What’s your impression of the state of self-publishing?
We're in “phase one” of many phases. Right now, with respect to ebooks, people are still thinking about just replicating the book in digital form, and for the print book they are not yet thinking about how to take advantage of the ultimate in personalization—for instance, it is now economically possible to create books of one copy. I'm not talking about what's been known as enhanced ebooks (with the addition of video and audio), but rather how else we would think about the total experience of the book. Let's take what's been done before into the new, instead of re-thinking what the new will enable the old to be.
What is the opportunity for Blurb?
We are transforming publishing for the 21st century. That's massive. We are unbelievably lucky to be here right now, with a team of über-talented people from the best and brightest Silicon Valley companies, at a moment when what a book should be is morphing before our very eyes. How often does that bus come around?
What are you most looking forward to at the London Author Fair?
Like most entrepreneurs, I am very curious about almost everything. I love, love, love talking to people about their books. I also love hearing their stories—what brought them to create this particular title, what did they have to overcome to get it done, what does success look like for them. When I started the company, I don't think I really appreciated the dividends I would receive along the way—the sheer volume of creativity we see every day when titles come over our servers. It's remarkable—and this Fair will give me a chance to meet some of the heroes behind the work.