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Insights from Hawthorne Publishing

What is the Own-Your-Own Product book publishing market?

Although Hawthorne Publishing is a traditional regional publisher producing and selling books through time-honored book markets, bookstores, catalogues and through author promotion for such events as library book groups and appearances, we have begun to take note of “Indie” or Independent book publishers and to encourage would-be authors to join the “Indie” ranks, using Hawthorne as a steering agent.

Basically, about 36% of books sold in America today are owned and handled by their own authors. It is a growing avenue for authors who want to have control over the products of their own writing.

The Alliance of Independent Authors website has information that is interesting. Early in the last decade, only a small percentage of books were put out independently. Authors spent time seeking agents so their books could come out with big publishers like Simon and Schuster. A certain cloud hung over independent, author-owned publishing, with some calling it by the old name of “Vanity Press.” Out of this budding movement, the term Self Publishing evolved.  

But the new author publishing on Create Space by Amazon, through LuLu or more interestingly, through putting out their own books, has grown in both numbers and respectability. What are the advantages of having your own small company to research the book market, hire a designer and printer, establish a website and promote your own book?

First of all, these authors can take advantage of internet marketing. Clever people, especially perhaps young authors, are able to generate entrepreneurial success on the part of all sorts of new businesses. Why shouldn’t a creatively developed book be a new business, advertised through a website that beautifully presents the book, displays reviews and praise and hooks up to Amazon or other sites through Paypal? 

Hawthorne has recently developed a service to aid these authors who wish Indie publishing.

Through our Crabapple Lane authors can have advice, services like editing, contact with respected sourcing for services to produce a book, and aid in planning sales and promotion for the book market. Start to delivery, books can be put out in a first-class way through modern planning and technology.

Golden Graduates of Winchester High School

Golden Graduates of Winchester High School

Here’s an example. We helped the alumni association of Winchester, Indiana put out a book four years ago of famous alums from the high school of this small town. Their achieving alums have outstanding records in the arts, drama, government and business—nationally known people. The question implicit in the publication of the book is “How did such a small Hoosier town manage to produce such famous achievers?”

They took up the job of writing and received editing help from us, worked with us to publish the book, then took up the beautiful book that was a product of their process and funded important scholarships for grads of the high school in the future with sales of Golden Grads.

Now they are completing a sequel with more Winchester achievers. For this they will handle the book completely themselves with our “shepherding,” as the process is called in the printing industry. They will be the publishers in their own right.

They are part of a new wave of authors or groups who know the book they want and take up the work to own their product themselves. It’s part of American ingenuity.

 Nancy Baxter is the Senior Editor of Hawthorne Publishing