It’s a word I had never heard of before starting out in business – four syllables that I have apparently become rather than something I aimed for. However, these four syllables are now everywhere – in the press, on TV (see Dragon’s Den, The Apprentice etc. etc.), in books (see autobiographies from those on aforementioned TV shows etc. etc.), and Twitter appears awash with entrepreneurial advice.
And more than having begun embracing them, the publishing industry is calling out for them. The need for urgent change is now, in the majority of places, accepted, as is the understanding that much innovation and new drive comes from entrepreneurs.
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I also want to mention authors in this, in particular self-published authors. The boom of the self-published market has been unmistakable and a look at Amazon will see more chart entries than Cliff Richard. But look through the huge sellers and a pattern will quickly emerge – often they have been driven upwards more by entrepreneurial zeal than unforgettable writing ability.
We are seeing authors, who are great promoters, tireless in their engagement on social media and peer sites, relentless networkers who, aided by the low price points dominant in the ebook charts, sell their books in the tens of thousands. I do get concerned by the quality of writing, the skew away from reading a book that will stay in your life forever, and often think about what will be read from this generation in 100 years’ time? It would be very wrong and a waste to try to crush this entrepreneurialism, but how best to handle this trend?
One suggestion is we should get these entrepreneurial authors to stop writing and start working in publishing – after all, the sales numbers, in the current market, will appear almost utopian to a lot of publishers. I would say if writing is their true passion they are often better focussed on their own work than that of others, but the industry should certainly learn from how they promote and drive sales of their work – the attachment to and understanding of their market is something most publishers urgently need to be better at.
My answer would be that the trend is going to handle itself as the self-published market becomes more regulated, particularly by peers, as the mainstream media and booksellers finally give due attention to self-published work and as authors, rather than being sold a dream, become clearer as to what is required to find the pot of gold. I think three groups could develop – the entrepreneurial writers pushing their books, those publishing as a hobby and those of memorable quality that are pulled (by readers rather than their writers) from the ranks.
Link to the rest at FutureBook