Welcome back to our new Tuesday segment, where we’ll be revisiting some of our most popular posts from the last few years.  What’s stayed the same?  And what’s changed?  We’ll be updating you on the facts, and taking a new (and hopefully refreshing) angle on a few timeless classics of Self Publishing Advisor.


[ Originally posted: January 11th, 2010 ]

Did you know that over 40% of all book sales in the United States last year took place online, through e-retailers like Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com? More and more people are becoming comfortable with (and even accustomed to) shopping online. What’s more, consumers are more likely to purchase lesser-known and self-published books, according to Inc. Magazine.

What does this mean for the self-published author? With the convenience of on demand-printing and full-service self-publishing options: Good things. Selling books online is more cost-effective than selling through a typical bookstore, and that means more money in your pocket. Again, make sure your publisher lets you set your own retail price, royalty, and discount to take maximum advantage of shifting consumer trends.

Just something to keep in mind as you write and investigate the publishing options best in-line with your goals.

Have fun and keep writing!

by Karl Schroeder

sales growth

Almost six years on from Karl’s original post, we now have the benefit of hindsight to apply to many of his predictions–and fortunately for all of us who happen to be involved in the self-publishing industry, most of them came true!  According to Statista.com, “some 41 percent of global internet users having purchased products online in 2013”–and the numbers have continued to climb steadily from there.  And in respect to total e-commerce sales, a separate Statista article shows that Chinese retail giant Alibaba had a massive 23.7% market reach (outright) in 2015, but that Amazon and its affiliated sites together had an aggregate market penetration of 39.6% (the affiliates earned 22%, and Amazon proper 17.6%).

Many companies might struggle to find their niche in a market so overrun by big business, but smaller, more nimble organizations (including hybrid and self-publishing firm Outskirts Press) have shown they’re more than capable of keeping their footing.  Outskirts, which ranked in Inc. Magazine‘s top 500 or 5000 for four years in a row starting in 2009, continues to ensure that its authors make waves in the Amazon bestseller listings–and get their books onto actual physical bookshelves, as well.

And Outskirts Press is just one company among many who are succeeding at delivering on the promises of self-publishing as laid forth by Karl in his article: convenience in on demand-printing and full-service self-publishing options, cost-effective marketing, and more money in authors’ pockets, not to mention control over retail price, royalties, and discounts.  Inc. Magazine and others have come forward to bolster our knowledge and understanding of the inner workings of the publishing and self-publishing business, with articles like “How to Self-Publish Your Book” (2011), “How to Self-Publish a Business Bestseller” (2012), and “Publisher’s Note: Celebrating the Power of Partnership” (2015) underscoring new ways to adapt in an ever-shifting landscape of opportunities and challenges.

Some things have changed since 2010: Barnes & Noble seems to be stuck in a slow and gradual decline, print books seem to be on the rebound after Hachette and the other Big Five traditional publishing houses won their battle in the Amazon price-fixing war, and so on.  But other things haven’t changed: self-publishing is succeeding where traditional publishing continues to fail–in providing vital and necessary services and support to authors whose books are too daring, too interesting, and too precious to fall through the cracks.

What does this all mean, though?  It means, as Karl’s article so eloquently stated, that self-publishing remains a “Growing Industry.”


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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