Happy Labor Day to our readers in the United States!
This week in the world of self-publishing:
What is that line from Animal Farm: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”? The market being what it is for indie and self-published authors, the whole enterprise can often seem overwhelming. But indie and self-published authors have always faced one seemingly insurmountable hurdle––one hurdle that is “more equal” than all the others––in the quest to sell their books: publicity. Well, this year there’s good news at last! In a September 4th article for LibraryJournal, James LaRue documents the ground-breaking efforts of librarian Jim Blanton to reshape libraries into a mutually-beneficial platform for self-published authors.
LaRue notes that libraries have often “turned a cold shoulder to local authors” in that “librarians didn’t return [authors’] phone calls, shied away from booking them in meeting rooms, and turned down their books for the collection.” But Blanton knew that librarians––many of whom are self-published or are advocates for self-publishing themselves––could provide vital support to new or struggling authors. And so, as the director of Daviess County Public Library (DCPL) in Owensboro, KY, Blanton partnered up with a neighboring library in Henderson to create ePublish or Bust. This website allows indie and self-published authors to “book” appearances at local libraries (there are 24 in Kansas that participate, at present) and to access a variety of other resources. While the website is currently in a beta stage as Blanton and others iron out the wrinkles with their system, it provides a glimpse of new possibilities as libraries and authors collectively look to prepare for a digitally-driven future.
In anticipation of the FutureBook conference in December 2015 (“the largest digital publishing conference in Europe,” according to its website), journalist and speaker Porter Anderson put out a call for “the FutureBook audience to reflect on five years of digital [publishing] … and to challenge the customs we have begun to adopt.” The response, Anderson writes, has been “robust,” and the final deadline is today, September 7th. Several manifestos are already published online at FutureBook, but we’re here to sing the praises of one specific contribution: that which has been put on the table by the founding director of the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), Orna Ross. In “A Manifesto for Self-Publishing Authors,” Ross strikes both a defiant and compassionate note, all at once. Not sure how this is possible? Read the full manifesto. It’s short and sweet and beautiful.
We tip our hats this week to self-published children’s book author and Swedish behavioral scientist, Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin, whose phenomentally successful The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep was just acquired in a joint deal between Random House U.S. and Penguin Random House U.K. In this article in Publisher’s Weekly, Rachel Deahl describes how Ehrlin went from selling 24 copies of his book one week in August to selling over 29,000 copies the following week. And while it’s probably a sure thing that Random House will find new audiences for this delightful little book, there’s no shaking the fact that this book wouldn’t have gotten the attention of the traditional publishing houses if it hadn’t already been such a magnificent self-publishing success story.
- Self-Publishing Service Provider Outskirts Press Pays Authors $300 to Begin Publishing Books in September
Our last stop on the news train this week is this article on PRWeb.com, with the news that the Colorado-based hybrid self-publishing company Outskirts Press is hosting a noteworthy promotion for their “Diamond” and “Pearl” publishing packages. The promotion, dubbed “Mad Money” by the company, allows customers to apply a promotional code at check-out and recoup some $300 in credit on their Outskirts Press accounts. These packages cost about $999 and $1,199, so the $300 promotion represents an additional value of roughly one-third and one-quarter, respectively. Nothing to sneeze at!
The company, described in the PRWeb release as the “fastest-growing full-service self-publishing and book marketing company” in the United States, typifies the possibilities offered by “hybrid” platforms––where authors pay to publish their book, instead of receiving an advance as they would from a traditional publisher, and receive the full benefit of professional editing, design, promotional, and marketing services while retaining full rights and creative control.
As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry.This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.
ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.