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Entrepreneurship as a Lifestyle

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Entrepreneurship. It is a way of life that suits only a few specific kinds of people but their accomplishments benefit millions. Entrepreneurs are the fabricators of modern history as they walk the inevitable path of success neither seen nor walked by anyone in the past. For entrepreneurs life is a constant struggle of taking responsibilities upon one’s own self to overcome or overturn problems that affect the human race. Throughout history entrepreneurs have evolved with the unstoppable development of communications medium. We can imagine entrepreneurs as warriors of humanity fighting against important issues on the battlefield of progress with their weapon of choice from the ever evolving artillery of communications medium. As weapons developed from sharpened stones to swords to fire power to guns, so did communications medium with the passage of time. Like the warriors on the battlefield, entrepreneurs truly understood the unending possibilities of the then present communications medium and used it to achieve milestones deemed impossible. Throughout time radio, televisions, magazines, posters etc. were the weapon of choice. It was until the invention of the “gunpowder” of communications medium, popularly known as internet that entrepreneurs started soaring higher in their seemingly unprecedented possibilities of success. With the advent of the internet, entrepreneurship spread from product oriented to service oriented business models. The present day big five corporations of the world such as Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. along with many others are the plump fruits of digital communication medium and the internet. Amongst all the new emerging entrepreneurs a very few brave souls are set to change course of the publishing industry. Self publishing authorial entrepreneurs and online publishing companies are stirring up the stronghold of the physical publishing industry and breaking up the age old dominance.With the help of the Internet and platforms like Amazon Kindle and Audible, self-publishing authors and ebook publishing companies are gradually changing the way publishers and readers interact with one another. This creates a paradigm shift in the accessibility of information, where more entrepreneurs are realizing the unending possibilities of delivering content; and the move towards a paperless future is making knowledge affordable and accessible to billions.

The development of the internet as a medium, sparks the age old argument between instrumentalists and determinists to this very day because of its ever changing advancements. But time after time the internet has proven that it harnesses the best of both ideals and relentlessly creates new possibilities every day of its existence. In the world of digital medium and the internet with in a matter of hours of inception of a breakthrough technology, people are on to the next big thing. Before we know it, newer and more advance progresses are made. But when it came to books and publishing the progress was relatively slow. It was until a well established Wall Street genius who thought of moving the accessibility of books into a digital platform with its exhibition value being intact in its physical copy. It was Jeff Bezos the founder and CEO of Amazon who started selling books through his website to anyone in the world at any time of the day at the most affordable prices possible. This started Amazon’s seventeen year old transformation that slowly broke down the distribution model of the publishing industry. In the year 2007 Amazon finally caught up to the long anticipated ebook platform and launched Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). It was originally called Digital Text Platform. Amazon also made their own kindle devices and an app that enabled users to buy and download content directly from the publishers. The platform was created with the ambition that authors and publishers would be able to independently publish their books directly to Kindle and Kindle Apps worldwide. This single handedly eradicated the time and money required for publishing and distributing physical copies of content. Reaching millions worldwide was now a matter of hours. Authors can upload documents in a range from several available formats for delivery via Whispernet. There is an available selection of 34 languages for the authors or publishers to publish their materials in. This new model of publishing and distributing ebooks took the world with a storm and brought the convenience of becoming an author at the press of a key of a computer. Authors now did not have to go to publishers to propose their books for publishing. They could be their own publishing authority. They also did not have to worry about reaching the audience as Amazon took care of the advertising on their platform. They could advertise to millions visiting their website, specially targeting their preferences and consumer habits. The reason that this model truly succeeded was due to the fact that authors or publishers could decide on setting the price for themselves and there was no issue regarding the movement of inventory. Published content could be charged anywhere between $0.99 and $200.00. In 2016, Amazon also added a paperback option which uses print-on-demand technology with the goal of offering digital and print to self-publishers. Amazon has been promoting to its authors the capability of publishing both e-books and paperbacks through the same platform. Amazon’s has another self-publishing option known as CreateSpace. This is also an online platform and is still running. Posing as a competitor to KDP it is matter of time before KDP takes dominance over CreateSpace; the advantage of linking a user’s paperback and digital books in one place makes KDP the top choice for self publishing authors and ebook publishing companies.

