And now for the news!
This week in the world of self-publishing:
- The Kindle Effect by Jennifer Alsever
With the rise in self-publishing has come a rise in service providers who help take some of the ‘self’ out of the self-publishing platform. “There are companies that handle one step—or all of them—along the way: editing, marketing, design, distribution, and publicity,” says Alsever, and she has a name for this phenomenon which she calls “The Kindle Effect.” With the introduction of the Kindle to the market in 2007 came the option for Kindle Direct Publishing, which allowed anyone to upload, publish and sell their book, for free.
However, due to the fact that self-publishing means that authors keep 50-70% of the profit from their sales, rather than 15-25% royalties from traditional publishing, there is even more incentive to get your books sold, which often requires investing money so as to make your book a purchase worthy item.
Service providers have caught onto the fact that independent authors have created best-sellers as well; just look at Fifty Shades of Gray and The Martian, both of which have been made into Hollywood hits and have generated serious profits for their authors. While traditional companies miss out on these monumental literary pieces, less traditional companies who provide service to these independent authors get to say they played a hand in helping someone who’s idea had been wrongly turned away. When authors struggle to get noticed by traditional publishing companies, thanks to the Kindle Effect, their options have become seemingly limitless when it comes to getting their work out in the world. Outskirts Press is one of those options, and we’re proud to provide our services to independent authors.
Ylleya Fields and her daughter have always been avid readers, but Fields was shocked when she discovered that there were next to no books that depicted the experience of African American children to share with her daughter. “This inspired me to create my own children’s book series and in turn break down barriers for children of all races,” says Fields.
So began her pursuit to create Princess Cupcake Jones, a series with her daughter as the inspiration for the main character.
After a falling out with the person who was helping her write/edit her first story, Fields put Princess Cupcake Jones on the shelf for a half a year until her family insisted that these stories were crucial for young African American children to have access to. This persuaded Ylleya to really get the ball rolling again, to hire an illustrator and to bring the Princess to life. After sending her final polished copy to publishers and having it rejected over and over–I’m sure only reinforcing the importance of making her and her daughter’s voices and experiences heard and read about–Fields decided to self-publish.
Of course she didn’t reap success, profits or a fan base right away, but she stayed committed and wrote a second book, and this is when her audience began to grow.
As Ylleya is someone who had the odds stacked against her in more ways than just decided to self-publish, I’d like to leave you with a beautiful piece of advice from the author herself.
“…Make sure you surround yourself with a great team of people who want you to succeed more than you do — people who will make your idea great, not good; who are willing to give their opinions, but understand at the end of the day that it’s your decision…Finally, the last and best piece of advice I can give is to always believe in yourself; because if you don’t, you can’t expect others to!”
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.