This week in the world of self-publishing:

The Kindle Scout, one of Amazon’s publishing platforms, has long proven to be a handy option for United States-based indie or self-publishing authors looking to connect with new readers, and it has been shown to be just as handy for readers who use it as a discovery tool. As announced in an official September 9 press release, Kindle Scout is now available to readers and authors alike––around the world.  While the Scout will remain available to American authors, it will now be offered to authors in Europe, Canada, Australia, India, Brazil, and elsewhere as well.  These authors may submit their (novel-length, English-language, previously unpublished) manuscripts to be considered. The process is simple: readers read, then nominate which submissions should be published!

According to the press release, “Publishing contracts include 5-year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, a 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions and featured Amazon marketing.”  It remains unknown whether Amazon plans to widen its permissions to allow the submission of manuscripts written in languages other than English––but it would make sense as a future step, as Gina Hill (the Scout’s general manager) says that “Expanding [the Scout] platform to authors and readers outside the U.S. has been one of the most frequent requests we’ve received since we launched.”  In the meantime, we’re looking forward to seeing what English-speakers around the globe come up with!

The Independent Publishers of New England (IPNE) will soon be holding their annual conference in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The event, which takes place on the 25th and 26th of this month, will cost about $170 for members and $195 for non-members to attend (though this second amount includes a year-long membership).  The IPNE’s conference planners have arranged for keynote presentations geared towards indie and self-publishing authors, featuring representatives from Publishers Weekly, the Independent Book Publisher’s Association (IBPA), Shelf Awareness, and Ingram Content Group.  For more information, check out this online notice.  And on that note, don’t forget that the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) will be hosting its annual conference in July of 2016.  It’s never too early to block out your schedule!

Well, there is always bound to be some bad news mixed up with the good.  In this Publishers Weekly article, Rachel Deahl reports on the Authors Guild’s latest findings, which essentially boil down to one potentially bitter conclusion: “the majority of authors would be living below the Federal Poverty Level if they relied solely on income from their writing.”  (Emphasis mine!)  Contributing factors include the exponential rise of piracy when it comes to digital books, shrinking or frozen royalties in the face of a mounting cost of living, and pressure to keep e-book prices low.  Mary Rasenberger, the Guild’s executive director, does point out a silver lining for indie and self-published authors, however: according to the report, 33% of respondents “reported having self-published at least one book.” Rasenberger says that authors “are starting to see self-publishing as an outlet for projects that haven’t been supported by traditional publishing houses”––which of course happens to make perfect sense to the self-publishing community, but it’s nice to see more mainstream news outlets and institutions catching on!

Good things are happening in Maine!  The Sun Journal put out a press release on behalf of the Auburn and Lewiston libraries, which are now taking a bold plunge into the world of indie and self-publishing: they have joined many other libraries around the United States (and elsewhere) in subscribing to SELF-e, a self-publishing option that doubles as a “discovery platform for local authors.”  The way SELF-e works is simple: authors upload a digital copy of their book to the SELF-e website, then are presented with the option to submit it to their local libraries for access via their digital services.  They may also submit to Library Journal for an additional level of review, during which LJ staff decide whether or not a book may be of greater national interest (and distribution).  Suzanne Sullivan, head of collection development at Auburn Public Library, writes that “This is a great opportunity for writers to build an audience and for readers to discover authors who may be just starting out.”  SELF-e does not pay writers, but submission is free, and it can prove useful in getting the word out that a new indie book has been published!  For a complete list of which states are accepting submissions, visit the SELF-e “Where” page, here.


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.

KellyABOUT 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.

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