- 9 February 2016
- From the section Business
- Erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey began life as a humble, self-published e-book, unable to satisfy the tastes of traditional publishers.
E. L. James's personal story has become a tantalising fantasy for aspiring authors. But one that technology and social media are making increasingly realisable.
"There was a time when self-publishing was equated with vanity," explains John Bond, co-founder of Whitefox, one of several new companies helping 'amateur' authors publish professionally on platforms like Amazon Kindle, Google Play, Apple's iBook Store or Kobo.
"Because of the digital revolution, democratisation has happened. It's almost as if the writer has become his own entrepreneur around the publication process."
In their competition to get noticed, self-publishers are proving willing to take risks.Andy Weir's The Martian eventually went on to become a Hollywood blockbuster. But the story was originally published chapter by chapter on the author's blog for free.