M+E Daily

DIY Publishing

The publishing business is developing quite an active do-it-yourself niche. While self-published monographs and vanity presses have been around for centuries, digital technology is making sophisticated publishing tools available to amateur scribblers and creating new ways for aspiring writers to connect with an interested audience.

Amazon.com makes a number of self-publishing platforms and tools available, including Kindle Direct Publishing, the CreateSpace print-on-demand system, and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL). Amazon launched KOLL in the U.S. last year with a library of about 5,000 professionally published ebooks for lending. That sparked controversy among publishers since Amazon did not obtain licenses in all cases for including titles in the collection. In December, however, Amazon opened KOLL to self-published authors and it has since evolved largely into a platform for self-published authors to promote their books. It now has a library of about 200,000 titles, nearly all of them by self-published authors.

On Thursday, Amazon announced it would bring KOLL to the U.K., France, and Germany later this month in a bid to extend its self-publishing program to those territories.

Earlier this week, e-reader maker Kobo , makers of a digital self-publishing and multimedia platform, which Kobo plans to integrate with its Kobo e-readers and the Kobo app for iOS and Android devices (including Android-based Amazon tablets).

Both moves come on the heels of IAC/InterActive Corp.’s $20 million investment in a joint venture with Atavist, the Brooklyn, NY-based developer of digital publishing and multimedia tools it markets to individual authors.

Once upon a time, self-publishing was for writers who weren’t polished enough to get a “real” book deal. Now, it makes you an entrepreneur.