Sun 24 March 2013 at 3.00 pm

Self-publishing - the new gold rush?

Oxford Literary Festival

It is estimated that around half of authors are experimenting with self-publishing their books, and an earlier version of the bestselling 50 Shades of Grey began as Twilight fan fiction which was self-published on the internet. There are many routes to publication available, from print to ebook, and the stigma of vanity publishing has largely disappeared. A panel of experts discusses the phenomenon of self-publishing and the potential rewards for authors.

The Chair is Angus Phillips, Director of the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies at Oxford Brookes University. His books include Inside Book Publishing (with Giles Clark) and The Future of the Book in the Digital Age (edited with Bill Cope). He is the Editor-in-Chief of the premier publishing journal Logos. He has degrees from Oxford and Warwick universities and before joining Oxford Brookes he ran a trade and reference list at Oxford University Press. He has been a judge for the Bookseller industry awards for the last three years.

Jason Beacon is a writer, editor and traveller and has plied many trades, from motorcycle courier to hotel restorer. He has a passion for Central Asia and the former Soviet Union and once spent a year studying with a lost Sufi tribe (now found). He has run a copywriting business, edited a lifestyle magazine, and now oversees Guerilla Books – a tiny independent press committed to finding talented authors who would probably never make it past a mainstream publisher’s slush pile. Guerilla prints cloth-bound, limited edition books at their Oxford-based bindery, which are published alongside ebooks. Their second title, The Restorer, won an international book award and they have been mentioned as one of the Independent on Sunday’s top 100 ‘Happy Making’ outfits in the UK. Guerilla’s first title, The President, The Terrorist & The Torturer, was Beacon’s fifth novel.

Philippa Rees graduated in Psychology and Zoology. Later life with a marine biologist husband meant mangrove swamps in Mozambique fishing for supper, then the Max Planck Institute in Bavaria with Konrad Lorenz and the vitality of the school that surrounded him. This amalgamation of both study and experience was set alight by unsought spiritual revelation which led to the self-publication of her book Involution – An odyssey.

Apart from the demands of this work and other writing (three novels and a collection of short stories), Philippa has managed four daughters, lecturing to mature students, building an arts centre, and living in Somerset, with a long suffering husband and an aged collie.