publishing changing?
We’re entering a new era. The shifting economy, technological innovation and the democratization of the media have forever changed the 500-year old publishing industry. In 2008, the production of non-traditional books surpassed traditional books for the first time. By 2009, 76% of all books released were self-published. According to Bowker, the global leader in bibliographic information, the non-traditional sector is experiencing explosive growth, increasing 169% from 1,033,065 books in 2009 to 2,776,260 in 2010. These books were marketed almost exclusively on the web. As bookstores continue to close, this trend will continue.
Authors will still publish with traditional publishers, and literary agents should continue to earn their standard 15% fee for handling the challenging task of pairing authors with publishers capable of selling their work. However, mounting competition continues to present an obstacle for new or niche authors. Fortunately, technologies that present new opportunities include:
- Print-on-demand technology, which enables writers to produce a quality product equal to those produced by traditional publishers. The author, via accessible global distribution channels, can have books printed only when orders are placed, and then make the books available for purchase worldwide.
- Online retailing, which is enticing readers away from bookstores into an online environment
- E-book readers and tablets, which allow readers to carry numerous books in a concise, portable format
How do authors and publishers market books?
For authors, getting a first book published takes time and persistence. Unless you have an agent with a direct line into an established publishing house (or even if you do), it could become a lengthy process that doesn’t translate into much money. Large publishers typically acquire many works but usually bet on a few titles to make their annual sales. They buy rights to the books knowing that only a small percentage will sell through their advances. No sell through means no royalties for the author, which means no author compensation beyond the advance. For many authors the advance is dwindling to a few thousands dollars. In the case of academic works, there is usually no advance.
Self-publishing, on the other hand, pays authors more per book but requires an initial investment. Collaborative publishing offers a hybrid that can be an ideal fit for the right author. Regardless of the chosen publishing vehicle, no author can expect to write a manuscript and leave the marketing to someone else. Publishers are increasingly shifting the marketing responsibility to authors in order to lower their own costs. While traditional publishers still fulfill important roles in crafting and distributing books, whether the books move in those channels depends largely on the authors.
How can EarthPeople Media help authors build their platform?
Book proposals from agents and experienced authors now require an extensive section on the author’s marketing platform – that is, what the author can and will do to market the book. Authors that want to see their books sell will have to dedicate their own time and resources to building a platform. To succeed in writing today, authors of all genres should leverage their personal and professional networks and those of their publisher to create a standout voice.
EarthPeople Media can help you craft a great book around your compelling idea, and back it up with customized marketing strategy, ongoing promotional support and fresh methods of distribution to reach your target audience. Using a collaborative publishing model created by and for authors, we offer the following services:
- Author Coaching
- Book Advisory
- Cover and Graphic Design
- Marketing Strategy
- Media Outreach
- Public Relations
- Press Releases
- Social Media Strategy
- Website Development
- White Papers
What makes EarthPeople Media unique?
EarthPeople Media serves three audiences: readers, authors and causes. For readers, we are an independent publisher of imaginative and relevant nonfiction and fiction related to culture, learning, social innovation, sustainability and wiser living. These categories broadly encapsulate “21st century skills” – practical knowledge to help readers adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing world.
For authors, EarthPeople Media offers a collaborative model that affords greater creative control and better financial returns than traditional publishing. At the same time, we offer many benefits of traditional publishing, including an imprint of distinction, deep expertise in our chosen categories, quality editorial support and innovative methods of distribution.
For causes, EarthPeople Media offers non-profit leaders and philanthropists a vehicle for producing a written work and dedicating a percentage of their profits to their chosen charitable organization. In fact, all of our books are the product of cause publishing, thanks to our partnership with 1% for the Planet.