This week in the world of self-publishing:

“Many authors who sell their work directly on platforms like Amazon are having their stories plagiarized, which can take an emotional and financial toll,” writes Joy Lanzendorfer in this June 5th article for the Atlantic.  Lanzendorfer recounts the story of self-publishing author Rachel Ann Nunes, whose work was plagiarized by one ‘Sam Taylor Mullens’ (an alias), who took her novel (A Bid for Love), repackaged it under a new title (The Auction Deal), and distributed it under his own name with only superficial changes.  This trend is becoming all too common, writes Lanzendorfer, who adds: “The offending books often stay up for weeks or even months at a time before they’re detected, usually by an astute reader.”  This is no joke for self-publishing authors, who operate without much of the safety net enjoyed by traditionally published authors, with the might and heft of corporate lawyers at their backs.  For other authors, like Opal Carew, “finding out their book has been plagiarized can be traumatic.”  And this is, quite literally, just the tip of the iceberg!  Lanzendorfer’s marathon of an article weighs the various factors at play, including Amazon’s various ranking logarithms.  To read more, follow the link!

Self-publishing has been around awhile, it would seem–far longer than most readers even know, according to this June 3rd piece for Publisher’s Weekly.  The article, which serves as a digital summary of a printed piece in the June 6th edition of the magazine, alleges: “Self-publishing is hardly a new idea, as evidenced by an editorial we published 100 years ago.”  The editorial in question went to print on June 3rd, 1916, and detailed the advantages and disadvantages of midlist authors finding alternative ways to market.  “‘The practice of allowing the author to pay in whole or in part for the publication of his manuscript is by no means confined to certain of the smaller and less-known publishing houses,'” the original 1916 article states: “‘These books are not of such a nature as to make a wide appeal, and consequently, however worthy they may be, we cannot afford to publish them without the author’s assistance.'”  Worthy, albeit niche works–this is indeed the heart and soul of indie publishing!  To catch a taste of 100 years of self-publishing progress, check up on the modern Publisher’s Weekly piece here.

Self-publishing authors who publish outside of a select number of companies and are not counted in traditional e-publishing surveys “exist in this near-invisible economy,” writes Russell Smith for The Globe & Mail, according to this June 1st article.  A pretty turn of phrase for a not-so-pleasant experience, as it turns out: says Smith, the challenge these authors face is most plain in the matter of promotion.  How to market a book that flies under the radar of the traditional bait-and-reward system?  “The answer,” he writes, “is in niches.”  But this type of approach is exhausting–or as Smith puts it: “Ah, engagement – a concept dreaded by writers of my generation. It means we have to have a personality that readers think they are interacting with; it means we have to seem like their friend.”  This kind of labor may be easier for some than others, he writes, but it’s still work–especially to those who do not have an easy niche market to identify, much less sell books to.  But the challenge is as much one of personality as it is substance, as Smith makes clear in his self-comparison to another indie author (Tudor Robins), whose boundless optimism leaves Smith questioning his own experience.  Could he do more?  Should he do more?  To find out his conclusions, tap into the original article at the link!


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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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