And now for the news!
Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing!
This article came as a bit of a (welcome) surprise, courtesy of The Richest, and contributor Karen Simao. Simao provides brief biographical snippets about each author she features, with a quick reminder that “the internet has also changed this market. Since some years ago, the public has seen talented writers who self-published their books online and are making a fortune. Some of them were rejected many times by traditional publishers.” A quick note, though: this list is not synonymous with the top ten authors in regards to earnings, but every author included has become a millionaire as a result of their work, traditionally or self-published—and that alone puts them all in the top tier of author-earners. Of the self-publishing authors she profiles, we’ve mentioned a few already here on the blog: Amanda Hocking, EL James, and David Chilton come to mind. A number of other authors, including Michael J. Sullivan, have published through both traditional and self-publishing channels, demonstrating yet again that these choices are not always in competition with each other. Self-publishing has a healthy and important role in the marketplace, democratizing access for both readers and authors.
Another great article this week comes from Nicole Serena Silver, an author as well as founder of Ignitingfp.com and GROWmyfuture.org, two entrepreneurial-inspired (and inspiring) portals for the curious-minded. Silver set out to write without a clear idea of what the publication process might look like. She writes, “I did not realize the complexity of the journey I was about to embark on.” The challenges were numerous:
Did you know paperweight makes a huge difference on how potential buyers subconsciously perceive the quality of your book? Yup, I did not know that. Did you know that the newest trend is soft touch books? Soft touch books feel cheap like wrapped plastic books, yuck. At least in my opinion — no offence meant if you like them. Did you know that Shopify rocks?! It’s a super helpful resource for selling your book independently without Amazon taking a ginormous cut and it can also increase your brand quality. There are lots of little details, all which I am figuring out every step along the way.
And while Silver’s article is not itself long, it opens an important door in the conversation about self-publishing, and also points readers to more of her thoughts on the subject, which can be found through her various social media platforms. More at the link!
This piece from Barbara Lane of Datebook is an important one, as it deals with a question at the heart of self-publishing: what is the value and role of a so-called “vanity press”? Many times, you’ll find self-publishing companies fighting to create linguistic distance between what their businesses do and what vanity presses do, given what Lane is talking about when she writes that “In many cases […] having your book published by a vanity press, as the name implies, carries something of a stigma. After all, if your book is any good, wouldn’t one of the reputable publishing houses want the honor of bringing it into the world and pay you for the privilege?” The answer might be a surprising one to some, given that Lane sees vanity presses and hybrid publishing companies as helping to fill a growing void and answering a need in the publishing industry. Writes Lane, “As the publishing world becomes increasingly competitive and the purse strings ever more tightly drawn, it’s become harder and harder to get a contract with a traditional publisher. To meet the needs of writers dying to get their work out, a new crop of hybrid publishers has sprung up. It’s a whole new game out there.” Nobody likes to spend money if they (a) don’t think they need to, or (b) are not receiving fair value for their investment. And Lane acknowledges that $7,500.00 (the cost to publish through She Writes Press) is a hefty price tag, but she also notes that many authors who choose a similar route are turning to crowdsourcing in order to pay off publishing fees. She also notes that one’s reason for publishing plays an important role in determining which publishing route is best suited. A worthy opening salvo of what we hope is an ongoing conversation!
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.