Tuesday, December 14, 2010

From Journalism to Self-Publishing Books - Nieman Reports

Statue of John Harvard, founder of Harvard Uni...John Harvard, founder via Wikipedia
The book publishing service of the China Speakers Bureau made it into the prestigious Nieman Reports of Harvard University. 
So earlier this year we at the China Speakers Bureau decided to help potential authors get their words published as books. The bureau is a venture I started a few years ago with fellow Shanghai correspondent Maria Korolov Trombly. Now in addition to arranging for speakers in China we are guiding authors through the process of publishing books on demand. Earlier this year we published our first book, “A Changing China,” a collection of essays by 17 of our speakers about how they have seen China change. 
When we decided to produce “A Changing China,” we discussed briefly whether we should try to find a traditional publishing house for it. But authors who were part of our speakers bureau were telling us how much harder it was getting to find a publisher for what they had written—or wanted to write. Some turned to us for help in gaining access to a publisher, but by then we had decided not to head in that direction. For this collection of essays, we knew it would be hard to find the right publisher, and we also thought that doing so could add to our costs and not necessarily give us any benefit. In addition, if we went with a traditional publisher, it would mean that our book would not be available for sale for a year or more.
More in the winter edition of the Nieman Reports.
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