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HarperCollins’ Debbie Stier on the Stigma of Self-Publishing

JENNIFER PULLINGER

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Self-published authors have long been stigmatized for writing and selling their own books, but digital publishing is changing the game — and the industry’s perception. In a talk at the upcoming Mediabistro Circus, HarperCollins SVP and associate publisher Debbie Stier will discuss how digital trends are affecting publishing, from book acquisitions to marketing. Writer Jennifer Pullinger asked Stier: Because would-be authors can amass influence more easily through online and social media today, and the barriers to entry like economics and distribution are not as insurmountable as before, is that stigma fading faster, or will they always be two steps behind the established publishing houses?

“The barriers to entry for a writer to publish a book are lower than ever, and as a result, there are more self-published books than ever before. However, I think there’s still a stigma attached (whether justified or not) and that an established publisher still represents quality control. The fact of the matter is that the Internet is the ultimate tool for allowing the cream to rise, and I do believe that this will ultimately lead to the stigma diminishing. I don’t think we are there yet, but we are well on our way.”

Debbie Stier shares “Lessons From a Publisher” in her upcoming presentation at Mediabistro Circus on May 20 in New York.

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