Author Day: Writers are 'divided into two camps'

Author Day: Writers are 'divided into two camps'

Authors are divided into two camps – those who self-publish and those who are traditionally-published - and the “eternal debate” over which is superior should end, The Bookseller’s Author Day has heard.

Speaking to delegates at the inaugural Author Day today (30th November), self-published writer Jane Steen said authors were “divided into two camps” -those who are professionally published and those who are not - and called for "author unity” between both sides in the profession.

Steen added that the "eternal debate" over whether the traditional publishing route or independent publishing avenue was more superior should “end”.

“When I’m calling for author unity, I’m not asking us to all join hands and pledge to live in harmony - I’m asking for us to end this eternal debate about which side is best, which side will win, which side will still be around in 10 years time,” Steen said.

“Personally, I hope that both self-publishing and traditional publishing will be thriving in 10 years time. Authors are diverse and we need diverse solutions. The prospect of a world dominated by one type of publishing doesn’t seem helpful to readers or to authors.”

Meanwhile,  the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) founder Orna Ross said there had been a “power shift” towards writers in the publishing industry.
Speaking at Author Day, intended to explore the challenges facing authors and the industry players who work with them, Ross said: “The winds of change are blowing. There is a power shift moving towards authors, which means as writers we have to claim the responsibilities as well as the freedoms. We have to step up to the plate. We have to actually do the work.”

Ross said the future of self-publishing was “bright” and encouraged every writer to try self-publishing “at least once".

Ross also highlighted that “indies choose digital…because it’s difficult for indie authors to thrive in print".

Others speaking this morning at Author Day include Rebecca Smart, m.d. of Ebury Publishing, author Kamila Shamsie and Ian Ellard, head of Faber Academy, among more.