And now for the news!
This week in the world of self-publishing:
“According to data gathering website Author Earnings, self-published novels now make up 42 per cent of the fiction book market, offered via distributors like Kindle, Kobo, and niche websites like Smashwords,” according to this CBC news article by Maryse Zeidler. 42% is a pretty significant chunk of the fiction book market, considering what a niche, almost frowned upon practice self publishing once was; it now almost seems…mainstream. Public libraries across Canada are even going so far as to promote collections of self-published authors!
Because of how prolific self-published books have become, the cost for the readers can be very small, allowing them to try out authors they’ve never heard of without very much risk. This is good for authors who are just starting out and need to slowly gather a fan base. Zeidler points out that this also allows for a vast array of genres like “science fiction, mysteries and thrillers, not to mention ultra-niche genres like steampunk or even dinosaur erotica.”
The stigma around self-publishing has not disappeared, as there are some poor quality things that do get published. However, there is a rising number of professional authors who are putting out high quality material and offsetting that stigma and sometimes even becoming best sellers!
This is an absolutely fabulous and entertaining article by James Altucher, a successful self-published author, in which he gives all the reasons he has decided to self publish.
First on his list? Speed. Althucher once challenged himself to write and publish a small novel…in a weekend. He successfully did so and published it on Amazon under a pseudonym almost simply because doing so would’ve been unthought of even just a few decades ago. Six months is the normal time frame James will take on one of his books, which is still unthought of if he were to go through a traditional publisher who would want outlines, drafts, etc over a span of most likely one to two years. “Another friend of mine publishes a book every two or three months. Another friend writes fantasy novels –maybe two or three a month,” he says, “He’s sold over two million copies of his books. All through self-publishing.”
Second on his list is control. Now that the best designers and editors have discovered that freelancing is more profitable, that’s what they do, and that means anyone who wants to publish a book can hire them. For James, the cost of hiring the best freelance writers is well beyond worth it, as he prizes his readers more than money and knows that a well designed book will sell infinitely more copies.
Another reason he gives is that you don’t need permission to write a book anymore. “You don’t need to be a good writer,” he says, “You don’t need to have a good story. You don’t need to have anything to say.” He finds a beauty in this. Writing has now become an artistic act available to any/everyone. Self-publishing being the great equalizer.
Money is an oft-cited reason by many successful published authors, but James cites some pretty staggering figures from his traditional published earnings -vs- his self-published earnings. The maximum figure he gave from traditional publishing was $100,000, and his current self-published novel has made him between $300 and $400,000.
I’d go on, but you should really read the list yourself. He’s curt, to the point, and a hoot to read. He’ll make you want to go out and hug a stranger or publish a book this weekend on Amazon.
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.