This week in the world of self-publishing:
In a coup for indie authors everywhere, self-publishing won a favorable mention in a January 28th Newswire article by Doug Crowe. “Self-publishing helps authors find success on their own terms,” Crowe writes by way of introduction (emphasis mine). “Authors are able to be at ease when navigating the world of publishing, building their own brands and writing the books they want.” He goes on to describe the veritable Renaissance in self-publishing abroad, particularly India, and the success of the Espresso Book Machine in diversifying the offerings of important indie-friendly stores, like Powell’s Books in Portland. “Writing a book is one of the most fulfilling things anyone can do. It’s as important a milestone as getting married and having a child,” Crowe quotes author Radu Balas as saying. Balas continues:
“In fact, it’s just like having a child. You’ll think about it, wait for it to develop over many months, watch it grow, nurture it, give it everything you’ve got, and then send it on its way – out to the public to live a life of its own, and it will be part of your legacy, something you’ll leave to the world. But just like a child, after you have created it you need to help it grow before setting it in the world.”
And that, according to Crowe, is where self-publishing comes into its own. One only hopes that Newswire‘s discerning readers take Crowe’s words to heart.
Ever wondered how Andy Weir did it––how this plain-spoken self-published author became a blockbuster success seemingly overnight? Well, according to Michelle Dean of The Guardian in this January 27th article, “one of the strangest items in the Martian origin story is who first approached Weir for a proper deal. It wasn’t print publishers or film producers. It was a small Canadian audiobook company called Podium Publishing. Run by a pair of friends, James Tonn and Greg Lawrence, the company produces what it calls ‘award-winning quality’ audiobooks ‘for indie-minded’ authors.” In a market sector that Lawrence describes as an “auxiliary business” in that audiobooks were “tacked on to the end of a publishing deal” without much fanfare, Podium set out to “change that, by working with the sort of writer who was interested in publishing their audiobook independently.” They’d been witness to the insatiable corporate need for maximum profits, and that just didn’t seem the way to go, especially when authors and their audiobook partners got the raw end of the bargain. Well, long story short, they contracted with popular audiobook reader RC Bray and purchased rights to The Martian, their first fiction selection. And the rest is history. I think it’s worth noting, however, that The Martian‘s success in large part comes down to people being willing to take risks: Weir, by pursuing self-publishing in the first place, and then Tonn and Lawrence by diversifying their company’s selection. For more information on Tonn and Lawrence’s involvement in The Martian’s road to success, check out the original Guardian article here.
Now that we’ve basked a little in the glory of everyone’s current favorite as far as indie success stories go, how can you go about launching your own book with the greatest possible chance of success? Well, according to K.M. Weiland of Cultured Vultures in this January 27th piece, the process begins with setting aside fear of failure and the public perception that self-publishing is “so not legit.” (Note: that line may only make sense when read in American teenage vernacular.) Once you’ve expunged doubt from your mind, the next steps come easier. They are, according to Weiland:
- WRITE A BUNCH OF STUFF YOU CAN’T PUBLISH
- WRITE A BOOK YOU CAN PUBLISH
- GET THE BEST HELP YOU CAN AFFORD
- GET A WEBSITE
- BUILDING A FOLLOWING
- LAUNCH BIG OR GO HOME
Weiland follows up each point with a lengthy description of what she means, and they all very much fall in line with what we here at Self Publishing Advisor think of as foundational practices. For all of those lovely details, visit Weiland’s full article at the link.
We tend to follow the progress of indie, hybrid, and self-publishing companies like Outskirts Press fairly closely, in part because the indie community is small and everyone seems to know someone who works with or has published through their services, and in part because we’ve discovered some rare and excellent gems among their publications. In a January 26th press release to PRWire, Outskirts announced its latest “Top 10” list, and some of them sound genuinely exciting! The list, arranged alphabetically, is as follows:
- Cool Breeze by Ganelle Gaddy Sutton
- The Day I Thought That I Made a Terrible, Terrible Grade by Rosie Wiggins
- Elusive Loves; Amores Esquivos by Mirtha Michelle Castro Marmol
- Hang In There At Christmas by Brad Myers
- How Toxic Are You? by Dr. James Martin
- The Legend of the Icelandic Yule Lads by Heidi Herman
- The Magic Pouch by Hank Angus
- Through Their Eyes by Harshal Mehdi and Aminder Mehdi
- The Ultimate Guide for Bank Directors by Catherine A. Ghiglieri and Jewell D. Hoover
- What She Feels by Chidozie Osuwa
Ganelle Gaddy Sutton’s Cool Breeze, for example, is a genre-defying look into poverty and life on the streets for America’s most marginalized communities, while Elusive Loves; Amores Equivos is the second book of poetry by actress and author Mirtha Michelle Castro Marmol and may prove, with its bilingual appeal and its lyric intent, to be just as big of a success as her first (Letters, To The Men I Have Loved). Dr. James Martin’s How Toxic Are You? takes a long hard look at environmental pollution and its effects on the human body, and physicians Harshal and Aminder Mehdi’s Through Their Eyes tackles the complicated intersection of philosophical, religious, and mental concerns in the course of dealing with chronic illness. And if you are looking to defy cliché but still process loves won and lost (as we all do), then What She Feels by Chidozie Osuwa with its beautiful cover art and unexpected and powerful imagery may prove to be exactly what you need. To access the original press release, click here.
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.