The creator economy has exploded with millions of creators looking for tools, technologies and platforms seeking to empower a new class of creatures. As Sterling Campbell tells Forbes, “Today, over 2 million creators make six figures or more on YouTube, Twitch, and Instagram, and sponsored influencers are worth over $8 billion. This number is expected to grow to $15 billion by 2022.”
But just who is included in the creator economy? According to SignalFire:
What is the creator economy? It’s defined as the class of businesses built by over 50 million independent content creators, curators, and community builders including social media influencers, bloggers, and videographers, plus the software and finance tools designed to help them with growth and monetization.
Authorship represent a huge opportunity for today’s creators — but the bulk of this $25 billion dollar industry has remained largely in the media and publishers with less than $2 billion of the $25 billion dollar book publishing industry flowing to the authors themselves.
“It’s a huge struggle for authors today,” remarks Brian Bies, himself an author and the head of publishing at New Degree Press. “Self publishing has helped but the reality is until authors have a bigger say in their destiny other platforms like video, audio and online media will be more lucrative for creators.”
Blake Robbins, a venture capitalist at Ludlow Ventures, is one of the most bullish investors on the creator economy. Remarked Robbins, “we are in the early innings of a huge shift where the creators, artists and authors will be financially rewarded for their work.”
A new class of publishers have emerged to support the creator economy called Hybrid Publishers. Known for their commitment to author ownership of the books themselves and innovative approaches to funding book production, they’ve become the front lines for authors in the creator economy.
“This book was never on the radar of the major publishers,” remarked Joseph Minani, the 2020 New Author of the Year by SABA with his book the Mindset of a Refugee (New Degree Press, 2020). Minani’s book weaves his own story as a refugee in Eastern Africa finding his way to America with the stories of others. The book is one of the few authored by former refugees Minani found.
“This approach of empowering the creator is different but it’s critical today for younger and less established authors,” shared Minani. “Because New Degree Press was committed to underheard voices they took a chance on me and the story of dozens of other refugees in this book. I’m so grateful to a publisher who truly sees authors differently.”
New and innovative approaches to publishing are the front lines for the creator economy and its a multi-billion dollar opportunity according to the experts.
“It is coming — this isn’t a matter of if this trend of author-as-owner comes, it’s when,” remarked Bies. “We see the economics of owning a book compared to being paid a royalty of 5-10% and giving up your ownership stake as becoming less and less viable. The creator economy is disrupting middle men in film, television, radio, media, art, and even books. We are excited to be a small part of this trend.”
Having published 800 books since its founding in 2017 — and on track to publish nearly 600 in 2021 alone — the company remains a small, but fast growing innovation in an industry publishing 2 million books each year.
“We know we have to continue to push the envelope,” said Bies. “It’s why we are embracing new trends like NFTs, text messaging, micro tipping, open submissions and much more. The idea of the starving author is something we are committed to changing. And I think the rest of the creator economy is with us.”
For information on submitting a manuscript or a book idea to New Degree Press, visit www.NewDegreePress.com