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Indie Authors Need to Think Like Publishers

Posted by Tom Chalmers on April 17, 2014 at 4:05 AM

I think it’s fair to say that I’ve seen more articles on rights and licensing in the second half of 2013 and first quarter of 2014 than the past years combined, and that’s a conservative estimate.

The penny is beginning to drop for indie and self-published authors but it’s certainly not hitting the jackpot it should for most. Of course historically these are not areas in which authors really had to care about, or even think about. But times have changed. Savvy author entrepreneurs are swiftly identifying the vast potential attached to rights and licensing and breaking into new territories across a range of mediums such as digital, audio, permissions, translations etc.

Even highly established and successful authors such as Lynda La Plante are adapting to really get to grips with the rapidly evolving rights and licensing marketplace. And just how lucrative it can be. The relatively recent launch of her new company, La Plante Global will see her controlling all of her future book, TV and film deals, as well as digital content and production. It will be interesting to see if many other experienced and influential authors follow in her footsteps.

In terms of those less experienced authors, too few are afraid to admit not understanding certain processes in the publishing world and this is especially apparent when it comes to rights and licensing. Let’s reiterate though that it’s fine to ask, writers aren’t expected to know everything and thankfully resources are available to help fill any knowledge gaps.

Organisations such as AiA do a great job across so many areas to promote the many skills and values needed by authors. But to the same extent authors all need to really do their homework to ensure that they know how and where particular pieces of work may hold the greatest value possible.

It may sound like a big job but indie and self-published authors need to think more like a publisher and therefore as a business if they want to get their work to a larger audience. Fear not , help is out there and on that note if you would like to know more or have any rights/licensing related queries then please leave a comment or contact me directly or tweet me @Tom_Chalmers.

Tom Chalmers is Managing Director at IPR License. IPR License was launched in 2012 and is the global, digital marketplace for authors, agents and publishers to list and license book rights. See or email for more information

Categories: Lessons Learned and Tips from Authors, Marketing & Promotion, Promotion

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