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Why is Faber running a self-publishing course?
A publisher running a self-publishing course? At first glance that sentence may look a little odd. We don't think so

In February, Faber Academy are running a new course called 'Bring Your Book To Market'. It will cover the process of preparing your manuscript and uploading it to ebook retailers, and then building yourself a digital platform from which to sell copies. It is being taught by self-publisher Catherine Ryan Howard, and author, journalist and social media expert Ben Johncock, with a guest session from Faber Publishing Director, Hannah Griffiths.

A publisher running a self-publishing course? At first glance that sentence may look a little odd. We don't think so.

Self-publishing has always been an option. Back in the day, you could print up your pamphlet to sell at the Poetry Bookshop on Queen's Square; or you could go the whole Hogarth, do a Virginia Woolf and set up a press.

But it wasn't terribly easy. Printing was expensive, distribution channels were fairly sewn up and whatever marketing and publicity there was came off the back of the established relationships and reputations of the publishers themselves. As long ago as 1935, Sir Geoffrey Faber was lamenting the passing of 'the early days of publishing...[when] there was a wonderful opportunity for the man of small means and shrewd ability,' and a lot of those early houses published the work of their founders. But they took on risks when they did - the loss of their initial capital investment, for one, and the value of the man-hours spent on their efforts.

Now, with free direct uploads to digital shop windows and metadata and networking to bring readers straight to you, self-publishing is sometimes heralded as a risk-free business. Ten minutes of form-filling and file-fiddling and you're on sale all over the world. Just set the price at 89p and watch what happens. Selling books is easy now, right?

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