And now for the news!
This week in the world of self-publishing:
This incredible series by Bennett Voyles goes over how digitalization has changed “book consumption, book production and book marketing.” This part of the series focuses on the writer.
While Voyles is quick to admit that the top five publishing companies control 80% of all the book industry’s sales in the US, he quickly counters that staggering percentage with the fact that “The Big Five” only has a 23% share of the Amazon ebook market. Further, three of the top ten best selling books on Apple iBook this past February were written by self-published authors.
So what are the advantages to the digitization of the publishing industry for writers? Voyles suggests that the publishing process is now more streamlined. If you want to make edits to a book you’ve already created, you can quite literally do that with a few clicks of a button–better yet, if you do so through an Amazon e-book, those changes are instantly made to already purchased books. This means that the authors can immediately adapt to the reactions, reviews and input of their readers.
Think about it this way, if you’re worried about the response you might get from a book, you can almost give it a test run by publishing it first as an ebook, gain some feedback from readers all around the world and then adapt your manuscript to create something more reader friendly. Looking at digitization in this way, it seems as if the quality of books coming out in this age will be enhanced, contrary to the all too oft made argument the proliferation of ebooks/self-publishing would in general lower the overall quality of books today.
Voyle hammers this home when he points to successful self-published authors who end up landing deals with traditional publishing houses, meaning that the quality of self-publishing leaves room for cross-over. But he almost seems to suggest that this cross over to traditional publishing may not actually be that profitable for self-published authors who can make anywhere from 35-70% royalties over the 7% royalties they’d get in a big publishing house. Further, traditional publishing houses seem to be moving in the direction of outsourcing a lot of the copyediting, proofreading and production to freelance workers, workers that can just as easily be hired by self-publishing authors meaning that you now have access to the same quality of editors as traditional publishing companies anyhow.
Not only do self-published authors have a higher chance of getting a bigger paycheck than they would in a traditional publishing house, they are given the chance to publish first and foremost, which “raises the odds of success from nil to slim,” according to Voyle, who acknowledges that self-publishing is not a sure thing either. Self-published authors have to be a publishing company of their own; they have to find editors, deal with copyrighting, create an interior and cover design, be marketing savvy, etc. etc. Doing all that on top of creating a solid manuscript is obviously a bit overwhelming, which is why we at Outskirts Press offer services to help writers with those somewhat laborious tasks.
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.