slogan leutika prio

Self Publishing, Sebuah Pilihan untuk Masa Depan

Posted: 30-11-2012 22:19

Sender: Anugrah Roby Syahputra

 

Geliat kepenulisan di tanah air dalam satu dasawarsa terakhir kian marak. Diawali dengan tumbuhnya komunitas berskala nasional seperti Forum Lingkar Pena (FLP) dan Komunitas Sastra Indonesia (KSI), lalu didukung juga kelompok diskusi kepenulisan lokal nyaris di seluruh pelosok republik. Apalagi di zaman bertahtanya jejaring sosial sekarang. Facebook dan Twitter telah melipatgandakan pertumbuhan jumlah penulis baru. Ruang publikasi yang selama ini terbatas hanya seminggu sekali di media massa cetak kini meluas dengan adanya blog dan jejaring sosial. Nama-nama baru muncul di blantika perbukuan kita. Tentu kita bangga. Karena dengannya Indonesia menjadi lebih cerdas dan berperadaban.

               Dulu saya bersedih sekali ketika mendapatkan kabar betapa indeks penerbitan di Indonesia begitu rendah. Tahun 2010, indeks membaca Indonesia hanya 0,001, artinya 1.000 warga Indonesia hanya membaca satu buku. Sementara Amerika memiliki indeks membaca 0,45 dan Singapura memiliki indeks 0,55. Begitupula dengan jumlah penerbitan buku. Rilis Kompas.com pada Juli 2012 menyatakan bahwa jumlah terbitan  buku di Indonesia tergolong rendah, tidak sampai 18.000 judul buku per tahun. Jumlah ini lebih rendah dibandingkan Jepang yang mencapai 40.000 judul buku per tahun, India 60.000, dan China sekitar 140.000 judul buku per tahun. Meskipun rendah, saya yakin tahun-tahun terakhir ini sudah terjadi eskalasi pertumbuhan terbitan per tahunnya. 

               Salah satu penyumbang tingginya angka terbitan negeri zamrud khatulistiwa ini adalah menjamurnya self-publishing. Harus diakui secara jujur, self publishing adalah salah satu penggerak utama berputar kencangnya laju dunia kepenulisan tanah air. Kalau tahun 90-an dulu, menjadi penulis itu rasa-rasanya mustahil bagi kalangan mahasiswa dan pelajar. Apalagi bagi ibu rumah tangga, buruh dan karyawan kantoran. Tapi ternyata sejak bermunculannya penerbit yang memfasilitasi self-publishing, semua menjadi mungkin. Lebih-lebih setelah dikenalnya sistem print on demand (POD). Nothing is impossible. Tak perlu modal besar untuk self-publishing. Kata Bambang Trim, “Siapapun Anda, Anda bisa jadi penulis!

               Lihat saja, setiap hari ada saja penulis baru yang mempromosikan karyanya di di jejaring sosial. Lalu temannya yang lain melakukan review dan memberikan komentar. Saya sampai terheran-heran melihat banyaknya sampul buku yang lalu lalang di depan mata saya ketika membuka akun facebook pribadi saya. Subhanallah. Indah sekali rasanya jika menulis menjadi tren sekaligus gaya hidup. Karena kita akan belajar untuk berkomunikasi dengan santun dan berdiskusi dengan ramah. Rasa-rasanya kalau semua manusia Indonesia suka baca tulis, Insya Allah tidak ada lagi praktik kekerasan seperti yang lazim kita tonton di televisi.

               Namun, ternyata masih ada yang memandang sebelah mata self-publishing ini. Kata mereka, self-publishing hanyalah sarana bagi “penulis-penulis yang kalah”, cuma tempat pelampiasan bagi mereka yang sakit hati karena naskahnya berulangkali ditolak oleh penerbit mayor. Ini hanya jalan pintas dan alternatife bagi yang karya berkualitas rendah yang tak sanggup berkompetisi. Hey, tunggu dulu. Saya berani mengatakan bahwa statement-statement semacam ini sepenuhnya seratus persen keliru bin ngawur. Justru berkaca dari sejarahnya dan juga fakta kekiniannya, self-publishing bukanlah alternative. Namun ianya adalah pilihan dari para penulis.

               Mengapa Harus Self-Publishing?