The idea of self publishing was introduced to give author entrepreneurs and ebook publishing entrepreneurs a voice of their own. In the 2000’s, the publishing industry witnessed about a million new excess copies of physical books being added to the output of the industry. But that has doubled in the last decade on a yearly basis due to the advancements in the technology of the industry. The numbers started to rise at a staggering rate as the industry started to incorporate its self-publishing model. About eighty percent of the new materials in the industry originated from the self publishing model and it has been rising since its inception. We have seen the shelf life of books coming down from six months to six weeks.

By digging deeper in the phenomenon of the self publishing model we notice three distinct profiles of authors who push the momentum of the industry to newer levels (Carolan & Evian, 2013).The most prominent are the authors who have great influence over the published material and its advertisement and marketing. These are the authors at the top of the old model of the publishing industry who transitioned into the new self publishing model. Their names are their brands and materials they write are often copyrights material. The physical publishing rights are bought by big time publishers. But the authors hold the right to the ebook copies and they generate first hand revenue through ebook markets. The new technology and the new medium just added more value to their work and more credibility to their career. J.K. Rowling would be one of the most prominent examples of our time. But these authors are not the ones who utilised the full power of the new technology. It is the ones at the end of the chain that truly leveraged the possibility of the new technology. The internet is the biggest thing that ever happened in the communications medium. As internet grew, the notion of ‘you could do anything to make a career through the internet’ also grew. By late mid 2000s internet tech companies like YouTube, Google, Facebook and many more created jobs that were unimaginable few years back and to this day they are going strong at it. People started to make videos and vlogs to deliver certain content. They wrote blogs on issues they deemed important. Blogs laid the foundation of the self publishing model. The only thing it lacked was the required protocol to label something as “officially” published. That is where Amazon capitalized and developed KDP. Now people who wrote blogs, made vlogs and created all sorts of content on a small scale had to opportunity to scale their work. People could now write about things they love, places they like, food they eat, the work they do, stories they made, experiences they went through etc, and compile them as a book. All formatted and ready to be read by anyone. The profession that once considered to be the work of only the experienced and the creative was now anyone’s to succeed at.

The talented and creative personalities were not the only ones that took advantage of these new possibilities. People with keen interest in business could see through the model crystal clear. The market was there, the platform was there and distribution was excellent due to the ever reaching internet. The only thing that was missing was content. And they did not need to produce anything by themselves if they could figure out a way to effectively collect writings from other creative people. There are creative and talented people who are willing to transfer the responsibility of publishing and marketing while keeping their full focus on content creation. With the rapidly growing ebook publishing industry there were pools of cash to be capitalized upon and so many ebook startups began to take off. These startups mostly targets authors who are independent and also on the struggling phrase of their artistic career. These entrepreneurs were revolutionizing the publishing industry one book at a time. As mediums took a new shape from computers to super small computers at our fingertips, more popularly known as cell phones and tablets, the e-publishing industry gained massive momentum. An industry that has never been technology-adept and has yet to catch up to the technological innovations of the modern era was finally taking its long due steps towards the digital revolution. Other than ebooks there has been little technological innovation in the publishing industry.

As a result startups tend to see themselves as the robin hoods of the the publishing industry enabled by the Internet. They posed as a threat to the grasp of the old conventional paper based publishing industry.

