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'A huge leap forward'

18 January 2010

'Self-publishing has taken a huge leap forward in recent years. It's always existed, but with all the technological changes from desk-top publishing systems to POD to blogging and so forth it's now more acceptable than ever before. It may not be so appropriate for fiction, though there have been some notable successes, such as Jill Paton Walsh's Knowledge of Angels, but for specialist non-fiction titles it is proving popular. The trend is hardly surprising: mainstream publishers have cut back and cut back, so that even authors who had niche titles published and might have been in print for some years now find it harder and harder to keep their books available...

In difficult times, when people need inspiration more than ever, providing it in portable book format is still important, regardless of all the possibilities available through the internet. One of the attractions of self-publishing is how quickly books can be made available, plus the amount of control an author has over every aspect of production and design. I believe it's the perfect answer for authors who have had worthwhile books published, but who have been unable to remain in print with a major publishing house due to the continual trimming of lists. If authors are already established in the marketplace and are familiar with marketing and promotion and have experience on the lecture/workshop circuit, they stand even more chance of being successful, providing expectations about sales are realistic.

Eileen Campbell, Mind, Body and Spirit expert and author of 6 books, in Bookbrunch