"Behind every novel is a greater story of how it came to be published.”
~ T.L. Rese
When I received my first book in the mail from Random House a few years ago, I was overjoyed. My father had worked for Random House decades before, as a copy editor. I was thrilled beyond words that this well-known, respected publisher had sent me a book to review on my blog. After that, I received books from numerous publishers, large and small. Many things have changed since I started this blog in May of 2008, and book publishing, too, is evolving and transforming as a result of computers and the internet. Here I present a brief interview with Jacob Morris, the founder of Blue Publishing, a company that offers ample guidance and professional publishing training to writers.
1) Welcome, Jake! How has the world of publishing changed? Tell us about your background, and why you started Blue Publishing.
JM: The publishing world has changed quite a bit even in the past few years. The rapid growth and marketability of independent publishing have brought forward a lot of talent that might have been missed otherwise. The internet has done well to fuel niche markets and introduce readers to books and knowledge that many readers would have missed otherwise. With the rapid growth of eBooks and tools to help authors make those books, authors can get their books on the market in a matter of hours if they wanted to. It is a really exciting time to be in the industry. Also with the growth of Print on Demand options we are still seeing strong sales in the print divisions of the book market which for me is very exciting. I think as we keep moving forward we are going to see more and more publishing services and less and less publishing companies. We are already seeing that with big companies like Simon and Schuster who now offer Archway Publishing which is a self-publishing company. Because of this big shift I was noticing a lot of amateur content being put out on the internet and quality dropping like a rock in almost every element of the books. There wasn't a way for books to get cleaned up and so readers started getting frustrated and it was creating a mess for authors to get readers to pick up their books unless they were free. I also noticed that the market was just getting flooded with writers without a clue on how to market their books. For instance in 2010 there were only 400,000 books in the Kindle library. Today there are well over a million books available for sale on Kindle and countless more available for free. Nook and the iBookstore have seen similar explosions. Authors quickly got lost in the sea of books available with almost no way to push their books to the top. I worked with a number of frustrated authors who just couldn't seem to catch a break. So rather than trying to work with all these authors individually, I decided to start Blue to teach everyone effective ways to publish and market their work. So far it has had a great response, and I hope to really be able to tap into the author market and be able to teach hundreds of people at once how to be successful.
2) What sort of support do you offer to aspiring authors? What are realistic expectations for a writer who signs up with Blue?
JM: I offer training and classes online, as well as exercises to improve writing skills and design skills. I also post articles that keep authors up to date on the book industry as well as tips and tricks scattered throughout the site. At this point, I'm up to 900 min. of training and some 110 pages on the site, and I keep adding more and more information and training each week. Sometimes on a single day the site will get another three trainings and a few articles. It is just a very alive website that I enjoy updating as I find information. Someone who signs up with Blue should expect to learn everything they need to know to give them a shot at being successful. The big key is if the author is willing to put forth the work. If they are they will see growth as they learn with this site. Also, I opened up the site to questions so if you have a question that I don't address on the site at that time, all you have to do is ask on the site and you will get a response usually within 24 hours by either a written response or a new video. As the site grows and more and more questions come in from authors, it really will be a one stop shop to learn everything. I currently spend time each day scouting author forums and looking at their questions and seeing if I have a training made up already that answers that question.
3) What type of writers would benefit most from your services?
JM: Any author who has a literary work that they are willing to work to turn into something successful. One of the hard things for an author to learn is that once your book goes to production it is no longer a work of art and it has become a product to be sold. I've worked with authors and many of them have a struggle thinking of their book as paper to be sold and not as their baby. If the author is ready to work as a businessman or businesswoman then this training is perfect for them. If they want to just be creative then Blue isn't the right fit. You won't be able to sell your book as a writer, and anyone looking to sell their book will need to change their thinking just a little bit or have someone else do it for them.
Jake, thank you for taking the time to discuss Blue Publishing, and best of luck with your business!
For more information and/or to sign up, please visit Blue Publishing.
Questions and comments are welcomed.