More South African writers are publishing their books online, with many bypassing the rigorous gatekeeping processes used by traditional publishers. It has also become customary for authors signed to large publishers to have both print versions and digital versions of their work appear on platforms such as Amazon’s Kindle eBooks and Smashwords. The appeal of online platforms is that independent authors can employ their own cover designers, copy editors and proofreaders. They can also take charge of their marketing. Author and self-publishing entrepreneur Tiisetso Maloma’s yearning for independence saw him self-publish his first book, Forget The Business Plan: Use This Short Model. "I just don’t believe in letting a third person decide on my progress," he says, explaining his decision to self-publish. Forget The Business Plan has sold 500 copies since it was published in 2013, he adds — a quarter of what the average printed book sells in SA. While self-publishing is sometimes hailed ...

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