And now for the news!
Some highlights from this week in the world of self-publishing:
Yesterday, in his article for the UK’s Express, author John Marrs dishes on what it took for him to survive all of those rejection letters–and still rise to the top, albeit through different means. Self-published means! Writes Marrs, “I assumed that with more than 20 years as a journalist behind me, writing for national magazines and newspapers, I might have had a slight advantage over other new writers on the hunt for an agent. How naive I was.” And how common an experience this is, for authors today. Becoming published, it seems, has less to do with skill and experience than with some nebulous formula for blockbuster success which the traditional Big Five publishing houses then fail to make good on in most cases. (We’ve talked about midlist authors here on the blog before, and how difficult it is to succeed in publishing even with a publishing house at your back.)
Luckily for Marrs (and everyone else), he found another way. He self-published through Amazon, and his book began to sell. The secret? Family. “I was fortunate that enough family and friends of friends bought The Wronged Sons for it to make an impact on Amazon’s charts,” writes Marrs. “Then, once visible, people I didn’t know began downloading it, too. Recommendations also came from members of online book clubs.” And he didn’t stop there–he released two more books, both of which became big sellers. He has since signed on with a traditional publishing house, but that, he says, is not the greatest reward he’s experienced as a result of self-publishing. Instead, it’s the fans: “One of my favourite things to have come from this ride is being able to interact with readers. They often tweet me to chat about characters or storylines they enjoyed and send me pictures on Instagram of my books in countries as far and wide as Canada, the Maldives and New Zealand,” he writes. If you’re a reader of self-published books, we hope you take a moment to tweet or comment on your favorite authors’ social media accounts today. It makes a big difference!
In this April 26th piece for the Entrepreneur, Samita Sarkar explains why running a kickstarter to launch your book is hard–and maybe not advisable. And in an age when launching a book is already hard, this may seem like a harsh judgement but in fact Sarkar’s thoughts are tempered by compassion and a great deal of wisdom. “Self-published authors know that you can spend months — or years — honing your writing craft,” she writes, “but as soon as your book goes to print, you’re no longer just a writer; you’re also an entrepreneur. Your publishing imprint is your company, and your book is your product.” This is not a bad thing, but it can lead to some interesting consequences when Kickstarter is involved.
“Statistics from Kickstarter show that most of that platform’s campaigns fail,” writes Sarkar, “And that’s not good, because your Kickstarter page is never deleted. So, for years to come, anyone who Googles your name may stumble upon that failed campaign. Out of 349,504 total campaigns,Kickstarter reports, just 123,447 succeeded –a 35 percent success rate. Some 14 percent of projects finished without receiving a single pledge.” You will want to weigh this possible (or statistically probable) result against your need for money. But Sarkar also has some points on how to make Kickstarter work, and these points are worth paying attention to. Read the rest of her article to find out more!
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.