This week in the world of self-publishing:
“Against all expectations, the traditional book is making a comeback,” writes Chris Mitchell in a June 27 article for The Australian Business Review. No small publishing market backwater, Australia has long stood as a laboratory for new trends and technologies–and as a healthy chunk of the global market, with access to east European and Asian markets as well as serving as a gateway to the Southern Hemisphere. As with many other facets of life–such as the environment–Australia often sees changes coming long in advance of others (disasters included) … and the disruptive effects persist there long after they recede elsewhere around the world. But there’s good news as far as publishing is concerned: the global panic over the digital takeover is beginning to abate Down Under, as the nation’s paper and hardback copies make a comeback. Says Mitchell:
Last year, for the first time in nearly a decade, book sales rose in Australia — by 2.4 per cent to $979 million. Add $410m in education sales and leading Australian publishers are starting to see a way through the digital disruption of the past decade.
They also see a stabilising of digital book sales globally. E-books appear to have plateaued at 20 per cent of the market in the English-speaking world.
What does this mean to the self-publishing author, Down Under and abroad? In keeping with the other coverage we’ve given this issue, it seems as though good news for traditional publishing is almost always good news for self-publishing, too. (Despite traditional publishing’s tendency to cast it as an “us vs. them” debate.) A stable market, in which every niche has found stability, is a wonderful thing for self-publishing authors! And while “Australian book retailers are generally seen to have a long way to go to become as good at selling their stock online as retailers in the US and Britain,” writes Mitchell,
“The rise of Booktopia, the country’s largest independent online bookstore, has shown how this can be done well.” Australians are canny about balancing the niches! For more of Mitchell’s original article, click here.
We’ve written about SELF-e before on Self Publishing Advisor, but Ben Muir of The Chronicle has a brand-new (June 24) update! After summarizing the publishing experience (which seems, more often than not, to be a choice between the traditional route and some variant of the self-publishing route) Muir goes on to introduce SELF-e as some kind of “middle ground.” SELF-e, which can be found at self-e.libraryjournal.com, is “a website that lets libraries distribute the work of independent authors, and offer an array of genres and content for subscribing patrons.” Sponsored by the online version of Library Journal, SELF-e is one of several–and one of the most successful, to date–options available for self-publishing authors attempting to get their books onto the shelves–physical or digital–of their local library. The mechanics of the SELF-e process are simple: Authors upload their books in what Muir calls a “painless” process, and once libraries purchase subscriptions to SELF-e, their readers access SELF-e through Biblioboard, a companion site to Library Journal that operates much like other digital libraries. Muir writes specifically to announce Timberland Public Library’s decision to invest in SELF-e, a good sign that libraries and their users are still finding this sort of platform useful. For more information, follow the linkfollow the link!
There’s some very good news for self-publishing authors who choose to pursue audio editions of their books, writes Ryan Joe for Publisher’s Weekly on June 24: “For the second consecutive year, sales of audiobooks grew around 20% in 2015, totaling about $1.77 billion, according to the Audio Publishers Association (APA).” And this “boom,” writes Joe, “is due to the explosion of digital audio, which has made audiobooks more accessible.” Muir names three platforms offering digital audio options for the discerning author: Audible’s Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX), the Deyan Institute, and Author’s Republic, owned by Audiobooks.com, and there are various hybrid publishing companies that offer audio packages. And a lot of authors are headed in this direction, reports Audible’s EVP and publisher, Beth Anderson: already, some 58,000 authors and narrators have booked gigs through her website alone–and while Audible and Amazon are both hefty household names, smaller audiobook publishers are also seeing remarkable success. There are many benefits to choosing to publish an audiobook, as Joe goes on to describe, including targeting new reader bases and demographics. For his entire article, check it out on Publisher’s Weekly online!
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.