This week in the world of self-publishing:

In true entrepreneurial fashion, superstar actress and businesswoman Gwyneth Paltrow has decided to start yet another new venture … and this one’s into our world, the world of self-publishing.  According to Andrea Mandell in a USA Today article from November 10th, Paltrow will be calling her self-publishing line “Goop”––the same name as her existing fashion/beauty/lifestyle website.  It’s unclear at this point whether Paltrow will open up the new company for other aspiring authors, and how content will be selected and curated, but for now there are plans in the works for a cookbook and a beauty book at some later date.  Goop (the self-publishing company) will exist in partnership between Paltrow and existing publishing powerhouse, Grand Central Publishing.

On November 11th, Jessie Rosen of Bustle published a meme-rich list of reasons why authors should write that long-delayed YA novel … and now.  I’m happy to report that point #6 is, in her words, “You Can Self-Publish and See Just as Much Success.”  (The accompanying GIF image is, interestingly, pulled from the recent 50 Shades of Grey film––and keeps company with other GIFs on the list from Pretty Little LiarsDivergent, and Harry Potter.  It’s nice to know once and for all that popular culture has officially been infiltrated by Our People.)  Anna Banks and Amanda Hocking also win mentions.  And if this list isn’t enough to convince you that writing a YA novel is a worthwhile investment of time and energy, perhaps it will provide a good dollop of inspiration to publish whatever other kind of book you want to write.  (Hint: it doesn’t have to be YA!)

“There is proper etiquette on approaching a bookseller with a request to stock a self-published title,” writes Sue Corbett in this November 10th Publisher’s Weekly piece on the runaway self-publishing success, The Sheepover.  The joy of this sweet little picture book’s journey to an international market with Little, Brown and Company is in fact a story of the authors’ local Vermont community: when the husband and wife team first approached a local indie bookstore owner with their book, it was an eavesdropping customer who purchased the first copy, pulled in a friend to buy a second copy, and convinced the bookstore owner not only to stock a handful but to write a blog post about the book––a blog post which ended up capturing a lot of attention both at Publisher’s Weekly and among those who subscribe to PW emails.  And those original eight copies?  Paid for by a Kickstarter campaign linked to the authors’––John and Jennifer Churchman––Facebook account.  And if this story doesn’t warm the cockles of your heart, even after the first Autumn snow, then perhaps it will at least inspire you to try self-publishing a picture book of your own!

On a more “serious” newsy note, a decision has been made in respect to a long-running lawsuit leveled against self-publishing supergiant Author Solutions that has far-reaching implications for indie authors looking to publish in the near future.  In his November 13th article for Publisher’s Weekly, Jim Milliot charts the progress of the lawsuit, which was filed in 2013 by three authors accusing the company of fraud, and how this case intersected with the company’s transition to a new president and CEO––Andrew Phillips.  While the case has been dismissed, Phillips admits that he is “happy to be able to focus entirely on growing the company’s business.”  Author Solutions, which was first formed by the merger of AuthorHouse and iUniverse in 2007, has since gone through sequential ownership by Pearson, Penguin, and finally, Penguin Random House.  With all the resources of one of the Big Five publishers behind it, Author Solutions has instituted something called the “Author Care Initiative,” with the goal of improving customer satisfaction and retention in the face of an increasingly competitive market.  And they’ve seen measurable improvement in their numbers, which speaks to the value of actually caring about the authors!  You can read about the full set of measures as instituted by Phillips in the article.


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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