This week in the world of self-publishing:
We’ve written before about how self-publishing is thriving in eastern markets, but the story of Jalan Jalan‘s author Mike Stoner might take the cake for success stories––as recounted by Tim Hannigan in this March 25th article for The Guardian. (Talk about fame and recognition––The Guardian has been a go-to resource for literary aficionados for decades.) Stoner’s novel––which “follows a heartbroken young Brit through Indonesia, where he finds himself embroiled in a murky world at the bottom of the expat barrel after accepting a teaching job at a dodgy language school after a five-minute telephone interview”––won The Guardian‘s much coveted self-published book of the month award in December of 2014, and it didn’t stop there. After a year or more picking up momentum in social media and overseas markets, Jalan Jalan found a second home with Tuttle and Periplus, one of southeast Asia’s biggest distributors of English-language books. If it seems like your average rags-to-riches indie-to-traditional stories, hold on a moment: Stoner says that he was only able to reach such a large audience because he first chose to self-publish. “I’d recommend self-publishing to anyone who writes and gets dejected about being rejected,” he says, “because you never know where it might lead. If I hadn’t made the effort I’d never have won the Guardian award.” For the complete article in The Guardian, follow the link.
“In 2015, I celebrated my 18th birthday in quite an unconventional way: by debuting my first authored book on Amazon,” begins this March 25th article by Julia Schemmer for HuffPost Books. The teen entrepreneur continues: “I decided to take the road more traveled by self-publishing my work, 20 Seconds of Insane Courage instead of seeking a publisher and pursuing printed copies. Looking back, it is a decision I still stand behind, and am proud of.” If this seems like an unconventional way to begin a defense of self-publishing, chew on this for a moment, too: in a world where teens are constantly competing to be heard on issues ranging from the controversial to the mundane, self-publishing provides one of the few paths forward in the evolution from private to public voice. It would be easy to see Schemmer as an exception to the rule, a Truly Gifted Individual and not the exact model for many of her generation hope to do, but one of the largest demographic groups within the world of self-publishing authors is, in fact, teens. So when Schemmer speaks in defense of self-publishing, she’s speaking as more than just one teen who hit a lucky streak––she’s speaking as an advocate for many others. And what does she have to say? Quite a lot! With points ranging from creative control to broader access for readers, Schemmer’s article is well worth a read–and you can find it here.
The conversation about improving diverse representation within the publishing––specifically, the self-publishing––industry is ongoing, but significant inroads are being made and there’s no better example of people leading the change through decades of hard work than 24-year publishing veteran Erika Berg, writes Drucilla Shultz in this March 21st article for Publisher’s Weekly. Berg, who crowd-funded and then self-published Forced to Flee: Visual Stories by Refugee Youth from Burma and launched a companion website, looks to use her experience and her skills as an author “as an advocacy tool for giving voice to refugees” and other often-silenced minority groups. Asked about her advice for other indie authors, Berg advises going “off the beaten path”:
When it comes to marketing, again, be alert to possible win-win partnerships. Forced to Flee’s most fruitful events haven’t been at bookstores; they have been hosted by school districts, universities, organizations, etc. that had even more to gain from a large turnout and media coverage than I did.
For more of her stellar advice, check out Shultz’s entire interview and article on the Publisher’s Weekly website.
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.