Future Human returns to Smash Publishing, August 22
After a two month hiatus to enjoy a typically tropical British summer, Future Human is back for a new season at The Book Club in Shoreditch. As ever, guests are invited to open their minds, become a part of the show and debate important ideas of the age with pioneering thinkers. If you haven’t attended before, Future Human salons are an excellent opportunity to wash down some intellectual exotica with a piquant cocktail, and generally get to grips with modernity.
Kicking off our new season of salons is Smash Publishing on August 22, in which we will explore the various ways that digital authors are dismantling the book publishing industry. You can click here to secure a spot or else read on…
Much like the record company majors in the late 1990s, major book publishers are seeking to protect their print revenues with overpriced ebook offerings and DRM, and have slashed their investment in talent scouting and editorial services for authors. Meanwhile, self-publishing platforms like Lulu, Wattpad, Smashwords and CreateSpace are creating entirely new distribution methods for ebooks and undercutting traditional revenue sharing models. We are seeing books from small digital publishing imprints achieve unprecedented success, most notably 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James, and digital booksellers like Amazon are cutting out the middlemen by founding their own publishing imprints.
The real protagonists of this insurrection are authors though. The digital indie author market is thriving, with breakout stars including Amanda Hocking, Barry Eisler and Kerry Wilkinson. Meanwhile, literary agencies and author collectives are each uniting to promote, distribute and sell their work online. Are we witnessing the mass idolatry of the digital amateur or the birth of a better, more networked literary culture? And will the books business ever be the same again?
Joining us to discuss the fragmented future of the book publishing industry are three fantastic guests:
Mark Edwards is a true self-publishing success story. Writing in partnership with Louise Voss and now published by Harper Collins, he has co-authored the crime thrillers Killing Cupid and Catch Your Death amongst other titles. Mark and Louise became the first self-published writers in the UK to top both Amazon’s Kindle and Fiction charts.
Henry Volans is the head of Faber Digital, an arm of the famed publishing house that re-imagines how books can be experienced as apps. Classics such as The Waste Land and Shakespeare’s sonnets have been given an interactive makeover with dramatic video, narrative ‘remixes’ and social networking functionality.
Joanna Penn is a self-published thriller writer whose Arkane series of religious thrillers have the tagline ‘ancient mystery, modern thrill’, and follow their protagonist Morgan Sierra as she traverses the globe. Her website ‘The Creative Penn’ offers fellow authors advice on how to publish and market their work.
As ever, you’ll be able to pose your own questions during our debate, and share your thoughts on a big-screen Twitter feed.
We’re also taking submissions for a short-fiction reading competition during the event, in partnership with Bad Dollar. The winning author will see their effort distributed by Bad Dollar online and receive an evening’s bar tab for two from The Book Club. For more information including how to enter, click here.
We hope you can join us for what will be an essential event for anyone with an interest in the future of the written word.