This week in the world of self-publishing:
We’ve mentioned the self-publishing and English-language translation phenomenon by Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin, The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep, before. Yes, it’s now a solid success in the traditional industry as well, since its purchase and republication by one of the Big Five publishing houses–but once a self-published book, always a self-published book. Right? Right. (We will always toast our fellow indie writers’ successes, even when those successes move them into a new mode.) Well, it probably comes as no surprise that the press surrounding Forssen Ehrlin’s book has only continued to grow rowdier and rowdier as critics celebrate the book’s careful craft and grounding in scientific research and the field of child psychology. This week, Leanne Italie of the HeraldNet writes that the author was “as surprised as anybody that the book snowballed so quickly soon after climbing the Amazon rankings in the UK in August, where the site made it one of its weekly deals and helped hook Ehrlin up with a publicist who helped him arrange interviews there.” All this goes to show that the debate of whether Amazon is an author’s best friend or enemy still has quite a lot of ground to cover!
Sharon Short over at My Dayton Daily News had a chance to sit down with self-publishing sensation Chris Woodyard for an interview published on October 8th. (You already know how wonderful a good interview is for a discouraged indie author or someone seeking entry into the world of self-publishing!) Woodyard, who is widely known for her spirit-haunted works of hybrid fiction, speaks directly to the evolution of the self-publishing industry since she first began in 1991–when the internet itself remained a somewhat “new” thing for the average middle-class (and non-military) citizen. Says Woodyard, “There definitely wasn’t as much available as there is today. I met a representative from a printing company who helped me find a local typesetter and I found a printer in Cincinnati who’d produce the books. I did everything a traditional print publisher would do — hiring the typesetter, visiting the print company to review proofs, setting up a basic business model.” Today, she’s quick to point out, authors have a whole host of options to choose from. “Now, writers who want to self-publish can have ‘print on demand’ copies created through various services — if five people want the book, five can be printed; 20 buyers, 20 copies, and so on. Or they can opt to skip printing all together and create ebooks,” Woodyard tells us. “That wasn’t the case in 1991. After my first “Haunted Ohio” was printed, the minimum print run of books was delivered to my garage.” And a minimum print run amounted to 10,000 copies! Luckily, Woodyard has sold her books, and with a little help from the internet has even managed to find an audience for her Ohio-based ghost stories outside of her home state. That’s an encouraging thought indeed! Check out Short and Woodyard’s full conversation at the link.
Last Thursday, Business Insider contributor Rob Price published an article about the newly updated interface of the blog platform Medium, whose founder and CEO Ev Williams also happens to be one of the cofounders of Twitter. According to Price, Williams announced last Wednesday “that the company is introducing ‘a slew of updates to bring Medium to the next level and in the process make it more powerful, more fun, and more democratic.'” As with other blogging platforms, like Tumblr and LinkedIn Pulse, it may not immediately seem like a big deal for indie and self-publishing authors, but … it is:
As Williams points out, everyone from Bono to Melinda Gates to author John Green has posted to the site in the last few weeks. The company says more than 20,000 people publish on Medium each week.
Medium’s clean interface also makes it a favourite for brands and promotional blogs looking to get their message out: “Medium has become a dumping ground for a different generation’s press releases,” my colleague Biz Carson wrote last month. In addition to its self-publishing tools, it has a number of in-house publications — including tech vertical Backchannel.
For more information, check out Price’s full article–and if you give Medium a chance, check in with us here at Self Publishing Advisor from time to time. We’re definitely intrigued!
It’s not just J.K. Rowling keeping our spirits up these days (although she certainly remains wonderful). Cultured Vultures columnist Andrez Bergen writes that while publishing is “still something Ben-Hur might shy from” for a variety of reasons, “it’s too easy to be put off by the wall that seems to stand between an amateur scribe and his debut publication. If I have any advice at all worth its salt, it would be this: persevere, be downright stubborn, believe in your craft, and be prepared to kick on doors (nicely) rather than knock sheepishly. And in a worse-case-scenario, set up a shell-company to (self) publish and keep the secret under wraps.” Bergen’s only half joking, here. There are so many existing options these days, with dozens or possibly even hundreds of indie and hybrid and self-publishing companies to choose from–but there’s always room for innovation. So if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, don’t forget that you will always have a cheer squad in me and in us here at Self Publishing Advisor if you choose to invent something from scratch. Such as a self-publishing company of your own! You can count on us to follow your adventure from start to finish with great interest, because we care. We care that you are represented the way you want to be, by people and a brand that puts you first and profits second.
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.