The rise of the ebook has changed the way we as readers interact with content. It has also turned up impressive number on an economic scale. In the United States the self-publishing industry grosses approximately $500 million in consumer spending, which represents 1.8% market share of the roughly estimated $16.8 billion book market and is growing exponentially. The significance and influence of the internet is often underestimated when talking about the ebook industry. Companies like Wattpad, Scribd and many more has leveraged the accessibility of the internet to scale their business. Handheld devices that could access the internet enabled ebook startups to realize that content could be spontaneous. Their ebooks could interact with readers in such a convenient way that readers would come back for more time after time. Spreading the word was a huge issue in the past. In a formal language marketing the books to suitable customers were time consuming and expensive. Without a solid fan base promoting books to bestseller status was a troublesome path. Exchange of information takes time and money. Before the internet a bestseller would only come into light after a few enthusiastic readers had read and over the span of few months had spread the goodwill of the book to people they know.After the mid late 2000s, comes the internet turning the entire scene upside down. People were spending more time on the internet than all other generation combined for one specific task. E-book publishers could spread the word of their new publication to people all over the world in a matter of seconds. With negligible money spent they could advertise their product on large traffic platforms like Google search engine, facebook walls, youtube videos and every web page that had a little gap to advertise in any part of their home page. Not only that, these platforms had huge databases that could profile users based on their input data and could target those specific probable readers who are more likely to buy the book. On the reader’s’ perspective when you do not have to carry a heavy piece of binded papers and reading would be possible conveniently anywhere and everywhere possible, even without lights, having another addition to your book collection never seems to be a bad idea.

Besides, once you are done with it you do not even have to think about it depreciating its physical value or it occupying your shelf space for all the new reads you want to get. Hand held devices worked like magic wands and eliminated all the inconvenience that came with the physical copy of a book. Plus you do not have to think about your new read making a hole in your pocket. Everytime you buy a book online the author and the publishing company almost immediately receives their share of the profit. There are upwards of 500,000 active self-published authors in the U.S. Most of these self publishing authors take writing as their part time or supplementary work. There are chefs, tourist guides, engineers, doctors and professionals from all aspects of life who occasionally write books for supplementing their field of work. There are youtubers who create content on their youtube channels and also promote related publications in their videos. There are also full time authors who specialize on different genres of writing. The advent of ebooks enabled another industry to flourish. The film and tv show productions constantly require scripts and stories to create new programmes to run on their channels. Due to the ebook market producers can pick any stories or novels they like and produce film or tv content. This created the opportunity for small time writers to demonstrate and expand their work’s reach for more material success. Mega successful novels like the Hunger Games even has its own webpage that generates revenue. With the internet enabling unending possibilities more ways to capitalize on the content and materials are bound to incept in the near future.

The availability and accessibility of ebooks has truly changed our consumption habit of books. We are now more aware of our environment and by going digital we are also saving more paper than ever. By now we have stated the great milestones that we have achieved through the revolution in the publishing industry. But all the advancement comes at a cost. As self publishing was gaining popularity so was the publishing of poor quality material was on the rise. The notion that not everyone who can write should write persists in this case. Self publishing materials can be socially and politically offensive, they can also misguide people and give them wrong ideas to wrap their heads around. We as a society have this age old misconception of believing anything that comes to us in a formatted manner to be true and an established fact. Although different platforms that allow self publishing surveils over the content published on their platforms, it is just from reader reviews. So only when a reader comments something negative the material and the content of the material gets reviewed. On the flip side of this is the instant feedback of the readers for particular publishings that informs authors and publishers about the quality and the depth of the material. They can also find their niche and narrow down the genres of materials that they specialize on. To an author this is a huge boost to their creativity and also helps them understand what they themselves are good at and produce better quality content.

Entrepreneurs and business models revolve around the internet and the mass medium it hosts. From product development to marketing and sales, everything is done through and by the internet. Huge platforms gather tons of user data everyday and with it data analysts can state very accurately the consumers’ behavioural and selection patterns. The ecosystem that the internet has created is taking over our old market places and the changing the ways we do business. The readers are dependent on e-publishers, the publishers depend on the platforms, the platforms depend on the readers and the cycle keeps going. Until the advent of the internet this ecosystem was a lengthy process. This is the most efficient we have been since the dawn of time in running the consumption cycle.

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Entrepreneurship as a lifestyle. (2019, March 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved November 30, 2021, from
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