In this solo episode, Mark shares an article that he’d had published in the summer of 2009 when he was asked to make a prediction about something that likely wouldn’t exist in publishing ten years later.
WARNING: This episode contains a short clip of Mark singing a parody version of “Summer of ’69” by Bryan Adams. (He couldn’t help it. Song lyrics haunt his brain. The minute he mentioned the summer of 2009, the classic Adams song came to mind.)
Prior to the interview, Mark shares a word from the episode’s sponsor, Findaway Voices by talking about the sources of his latest payment from Findaway Voices, which don’t include the big players, like Audible or Apple, or Google, or Kobo.
You can learn more about how you can get your work distributed to retailers and library systems around the world at starkreflections.ca/Findaway.
As an introduction to the article read in this episode, Mark shares the back-story of how he wrote article for an online magazine called The Mark News (no relation) on the topic of publishing and bookselling. This had been back when he was on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Booksellers Association, an active member of a couple of Campus Bookstore associations as well, and heavily involved in using the print-on-demand technology of The Espresso Book Machine in a bookstore in Hamilton, Ontario.
The reason Mark started thinking about the article in question was because of a sale he noticed on Kindle for the book that the article was republished in. A 2011 volume called Living at the Tip: Navigating the Digital Tipping Point of the Book World.
This book is something Mark published in the space of a few hours when Kindle first announced KDP Select, their exclusivity program. He collected the articles together, used Amazon’s cover generation tool and published it, just to have a title in the program at all times.
In the article being shared, Mark explains the basic workings of territorial rights and how it has historically operated with publishers in various countries, agents, and authors.
He also shares his own frustration with the fake virtual borders in a digital world that don’t seem necessary because the old ones were based on warehousing books inside the borders of a country after they were shipped there, or the rights were acquired for that territory.
In a digital world, the shipping of dead trees from continent to continent is not an issue, and, therefore, is something that Mark speculated SHOULD begin to disappear ten years from when he wrote it in 2009.
He goes on to explain how self-published and indie authors and smaller publishers have embraced the new digital world in ways that the major or larger publishers haven’t. This is most likely due to the fact that big publishers are heavily invested in printing, stocking and shipping physical books, which represents the majority of their revenue.
Links of Interest
- Living at the Tip (Amazon link)
- Reflections on Digital Publishing (Video clips from an interview with Mark in 2012)
- Mark’s Super-Brief History of Publishing (a
breifexcerpt from a talk about the Future of Publishing from a 2014 Writers of the Future Awards ceremony – HINT: Mark’s predication was that it would involve more collaboration than ever before)
- Findaway Voices
- Bryan Adams Website
- Music video for “Summer of ’69”
- Episode 004 – Interview with Robert J. Sawyer on Author Branding
- Episode 032 – Interview with C C Humphreys on Hybrid Publishing
- Patreon for Stark Reflections
- Stark Reflections Survey
The song “Summer of ’69” was performed by Bryan Adams. It was written by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, a long-time writing partner of Adams. It was produced by Bryan Adams and Bob Clearmountain and released in June 1985 by A&M Records as the fourth-single from the album Reckless.