This week in the world of self-publishing:
In this article for the Irish Times from November 7th, Sarah Keating reviews new titles being released by self-publishing authors Rachel Abbott, Angela Currie, Fat Roland, and Thijs de Boer. These titles are particularly interesting to Keating because they represent a larger trend––a trend wherein indie and self-published titles have come to amount to roughly 31% of the Amazon Kindle Store’s overall sales figures. She makes reference to an ongoing lawsuit Amazon itself has filed against “false reviewers” who are paid to boost sales figures for these authors––a lawsuit that may turn up dirt on more than just hybrid self-publishing companies and reviewers looking to earn a little extra cash. (The consequences could be huge for traditional publishing companies, as well, in that it could either privilege them in the extreme or it could undercut a part of their promotional strategies as well.) Keating’s reviews are themselves quite worth a look, as are her comments about the new self-publishing discovery tool, MacGuiffin.
Bleeding Cool has long been a litmus test for emerging technologies and paradigms; this week, in a November 5th article by contributor Michele Brittany, the digital magazine documents a panel of indie comic artists and writers at at Stan Lee’s “Comikaze” conference. The panel, titled “Indie Creators, Unite! A Guide to Self-Publishing” was moderated by Fanboy Comics’ Managing Editor Barbra Dillon and featured Siike Donnelly (Solestar, The King of Neverland), William Orr (Hunter Black), Kevin Bieber (Man vs. Rock), Bryant Dillon (Identity Thief, Something Animal), and Madeleine Holly-Rosing (Boston Metaphysical Society, Kickstart for the Independent Creator: A Practical and Informative Guide To Crowdfunding)––many of whom have become well-known in the comic community, despite their longstanding indie roots. It’s a happy circumstance that, in comics as well as in prose of all kinds, the self-publishing author now has representation at major industry events! The panelists answered questions which ranged from “Why is self-publishing so important?” to whether authors should seek publication in digital or print formats, and all of the answers shed new light on the range of possible paths authors can follow in this brave new world of self-publishing.
Last week in a November 2nd piece for Publisher’s Weekly, Daniel Lefferts wrote that “Most authors write books with the hope of reaching a mass audience […] who buy and consume books because they enjoy them,” but recommends authors instead make efforts to “consider another, smaller (but possibly more influential) network—that of ‘professional readers.'” What he means is, authors––particularly self-published authors––ought to keep the existence of one particular website in mind: NetGalley. NetGalley, a web-based platform that enables publishers and authors to upload books for review by these professional readers, can be (in Lefferts’ words) “pricey.” For this reason, Lefferts writes that “it’s best to do some preparation before taking the plunge”––a truth we find applies to more than just this one service. He also describes in detail how authors might make better use of NetGalley, and how to help make their submissions stand “out from the crowd.” All in all, very useful information to know!
Eileen Mullan, in this November 4th article for the digitally-based EContent Magazine, reports on the evolution of the publishing path over the last ten to fifteen years. Mullan, whose own graduate school experience typified a larger “normal,” writes that “the worst part of being friends with a group of writers is that you are constantly seeing talented people who take their craft very seriously get rejected.” And rejection is, ultimately, what Mullan sees as both a necessary crucible and the greatest trial through which today’s writers (still) must pass––only, Mullan sees a question mark in that sentence. Is rejection, which underpins the traditional publishing method, really necessary to shape a book into something … “good”? We know the answer to this one, and Mullan cites Andy Weir’s runaway self-publishing success, The Martian, as an example of a fine book that needed no rigamarole of rejection to reach excellence. The rest of his article is equally as uplifting––and all the more useful for that.
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.