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We have put together a blog series leading up to our I² event in September that is tailored to capture thought-provoking ideas and commentary from visionaries, publishing leaders, independents, evangelists and the like. Everyday we have the pleasure of engaging with experts and innovators blazing their own path in the industry and we thought this would be the ideal time to open up and share these discussions. To start, we are asking our I² event sponsors, speakers, attendees and industry leaders questions about the future of indie publishing. We hope you enjoy the series.

The first post is a Q&A with Ethan Holien, CEO of HANDLL.

What’s your advice to independent publishers who want to better monetize their passion of publishing?

You work hard on your content, but you can produce only so much of it. Social networks have a huge amount of authentic content that fits your site and your audience will love. Using social networks as a source of content, rather than just a source of incoming traffic, can multiply your efforts and offer new additive monetization.

What do you see as the future of indie publishing?

Content will continue to be consumed across a variety of rich platforms, including social networks and aggregation apps. To compete in the future, indie publishers will use tools that enrich their own sites and apps with real-time dynamic content. Concurrently, tools that help to control the distribution and monetization of content wherever it is consumed will become increasingly important.

What’s broken in publishing today?

Social networks are quickly becoming like Aol in 1991 – walled gardens that control consumption and distribution of content. Some people even behave like social networks are all that matters. The fix to this situation is greater integration of content both ways – social network content on publisher’s properties in a way that works for social networks, and publisher content on social networks in a way that works for publishers.

What does the independent web mean to you?

The independent web is a place where people can both express themselves and build a business. It is inseparable from a free democratic, and capitalist society. Okay, yes, a big statement, but this is serious stuff, let’s keep the web independent!

Want to learn more about emerging trends and strategies for publishers? Join us at i² this September 9th in San Francisco for talks on ad blocking, mobile discovery, content strategy lessons from TEDTalks, attribution, programmatic and more. The event is free for publishers!

register for Sovrn i2 publisher summit

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