Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.
Isn’t that the dream of many authors? What if today’s digital tools can propel not only category fiction but also thoughtful science and physics titles?
The author Colin Gillespie and his publishing partner Howard Gurevich, founders of the publisher Big Fizz Inc., have been wrestling with these questions for five years. Gillespie is a physicist turned lawyer turned author. Howard Gurevich is a marketer turned publisher.
The book is Time One: Discover How the Universe Began, just published as a $44.95 hardcover and $9.99 eBook.
The author chose to decline the “traditional” publishing route. Why? There are two basic reasons: the message of the book is both novel and from a new writing voice, so which traditional publisher would “platform” the book in their current science publishing program; also today’s publishing world backs so-called midlist titles with a budget proportionate to the first printing, which pretty much assures that no one will discover the book.
There will be an ever more interesting debate about whether an established author can do better self-publishing (provided they are willing to forego the advance). There is no debate that an energetic, well-backed author can do better self-publishing if the traditional publishers are not prepared to give the book treatment toward the top of their lists.
It will be months before the outcome of this experiment is clear. But one thing is clear already: a vast multiple of people will be exposed to Time One through these untraditional means than would ever be exposed to the book through any traditional channel.
In effect, we are witnessing a publishing process which itself reflects the subject matter of the book – what was “there” in the beginning.
We have started to learn the success stories in category fiction through self-publishing, often with eBook editions first. What if literary fiction and serious works of history, biography, science and the like can be launched successfully by the author (with or without partners) as well? Isn’t attention for new voices and unusual works exactly what the publishing process is supposed to provide readers?
With Time One, the publishing team, led by Gurevich and Gillespie, is trying to match a book about what happened before the Big Bang with an international audience known to share an interest in the topic.
I, for one, am rooting for them.