And now for the news!
This week in the world of self-publishing:
- Self-publish and be damned happy, or, “Self Publish, Be Happy” is a 21st Century Manifesto for Artists & Authors Alike
You know that saying about great minds, right? Well, it turns out that the people over at New Zealand’s Herald and the folks over at Crave were exchanging some synergy this week, both releasing articles on the 20th or 21st linking self-publishing to something more than just profit and loss–that is, linking it to happiness. The first article, by Michael Donaldson of New Zealand, opens with the declaration that “Modern self-publishing – a far cry from vanity publishing – is usually about pursuing a passion a major publishing company wouldn’t dare take a risk on.” He cites author David Appleby’s work in bringing to light the story of New Zealand’s Olympic-gold-winning hockey team in 1976. Said Appleby, “I never intended [Striking Gold] to be a profit-making exercise. We got good sales to a small target market – but you wouldn’t want to do it for a living. The numbers don’t stack up – but I’m really happy we’ve created a legacy document.” Donaldson goes on to cite the experiences of several other self-publishing New Zealanders whose work has achieved varying degrees of what you might call ‘market success,’ and comes to the conclusion the money isn’t even the greatest attraction to the process of going indie.
Similarly, Miss Rosen of Crave espouses the notion that profit does not equal happiness, but self-publishing might actually have a very firm connection to mental health and well-being in this review of Bruno Ceschel’s “Self Publish, Be Happy: A DIY Photobook Manual and Manifesto,” put out by Aperture. Ceschel, whose background includes a startup self-publishing business and curating a gallery exhibit of self-published books for London’s The Photographer’s Gallery, is a firm believer in this link:
“Digital has caused a renaissance of printed matter. Self-publishing is not a way to make money. That is a burden. Self-publishing requires you to spend money which paradoxically free you from being concerned about profits. That is the restriction of the traditional publishing house. The people who do it today are very young. They are born into the digital generation. They are used to the computer and the online world. Self-publishing is their response to it. They are finding a complement to it in book form; they now have a physical object in reality and can share it with people. Books give them a different way to communicate.”
All in all, the two articles make for a great conversation–with each other, and with us, the self-publishing community. Read more of Rosen’s Crave review here, and Donaldson’s article for the Herald here.
The folks over at Publishers Weekly have a history of doing good work, and this week is no different. In this August 17th article by John Maher, the magazine covers the release by Sisters in Crime (“an organization supporting female crime writers”) of its “‘Report for Change,’ a study about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the mystery community.” This is not your average report, writes Maher, because during the process of comparing Sisters in Crime membership data to U.S. census data, “the report found that white, non-hispanic people make up 93% of the Sisters in Crime membership, compared to 62% of the U.S. population. The report, which surveyed 1,100 of the group’s members, found that only 3% identify as African American, with another 1.5% identifying as Native American, 1.5% Asian, and 1% Hispanic or Latino.” This is not representative, the organization quickly points out, and Sisters in Crime President Leslie Budewitz noted that there’s a long road ahead before it is. The report, says Maher, also found an interesting connection between “the rise of e-books and self-publishing,” with writers of color “flocking in that direction to avoid gatekeepers in the publishing industry proper.” This all comes back to the numbers, he explains: “While only 21% of Sisters in Crime members who completed the survey reported having self-published their last book, 63% of writers of color in the organization went with that option. 50% of LGBTQ authors surveyed also reported self-publishing, compared to the 10% that reported publishing through one of the Big Five.” What does all of this mean? Exactly what it sounds like: if you’re looking for diverse authors, you’re more likely to find them under the inclusive umbrella of self-publishing, where their voices are welcome. That’s good news for us … but not necessarily for the traditional Big Five. For the rest of Maher’s article, follow the link!.
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