This week in the world of self-publishing:
In a broadcast that ran on NPR on September 19th, journalist Lynn Neary talks with a variety of self-published authors and experts about where, exactly, the indie community stands in relation to the community of traditionally-published authors in respects to book sales. And the figures she uncovers are, indeed, somewhat surprising––and yes, mostly in good ways. Neary poses the question, “what happens to writers who never get anywhere near an awards ceremony?” The answer: not much, but that doesn’t mean that authors who aren’t making it onto the Man Booker shortlist are worse off than those who are. All authors struggle to break even and sell books, Neary reports, citing the Authors Guild survey we looked at last week. And while the article may seem to strike a mostly sour note, Neary ends with the hope that while many authors must write for little to no profit at present, “maybe — just maybe — next time they’ll get paid.” Here’s hoping, NPR!
You might know her as the author of the New York Times bestselling author of The Selection (and its sequels), but now you have the chance to know her as a spokesperson for self-publishing. In a September 19th interview with Chryssa Celestino for Preen, Cass describes how she got her start in the sometimes murky waters of self-publishing, and how her roots in the community of readers she found there set her up for success today. She walks readers through the process of self-publishing, and what it felt like both to publish and retain creative control over her work, a quality which is often cited by authors as a reason to pursue platforms apart from the traditional mode of publishing. “It was a whole little community,” she says, “and at the same time, they sort of helped get the word out.” And from someone who knows what it’s like to work in both the indie and traditional modes, those words ring with inhabited experience.
In her September 17th article for the Kentucky-based Lexington Herald news site LexGo, Candace Chaney introduces us to a development that might benefit everyone in the indie, hybrid, and self-publishing community––a festival for those who read and write and publish and otherwise love zines (or self-published digital magazines & fanzines). A festival that is entirely given over to celebrating us. Us! And it’s about time; festivals and parties and awards ceremonies have long been lauding the accomplishments and successes (and failures, too, we must admit) of traditionally-published writers and the traditional publishing process as a whole. It’s our time! According to Chaney’s research, “Festival organizers say that in addition to nostalgia for the analog age, zines offer more personal connection and creative freedom than you can ever get on the Internet; they also continue to serve as a vehicle for alternative, radical, or marginalized communities to safely tell their stories without fear of censorship or retribution.” In a word: awesome. The festival took place on Saturday the 19th, but if you missed it, never fear: this was a third anniversary of the event, which will happen around the same time next year. Take a look at Chaney’s article for more information!
The innovations just keep on coming! On the 16th of September, Scott Green’s article for Crunchyroll (which self-advertises as “the leading global video service for Japanese Anime and Asian media”) chronicles some of the latest adventures of––and declarations of intent by––Stu Levy, founder of Tokyopop, a corporate superweight in the world of manga publication. According to Green, Levy is “working on new digital comics initiative, POP Comics. This is a mobile app for iOS and Android that allows creators to upload and promote their original comics.” This is good news for illustrators and digital artists especially, who are expected to retain “70-75% of the ad revenue, with 30% going to Tokyopop.” Other, similar platforms are seeing a usership in the millions, so this percentage is not a meaningless one. Check it out by hopping on by the beta launch at popcomics.com!
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.