The Self-Publishing Novelist: Report from the Trenches

A session at SXSW Interactive 2011

Saturday 12th March, 2011

11:00am to 12:00pm (CST)

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?

LEVEL: Intermediate

About the speakers

This person is speaking at this event.
Jane Friedman

I share links on media & tech. Web editor for @VQR + I teach digital publishing at #UVA. Former publisher of @WritersDigest. Bourbon lover, Hoosier native. bio from Twitter

This person is speaking at this event.
Nicole Galland
This person is speaking at this event.
Carolyn McCray

I write. I think about dieting then eat a ding dong... Okay, two. Fine, three. Oh, ya, and I'm a Kindle Bestseller #duh bio from Twitter

This person is speaking at this event.
John Sundman

writer/publisher of cyber- & biopunk novels; [nat | prog] language geek; Hofstadter fan; family guy; mover of heavy objects; RPCV; volunteer firefighter. bio from Twitter

Next session in Creekside

12:30pm Tell & Sell Your Story by Stephanie Klein, Ned Vizzini, Michael Chaney and Alex Lerner

12 attendees

  • Calvin Conaway
  • Carolyn McCray
  • Mr. Addenbrooke
  • Jane Friedman
  • Jon Lim
  • john sundman
  • Kirstin Butler
  • Patrick Harrington
  • Jason
  • Patrick R. Wilson
  • Simon St.Laurent
  • Jeffrey Zeldman

21 trackers

  • Arena Reed
  • Jessica Clark
  • Bill Day
  • bryanconnor
  • Colleen Wainwright
  • Corey Mitchell
  • Dustin Mihalik
  • Annette
  • finn
  • Dan W
  • Liang Shi
  • Dinah Sanders
  • Nida Zada
  • Pelle Sten
  • Pessimist
  • Porter Anderson
  • @r4vi
  • Trish Lawrence
  • tolleson, terry
  • Eamonn Murphy
  • Jessica

Sign in to add slides, notes or videos to this session

Sign in to track this session

Tell your friends!


Time 11:00am12:00pm CST

Date Sat 12th March 2011

Session type


Session Hash Tag


Short URL


View the schedule



Books by speaker

  • The Pains

See something wrong?

Report an issue with this session