Writers and Readers
At the beginning of 2012 Magus Digital acquired WritersReadersDirect an e-publishing venture and eBook store that had been set up with the intention of taking quality assured content to the evolving digital publications market—Magus Digital is building on the original proposition by adding expertise in eBook production and digital marketing to provide differentiation in the marketplace and enhance the user-experience of the product.
At the same time as making independent professional publication accessible for authors and content creators, the objective is to reach wider distributed audiences and that means taking its publications to the broadest possible channels, including editions for the iBook store, Amazon and Barnes and Noble where appropriate.
By adding value to good content it aims to promote new writers, help established authors extend their audiences, provide readers with reliable choices and help them discover new material; whilst also being open to niche, community, historically, culturally and socially relevant publishing; and above all to develop and promote new forms of engaging publication for the eBook platform and champion new talent—and of course to get all of this noticed by interested long-tail markets. Obviously the vision is aspirational. It is also about establishing new business models for the current landscape, in which publishing is in transition.
A curated digital press
WritersReadersDirect is a selective, professional eBook publisher, which could be described as 'a globally minded and heavily curated digital press'. It is based on collaborative commercial principles somewhat different to those of the traditional publishing industry. However, in many ways it is still a traditional publisher, since the risk of investing in the production and marketing of the edition is taken care of by the publishing imprint, which also means of course that there is a vested interest in making the author's work successful. The difference here is that the author, or content creator, stands to profit more from the returns if it does succeed.
As the traditional publishing industry prevaricates, WritersReadersDirect is simply doing what is right for the times. As with all of Magus Digital's activities, it is backed by an in depth knowledge of the technology and routes to market, so the possibilities are there and talented writers, designers and content creators of all kinds are encouraged to submit their ideas or become involved in other ways.
Solus Press and ifBooks are among the companion imprints that Magus Digital was already taking forward, so WritersReadersDirect is now part of a group of 'brands' that intend to become known for their quality in every sense.
Indie versus self-publishing
The Magus Digital imprints represent independent publishing, not self-publishing facilitation. Our services are available to anyone though and professional support may be commissioned from us or the talented team that works with us, for those that wish to go that route. There are different ways of working together in a professional capacity and Magus Digital would always seek a mutually beneficial relationship with its clients from its projects, always with quality as a paramount consideration.
Henry James on the good the bad and the eBook
Whilst the digital publishing revolution is undoubtedly fuelling an increase in publications of questionable merit, it also facilitates publication pathways for authors and content providers of quality both established and as yet unpublished. It has also created new directions for them to explore. It is these positive benefits that WritersReadersDirect and the Magus Digital family of imprints seek to encourage.
Ultimately though there is no substitute for quality and there is no guarantee of success beyond the worth of the work.
Henry James summed this up well in his essay 'The Art of Fiction' from 1884:
"It must be admitted that good novels are much compromised by bad ones, and that the field at large suffers from overcrowding. I think, however, that the injury is only superficial, and that the superabundance of written fiction proves nothing against the principle itself. It has been vulgarised, like all other kinds of literature, like everything else today, and it has proved more than some kinds accessible to vulgarisation. But there is as much difference as there ever was between a good novel and a bad one: the bad is swept with all the daubed canvases and spoiled marble into some unvisited limbo, or infinite rubbish-yard beneath the back windows of the world, and the good subsists and emits its light and stimulates our desire for perfection."