Publishing and Social Media: The Lovefest Continues

Remember when publishing was limited to a stuffy breed of executives in New York or San Francisco who read manuscripts over $5 cups of coffee? Boy how times have changed.

Self-publishing has grown exponentially in the last 10 years. So has social networking sites for authors which allow aspiring writers to submit their own works to be voted on by other readers.

And now, there’s news that Harper Collins has acquired the rights to a book from the social networking site for writers:

According to MediaBistro, the book — a paranormal teen romance novel  called The Carrier of the Mark — is the publisher’s first work to be discovered on the community writing website. The author of the book is Irish writer Leigh Fallon, whose work had previously been rejected by traditional agents. She ultimately submitted the manuscript to inkpop, was voted into the site’s “Top Five,” and was then contacted by an editor from Harper Collins.

Susan Katz, President and Publisher of HarperCollins Children’s Books had this statement: “The opinions of our readers matter to us. Inkpop is HarperCollins Children’s Books’ first site (and not the last) to really put the users’ voice and ideas in the forefront. Social media is incredibly empowering if used correctly, and HarperCollins recognizes this and is gearing up to make social media the cornerstone of all of its digital endeavors.”

There are two lessons to be learned here. One is to never give up. No matter how many times you may have been rejected. If your work is good enough, you will be discovered.

The other lesson is about just how much publishing has changed. Much like the web as a whole, what used to be the domain of only well-paid executives has now become open to everyone. There are plenty of arguments as to whether or not this is a good thing, but there’s no argument that it’s the direction things have moved in … and are continuing to move in. Publishing is no different.