Publishing Research Quarterly

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 285–300 | Cite as

Self-Publishing: Opportunities and Threats in a New Age of Mass Culture

  • Simon CarolanEmail author
  • Christine Evain


Developments in vanity presses, electronic publishing and social media have led to outstanding growth in the publishing industry. Eighty percent of people believe they have a book in them and the opportunities provided by new technologies are responding to their needs. This raises important questions: What effect will these developments have on the industry? In this environment, is quality control feasible? How will potential readers find their treasure? Will book publishing remain a cost-effective activity? We will examine the publishing industry looking for the answers to these questions and may just find that things are not as bleak as we initially thought.


Economic models Enhanced books Self-publishing Social media marketing Workflow 


Selected Works

  1. 1.
    Carolan S. From print on demand to enhanced books: Editions Ecole Centrale de Nantes. International Journal of the Book. Common Ground Publishing. 2012; 9:97–110.Google Scholar
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    Carolan S, Evain C. Shifting authority: (Ex)changing roles in the evolving publishing environment. International Journal of the Book 10.4, Common Ground Publishing, 2013;53–64.Google Scholar
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    Carreiro E. Electronic books: how digital devices and supplementary new technologies are changing the face of the publishing industry. Publ Res Q. 2010; 26(4):219–35.Google Scholar
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    Evain Christine. 101 Questions sur l’industrie du livre. Paris: Editions Publibook Université—Editions Ecole Centrale de Nantes; 2011. p. 37–49.Google Scholar
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    Gibson Douglas. Stories about Storytellers. Toronto: ECW Press; 2011.Google Scholar
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    Haugland A. Opening the gates: print on-demand publishing as cultural production. Publ Res Q. 2006;22(3): 3–16.Google Scholar
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    Kular C. The venues for vanity. International Journal of the Book. Common Ground Publishing, 2005;3:1.Google Scholar
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Press Articles

  1. 13.
    Baddeley A. Ebooks: why it pays to self-publish. The Observer, 4th March 2012.
  2. 14.
    Buchan L. Why writers need publishers… or do they?”, Publishing Perspectives, 2nd May 2012.
  3. 15.
    Buser L. John Grisham marks 20th anniversary of ‘A Time to Kill’, USA Today, 21st June 2009.
  4. 16.
    Bramson S. Pottermore wows and disappoints. The College Reporter. Internet, 11th October 2011.
  5. 17.
    Johnson D. Apps and eBooks: readers have great expectations but how do you deliver. Publishing Perspectives. 28th October 2010.
  6. 18.
    Staff editor, Just Press Print: The Boom in Printing on Demand, The Economist, 25th February 2010.
  7. 19.
    Yakowicz S. Find self-publishing success with a Niche Market, 5th August 2010, Scholar

Radio Interviews

  1. 20.
    Self-Publishing and POD, Turning the Page, Euradio, 6th May 2012.
  2. 21.
    Interview with Elizabeth Eve, Canada Council for the Arts, Ottawa, May 2011.
  3. 22.
    Interview with Maxeen Paabo, Nicolas Hoare, Toronto, 11th October 2011.

Web-based Resources

  1. 23.
    Better than Free: How Value Is Generated in a Free Copy World, Kevin Kelly, O’Reilly’s Tools of Change for Publishing Conference 2011.
  2. 24.
    Books news and publishing industry statistics.
  3. 25.
    Douglas Gibson Books, an imprint of McLelland and Stewart. or
  4. 26.
    Nicolas Hoare Bookstore’s travel programme, Books Abroad.
  5. 27.
  6. 28.
    Self-Published Authors of South Africa.
  7. 29.
    Self-Publishing’s Book Editor and Editorial Service.
  8. 30.
    The Celestine Prophecy, Wikipedia,
  9. 31.
    The Combined Book Exhibit.
  10. 32.
    The History of the Celestine Series.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Communication, Languages and Corporate Cultures/GeM Laboratory (Bureau T221)Ecole Centrale de NantesNantes Cedex 3France
  2. 2.Department of Communication, Languages and Corporate Cultures/CRINI LaboratoryEcole Centrale de NantesNantes Cedex 3France

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