Getting Published: Fifty Shades Style – By Emily Foster

Almost everyone in the publishing industry is reeling at the moment at the success of the Fifty Shades of Grey series. Last week it was reported that it has become the biggest selling book since records began, selling an awesome 5.3million+ copies worldwide. Films and music soundtracks based on the trilogy are now in the making as well.

So, while those of us in the industry are wondering how we can reach those record sales, I’m sure many budding authors are also wondering how they can pull off this major achievement through their own work – the nature of content aside for now. 

One key thing to take away from this success story is its creation. Urban legend has it, the basic framework of the story had already been written as fan-fiction for the Twilight series (another crazy-popular example) and published online by the author. The story was so popular that it got picked up by a publisher and the rest is history.

If you want to attract publishers, one way to go about it is to build an audience for your writing first. Think about it: say you have a blog or a website that pulls in thousands of views every day. There is clearly already an audience for your writing, and potentially those views could translate directly into book sales. I don’t like to talk about creativity and money in this way – but it’s true that the publishing industry is suffering at the moment, and investing in a project that is guaranteed at least some return sounds much saner than investing in an idea with little else to back it up.

If that sounds like a lot more work on the part of the writer, then think of it this way: debut novelists would be lucky to receive an offer from any publisher nowadays, let alone a decent advance. If you start the marketing yourself, and build your audience, you become a much more attractive candidate, and therefore in a better position to negotiate a good deal. In fact, if you do manage to gain a decent audience, and don’t mind putting in more work yourself, you could self-publish and receive a much greater cut of the earnings. The music industry went through the digital transition earlier than we did; just a few years ago we saw artists like Kate Nash and Lily Allen find huge audiences, and eventually record deals, for their music via their independent online presence, initially self-publicising through MySpace.

So, finally, the big question remains: have you read Fifty Shades of Grey yet? 

By Emily Foster

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New Creatabot Contributor – Emily Foster

Our new contributor Emily will be writing short diary type articles for Creatabot that discuss her recent experiences working for small independent publishing house “Limehouse Books“. Her aim is to give writers a little more insight into how things work behind the scenes and also provide ideas and suggestions as to how to progress in the publishing world. I spoke to Emily to find out more about her and how she got into working in publishing.
 
So Emily, whats your creative background?
 
I studied Graphic Communication at Bath Spa university, and graduated last summer (2011). At university I got involved with the student magazine and interned at local magazines – publishing was always a focus for me. But I’m originally from north London – it’s good to be home. 
 
How did you get involved in Limehouse?
 
I was a design intern at Limehouse Books just after I graduated, and started my part-time job here in October. The company is very small so I work in lots of areas as well as design, like organising events and press. 
 
What other career paths have you taken?
 
None so far – but as well as working at Limehouse, I also work part-time as a Junior Designer at a company called Informa. I work on some of their healthcare magazines. 
 
Who inspires you both locally and universally?
 
People with drive and determination inspire me. Working at a small start-up and watching it struggle is hard but you have to keep motivated and keep going in order to succeed. 
 
What would you like to achieve in the future?
 
I’d just like to keep doing what I love! 
 
Can you recommend a creative website you love?
 
I like the It’s Nice That website, I think they do a lot for us creatives!

Thank you Emily for telling us more about yourself!

You can find out more about Limehouse Books at www.limehousebooks.co.uk

By Natasha Steer

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