And now for the news!
Some highlights from this week in the world of self-publishing:
Dr. Alison Baverstock of Kingston University in London was already a writer, publisher, consultant and teacher when she decided to explore the world of non-traditional publishing. Allison ended up with comprehensive enought research on the self-publishing industry that she was able to write How to Market Books, a title that has been called the “bible of book marketing” and which has been translated into 15 different languages.
More than half a million self-published books entered the market last year alone, and that number is sure to keep growing, as it continues to be a more popular option for authors of all types–from the first timer to the seasoned vet.
Baverstock noticed that though self-publishing was originally met with hostility and was highly stigmatized at its onset, it has a growing popularity and acceptance as more and more authors seem to be taking this route for a myriad of different reasons.
Allison is not the only one to have noticed this. Neil White, creative director and publisher at Nautilus Publishing Company in Oxford, said self-publishing was a “huge waste of money 10-plus years ago. In order to make each book affordable, a press needed to publish 1,000-5,000 copies of the book. Most of those are still in someone’s garage.” However, White and Baverstock have both admitted that self-published has transformed a huge amount in just a decade.
The ease of digitization has made self-publishing very popular. You can download programs to edit and format your book from your own computer. You can upload your book directly to Amazon and other ebook platforms, making publishing literally a click away.
Rather than delegitimizing self-publishing, its rising prevalence has made it more respected, with serious authors who have already been through the traditional publishing houses choosing this route because it simply pays better for them in the long run.
Baverstock says, “If you look at the “New York Best Seller” list, there are usually two or three titles in the top ten that started off as self-published books.” Two or three out of ten isn’t too shabby for an industry previously dominated and controlled by the traditional publishing market.
These facts have shown that traditional publishing companies aren’t always as in tune with reader’s tastes and preferences as they thought they were. “There have been several areas of self-publishing that the industry was quite confident that nobody wanted books on, and actually they’ve been proven wrong,” says Baverstock.
This is not to say that all self-published books will do well. White cautions that there are a lot of self-publishing books that will sell less than 1,000, or less than 100 copies of their books. He also cautioned against simply one-click publishing something on Amazon that you haven’t seriously edited or put time and care into formatting. He has four pieces of advice for authors considering the self-publishing route, and they are as follows: “Hire a great story editor. Hire a great copy editor. Hire a talented book designer. Hire a great book publicist.”
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.