And now for the news!
Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing!
“Kevin Guest does not recall the date his family’s lumber mill in Columbia Falls burned to the ground. A trusted employee had sparked the blaze while welding,” opens this recent article from the Daily Inter-Lake‘s Duncan Adams. The article follows the self-publication of Kevin Guest’s new book, All the Right Reasons, and his subsequent appearance in October on The Dr. Oz show to promote the book. The book, which purports on its cover to teach the “12 Timeless Tips for Living a Life in Harmony,” chronicles the rest of that one particular story–among others–as an illustration of these principles. Says Guest, “My parents were devastated, but because kindness and forgiveness were two of my dad’s core values, I don’t remember ever hearing him say anything derogatory about that employee.” Afterward, writes Adams, “Francis Guest and a partner rebuilt the lumber mill and carried on. The employee who inadvertently started the fire still had a job.” Throughout the book, Guest draws upon a deep well of family experiences and principles. Although his roots are in Montana, he now lives in Utah, where he works for USANA–and is not hurting for money. Why did he choose to self-publish, Adams asks? “Not to make money,” he answers. “He said he is donating all proceeds from the book to help feed starving children.” For Guest, self-publishing is about crafting a legacy which will live on through the generations. Read more of Adams’ excellent article at the link!
Big news from the science fiction and fantasy community! Locus recently posted the news that Bowker, the industry number-cruncher, “has updated their self-publishing statistics with numbers from 2017 – the first year with more than one million self-published books carrying ISBNs. Bowker counted 1,009,188 ISBNs issued to self-published authors, a 28% increase over 2016.” The article goes on to note that while this number looks pretty high already, it may not even remotely touch the real figure, “as many ebook authors don’t bother with ISBNs at all since Amazon, the dominant ebook retailer, doesn’t require them.” Such enormous growth is not especially new to self-publishing; the indie corner of the market has seen steady (and sometimes exponential) growth since its origins in the early 1990s. (Although if you read this article from Jamie Fitzgerald of Poets & Writers from 2913, it’s pretty clear we’ve been self-publishing–sort of–since clay tablets and cuneiform were a thing.) There’s no sign that things are slowing down, either, or that reader demand for new material is lessening. It’s always a good time to get in on the ground floor of self-publishing!
There’s no one-size-fits-all path to follow when it comes to breaking into the self-publishing market, as military romance author Cristin Harber discovered. In a recent article for Zebra, contributor Kris Gilbertson tracks her progress from early days retreating from busy days working in grassroots politics to a crucial stage of exploring her options and pursuing workshops on craft and publication. Writes Gilbertson, Harber’s introduction to self-publishing came as an unexpected–but welcome–surprise: “In July 2013, at an Atlanta writing conference, Harber set up a meeting about a traditional contract situation, but she had time to fill. She went to a workshop where three prominent names in romance writing – Barbara Freethy, Bella Andre, and Lilliana Hart – were presenting about self-publishing. It was a new and not fully accepted concept then. Harber stepped in out of curiosity, with no intention of following up, but found herself enthralled.” And she did follow up on that workshop, mastering the skills necessary to format and publish her work, then building a fanbase through careful planning. Now a New York Times and USA Today Best Selling author, Harber “realized early on that more than an entrepreneur or small business owner, she was a whole publishing house: the researcher, the CEO, CMO, CIO. When her website was hacked last year, a Go Daddy tech asked to speak with her webmaster. She said hold on a moment, paused, then said ‘Hello!'” Packed with wisdom and riveting in its own right, Gilberton’s profile of this titan in the self-publishing field is well worth a read.
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 each month to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.