Steven Page (CEO, Faber) and the rise of the atomic publisher

The keynote speech at the Dublin Book Festival 2014 trade day was given on Friday 14 November by Steven Page, CEO of Faber, and he painted an energizing and optimistic picture of the state of publishing today. One of the most interesting aspects of his talk was his view on self publishing, and how the divide between publishers and self-publishers was essentially ‘a nonsense’. He made the point that anyone who publishes is a publisher, and those who self-publish are very much a part of our publishing community and should be embraced as such. The author who publishes one title is the essential example of the ‘atomic publisher’, who is often perfectly placed to bring an exceptional energy and knowledge of their own readership to the process.
The point was raised from the audience that the difference between books that are traditionally published and books that are self-published is the investment made into editorial work, or the lack thereof, and the difference this creates in the finished product. The response was that this was a choice in each instance, and didn’t represent the difference between publishing and self-publishing as much as the difference between good and bad publishing. We could not agree more.