The Courage to Write & Publish Your Works!

From Edgar Allan Poe to JK Rowling and Stephen King

iWrite Publications - The iWrite Writers' Revolution

"The book is a version of the world. If you don't like it, then ignore it, or better yet offer your own version in response…” Salman Rushdie, the British-Indian author of the play, once said The Satanic Verses. What did he achieve with this version? He provoked violent reactions in several countries and received threats on his life, such as the famous fatwa issued against him by Ayatollah Khomeini, the supreme leader of Iran, in February 1989.

Publishing every book is not the same risk, but it certainly requires the same degree of courage to dare it... that is, to dare to expose yourself (as a person, but also as a creator) and give the right to each reader (independently) to judge the your ideas and thoughts. And you don't find this courage in every human being, which is why we writers have always been a minority among the human population. A minority, however, that has the opportunity to significantly influence the lives of our fellow human beings, to correct the wrong texts or to push developments in an unexpected direction.

Like this... "if there's a book you really want to read but it hasn't been written yet, then you should write it..." urges Toni Morrison, an American novelist who last April was awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom .A. (with which Walt Disney, Bob Dylan, etc. were previously honored) having put her stamp on the betterment of American and world society.

The Power of Publishing in the Hands of Authors

Somewhere here you might think: "I also have the ability to offer writing, but I haven't found publishers to support me". You are not wrong, by any means, since for centuries the final decision on which work would be published and reach the hands of readers was a matter for a small circle of publishers.

Result; Hundreds of remarkable works, capable of changing the course of history and profoundly influencing thousands of people, remained in obscurity and in their place books were circulated with the main criterion of commerciality.

But who can blame publishers for these decisions when each book is a small investment? When the viability of a publishing house depends directly on how commercial the books it publishes are?

The above is more or less known, but not the following... For decades now, a small revolution has started in various parts of the world, a revolution motivated by writers and creative personalities: the revolution of the digital age. A revolution that has now reached enormous proportions and proves more and more that the old model of the small circle of publishers is no longer a one-way street. Now with new software, new digital tools, specialized studies and experience, if a book is really quality and worth publishing then it will be published and many times the results are simply impressive. Every worthwhile book is aimed at a specific readership. This readership today is more easily accessible than ever.

So how did this revolution change the world of publishing? Let's look at an example: In the past, selling a translated Greek book into English was a feat. Today, global platforms for the circulation of printed and e-books are literally inside every reader's home. iWrite Publishing has the passion and expertise to communicate these books to the large English-speaking market. Dozens of our titles have been translated and distributed worldwide in the English-speaking market while we have succeeded in securing publication of our title in the huge Chinese publishing market. But even the construction of a quality one  cover today can be done much easier since communication with Greek and foreign artists is very easy for results that can fascinate even the most demanding bibliophile.

Where the global economic crisis pushes those out of sync with the times  publishing houses to reduce more and more the books they publish, technology is making leaps and bounds every year. Where the old establishment fails, writers rebel and declare themselves present because they have a choice!

History Lessons
As we have already mentioned the creative team of the editions  iWrite, as long as a book has a positive professional reader review and we believe it, then we are open to all innovative publishing models. One of them is the self-publishing model.
But let's look at a misunderstanding that is often heard in our country (abroad such arguments are heard less and less): "Self-published books are not as valuable as those that follow the conventional model". But a short search in history is enough to prove the opposite...

Among the first writers who "rebelled"  was the great Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), American writer and one of the main representatives of American Romanticism. His literary work had a huge impact on world literature, forming a foundation stone for the development of modern literary genres such as detective fiction and horror and fantasy stories. So his first work, titled Tamerlane, was self-published in 1827. Some say there was a first edition of 50 copies, others only 20. One thing is for sure... E. A. Poe became an iconic figure worldwide and from the first edition of Tamerlane only 12 copies of unimaginable value survive today.

Similar steps were followed by the French writer Marcel Proust (1871-1922), with the first self-publishing of his work Les Plaisirs and les jours (The pleasures and the days) to be published in 1896. Also, Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), a well-known English novelist, published most of her works through the Hogarth Press, which she founded in 1917!

And the list goes on… Alexandros Dumas (1802-1870), author of Count Montecristo and The three Musketeers, chose self-publishing for most of his works. In addition, English author Beatrice Potter (1866-1943) published her first book The Tale of Peter Rabbit self-published in 1901 with unexpected success, resulting in Frederick Warne & Co. to reach her and her work to sell over 45 million copies.

The Revolution of Writers in the 21st century

So here we are in the 21st century and a strange phenomenon… where self-publishing used to be a good opportunity for an author to get the attention of a conventional publishing house, now many authors are leaving their publishers in favor of self-publishing. The reason is simple: while in a contract publication they are paid only 5 to 20% of the profits, in self-publishing they can achieve up to 100%! Certainly monetary remuneration is not an end in itself for an author, but what is more ethical than rewarding the creator himself above all others?

Among the modern examples of authors is JK Rowling, creator of the biggest modern publishing phenomenon that goes by the name of Harry Potter. After selling millions of copies worldwide through a well-known publishing house, she chose self-publishing for the e-books of her works. As she stated: "Sales through online stores were much more than what could be done traditionally through a publisher."
Among the successful contemporary authors who have chosen self-publishing are Michael J. Sullivan, Siebel Hodge, David Dalglish and others. with an average of 800 copies sold per month!

With all this in mind, several Greek writers wondered why this revolution has not yet arrived in our country. Most conventional publishing houses offered the possibility of self-publishing, but not in a way that supported the author to achieve a return on his investment and thus give him the right to continue creating.

So, in 2010 we creative Greeks met and dared to do the obvious: bring the revolution to Greece and offer  the possibility for Greek authors to see their valuable works published. To give them the possibility with online tools, social media, video trailers, websites, coordinated participation in festivals and events, etc. to make their works known to the reading public.

Soon the family of iWrite writers was enriched with creative Greeks, Cypriots and foreigners who had been silent for years now. And so we started the writers' revolution in Greece and Cyprus, informing them, protecting them, but above all fulfilling their biggest dreams... to influence fellow human beings and situations with their writings.

We strongly believe in the power of the author's choice as to whether his work will be published, whether it will have the opportunity to be exposed to the judgment of the reading public. Such a choice should not be a matter of only a few publishers, because if this were the case we would never have read some gems of the global writing community like Carrie by Stephen King (originally rejected 30 times), the Diary of Anne Frank (rejected 16 times), the Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (rejected 38 times) et al.