We've been hearing for a while that new technologies for authoring, designing, printing, publishing, marketing, distributing and consuming books will disrupt the traditional book publishing business model and empower the everyman self-publisher.
The combined effect of new technologies will supposedly blast open the floodgates that have been simultaneously protecting readers from hordes of hack writers and arbitrarily keeping down literary geniuses whose works don't fit into obvious conventional pigeonholes.
With Print-On-Demand technology for paper books, with distribution channels such as Amazon and the Apple Store to connect book sellers with book buyers, with devices like the Kindle, iPad and Nook for readers to consume books anywhere, it has become fashionable to say that writers no longer need publishing houses, that the poisonous stigma attached to self-published books is losing its venom. But is it true? Self-publishing is not the walk in the park that some would have you believe.
This panel brings together four writers who are explicitly concerned with the novel/novella form. We're not merely self-publishing writers, we're self-publishing novelists. We are custodians of an art form that is under threat by the very technologies that open the marketplace to anybody at all who claims that their manuscript is a novel.
How shall novelists and the novel itself survive?
11th–15th March 2011