Mengapa mereka memilih self-publishing? Ada banyak sekali alasannya. Paling tidak saya mencatat ada dua yang utama. Pertama, sebagai sarana perlawanan. Sebab semua penerbit pasti punya pemilik. Dan setiap pemilik alias pengusaha pasti punya kepentingan, ideologi dan visi yang dijaganya. Karena sebagian besar media mayor berdiri di atas ideologi kemapanan, maka naskah yang isinya kritik terhadap mereka kemungkinan terbitnya menjadi nyaris nol. Dengan probabilitas hampir nihil, tentu menerbitkan sendiri menjadi sarana untuk melawan hegemoni mayor. Mereka yang menempuh jalan ini berprinsip, “Jangan sampai penolakan penerbit mayor menjadi alasan untuk tidak menyebarkan ide, inspirasi dan pencerahan bagi orang lain.”

               Kedua, untuk melipatgandakan keuntungan. Terus terang mencari untung dengan menulis bukanlah dosa. Selama tidak melakukan plagiasi dan pelanggaran hak atas kekayaan intelektual, maka mencari penghasilan dari menulis adalah halal. Bahkan beroleh berkah dan pahala apabila karya kita mencerahkan para pembaca.

Kalau kita menerbitkan buku di penerbit tradisional, maka kita hanya akan dapat duit dari royalti atau beli putus. Jika sistemnya beli putus, bisa dipastikan nilainya amat kecil. Begitupula dengan royalti. Umumnya royalti penulis di Indonesia antara 8-10%. Ada beberapa penulis senior yang dapat royalti lebih dari itu, namun paling banter tetap saja hanya 15% dari harga jual eceran. Itupun kalau bukunya terjual semua. Bagaimana kalau tidak? Maka self-publishing menjadi pilihan.

Dengan mengelola produksi dan distribusi sendiri, maka keuntungan yang diperoleh pun dapat diatur oleh penulis. Dalam hitung-hitungan saya, keuntungan per eksemplar yang bisa diperoleh penulis bisa mencapai 50% dari harga jual ecerannya. Ini setelah dipotong biaya pengeditan, lay-out dan percetakan yang bisa diurus oleh satu publishing service seperti Leutika Prio. Jumlah ini pasti spektakuler. Jika hanya mencetak 1.000 eksemplar buku seharga Rp.50.000,- saja, apabila semuanya laku maka penulis bisa memperoleh Rp. 25.000.000,-. Keren, kan?

Pilihan Masa Depan

Mencermati semua fenomena ini dan kian tumbuhnya teknologi informasi di sekujur raga ibu pertiwi, maka dapat dipastikan prospek self-publishing ke depan semakin cerah. Apalagi kini para penyedia layanan self-publishing seperti Leutika Prio selalu melakukan inovasi dalam memberikan layanan kepada para penulis.

Meski kemudian distribusi buku self-publishing lebih banyak mengandalkan jejaring komunitas dan media online, namun realitasnya tak sedikit pula yang menoreh predikat best-seller. Sementara banyak buku dari penerbit mayor yang minim promosi, lalu hanya bertahan sebulan di rak depan took buku raksasa untuk kemudian secara perlahan digeser ke rak belakang, tertimpa buku baru dan tertumpuk di gudang sampai akhirnya mendapat label baru, “Cuci gudang, diskon s.d. 70%”. Bahkan ada yang mulanya berharga Rp. 50.000,- akhirnya diobral dengan harga cuma lima ribu perak. Sungguh menyedihkan.

Nah, dari semua yang terpampang ini dapat dikatakan nyaris tak ada bedanya menerbitkan naskah secara tradisional di penerbit mayor maupun menempuh jalur self-publishing. Justru sebaliknya pada beberapa hal self-publishing memiliki keunggulan. Namun ada beberapa hal pula yang harus diperhatikan oleh penyedia jasa self-publishing maupun penulis yang menempuh self-publishing.

Di antara yang paling prinsipil adalah soal kualitas karya. Jangan sampai kemudahan menerbitkan membuat dan juga banyaknya pembeli membuat kita abai terhadap perbaikan kualitas tulisan kita. Para penulis harus semakin banyak membaca, belajar dan mengevaluasi setiap naskahnya. Begitupun penerbit yang terkadang karena banyaknya naskah yang masuk membuat sisi editing dan perwajahan sampul dinomorsekiankan. Untunglah Leutika Prio punya desainer yang super-duper kreatif sehingga tampilan menawan setiap sampul buku terbitannya menjadi magnet penarik perhatian para (calon) pembaca.

Overall, saya berani garansi bahwa self-publishing adalah jawaban atas meningkatnya gairah menulis masyarakat Indonesia sebab jalur tradisional tak lagi sanggup menampung derasnya geliat literasi anak bangsa. Saya yakin self-publishing menjadi salah satu solusi untuk menciptakan peradaban madani yang lama kita dambakan. Semoga.

*Penulis adalah Koordinator Leutika Reading Society (LRS) Chapter Banda Aceh

 




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