The Association of Writers and Writing Programs annual conference (AWP) began decades ago as a meet-up for academic creative writing departments, students, and writers. It has grown, especially in recent years, into a kind of BEA of the small press and literary publishing world, a massive event where not only writers, writing teachers, and students but also publishers come to make contact, show off their wares, and attend readings and panels about literary and industry trends. PW has covered the conference for years, but at this year’s conference, held in Boston March 6–9, is the first time we presented a panel ourselves, called Breaking Digital Ground: E-books and Small Press Literary Publishing.

E-books still account for so many of the question marks in the book business, especially for smaller publishers, most of whom let the big trade houses test the waters, develop the technology, take the big risks, and absorb the failures. It is only in the past couple of years, as e-reading has become widespread and migrated from standalone e-ink devices to smartphones and the ubiquitous tablets that seem to be in everyone’s hands, that many indie publishers have engaged with e-books in a big way. We figured it was about time to find out how indie presses were doing in the e-book arena, what successes and failures they’d had, and what their plans were for the near and distant future.

Read the full article at Publishers Weekly.

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