Self-Publishing News: 7.9.2019

July

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing!

(Proviso: This article is behind a paywall; subscribers of The New York Times can access the article in full.)

You might have seen this article around, being discussed both by literary elites and by the average Twitter user, in part because it says quite a lot of things about self-publishing, particularly as relates to Amazon’s self-publishing platform. On this blog we have over the years represented a range of opinions about Amazon’s offerings and customer service and central ethic, and we’ll refrain today from passing judgment on the whole—but it’s worth noting that for many of The New York Times‘ thousands of subscribers who trust the paper’s research ethic, opinions about Amazon and opinions about self-publishing are often one and the same thing. This June 24 article by David Streitfeld is intensely critical of Amazon, particularly how the company renders many of the authors who publish through it’s self-publishing arm vulnerable to copycats (and therefore copyright violators). The dangers are well-known, Streitfeld implies, but many authors and small presses feel as though they don’t have a choice other than to work with the problematic industry titan if they want wide distribution. Streitfeld makes no direct statement about the self-publishing industry as a whole, but the bread crumbs dropped throughout the article build to a general negative picture due to the widespread association between the two, and the assumption seems to be that self-publishing leaves authors and readers alike open to exploitation. Which … yes, that’s certainly worth keeping an eye on. But it’s not the only story worth telling on The New York Times broadsheet; it is, instead, a timely reminder that those of us who self-publish works outside of Amazon may need to help advocate for other authors, and raise the profile of alternatives for those seeking to break away from Amazon’s monopoly.

On a different note, this week’s article on Gulf Today by contributor Birjees Hussain serves as a different kind of reminder: That our access to works, whether self-published or traditionally published, hinges on a nascent awareness of what’s out there and how to find it. Hussain’s article serves as both an explanation of why some libraries are disappearing as well as a rallying cry for readers not to despair over the presumed fate of readership at large—routes to publication and options for purchasing and reading books are diversifying, Hussain implies, rather than simply dying out. Hussain’s argument jives nicely with industry reports on the percentage of readers who are sticking with print copies and the percentage switching to digital formats, and the continued relevance of indie bookstores to contemporary readers. Nothing has been lost, but a lot has been gained, Hussain implies. Now that’s an attitude we can support!

We’d bet that you can name at least one of them! Entrepreneur.com‘s Antar Atreya summarizes the changing definition and role of an author as such:

ow, who is an author? A couple of decades ago the definition of an author was purely one dimensional; a person who writes a book and is published by a publisher. However, the definition has now changed. Today an author creates his product; which is her or his manuscript, ensures that it will give readers some value and finds, connects and interacts with the potential target readers. So essentially this is how an author is an entrepreneur. This change is large because publishing tools, scopes and expertise are now easily available. Concepts of self-publishing companies and print on demand have also given an opportunity for authors to get their work published easily. But at the same time, they have to take greater control over their book and use different routes to reach the target readers.

What follows is a concise and useful list of reasons why entrepreneurs ought to be paying attention to self-publishing and authorship, as well as reasons why self-publishing authors ought to be paying attention to entrepreneurship. We highly recommend this read!


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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.

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