“The Libiro Platform Is Serving A Niche Market”
It’s like the fabled “flash of green” said to be spotted at times just as the setting sun slips below the sea’s horizon: you’re never quite sure you’ve glimpsed the “indie-only audience.”
You read mildly feverish references to these quicksilver consumers in blog comments, of course. Allusions to them are often phrased along another horizon, that of far-flung hyperbole: “I could name you hundreds of people who read nothing but self-published books.”
Let’s say it clearly: It all may be true. This is a flame not yet fanned into full view. That doesn’t mean there aren’t sparks.
But when Kait Neese, vice-president with Texas-based Publish On Demand Global (PODG), talks about her recent distribution deal with the independent-only ebook store Libiro, she takes a more business-directed tone:
The Libiro platform is serving a niche market and focusing on the indie-only audience. That makes them unique and, in our opinion, increases their odds for survival as a start-up.
As a distributor of books published by authors, themselves, or by independent presses, PODG, incorporated in 2011, cannot help but walk a fine line between that kind of niche interest and the need for expansion. In comments to me, Neese next says:
The U.S. book market is quite saturated and the debate of “indie vs. traditional” is irrelevant at this point.
Ah, but if it’s “irrelevant at this point,” then how is it that an “indie-only” store is the way to go? That would seem to make the indie factor very specifically relevant, wouldn’t it?
The point here is not to “gotcha” Neese in a bad chicken-or-egg moment, but to indicate just how contradictory and unsettled a moment this can appear to be for self-publishing authors and/or independent publishers — and, by extension, for specialized booksellers and distributors trying to work with them.
Neese goes on to say, “The fact is, pure and simple, to be successful in this ‘new era’ publishing world you have to be available everywhere –on every site, in every format and in every country your potential reader may desire. This means having both print and digital editions, being on Amazon and Barnes & Nobles, having optimized metadata, and of course claiming all of your social media accounts for branding.”
Both “niche” and “everywhere,” you see. Go big, but go little. Headachy yet?
Let’s look at it from Libiro’s side.
By Porter Anderson | @Porter_Anderson
Writing on the Ether: Libiro, PODG, And A Flash Of Green
Originally published by Thought Catalog at www.ThoughtCatalog.com