And now for the news!
Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing!
Despite this being a slow news day (in the book world, not the larger world—our thoughts are with those currently facing down Hurricane Dorian) this beautiful gem from Black Girl Nerds caught our eye. Written by self-publishing author Erika Latanya, the piece chronicles Latanya’s journey from self-publishing to traditional publishing and back again, a fascinating little insider’s glimpse into the reasoning behind these decisions. Writes Latanya,
So, I’ve been self-publishing books for a little over two years now. In between, I signed with two different publishers because I wanted more exposure for my work. Not only did I want more exposure but I also wanted to become a bestselling author. Aye, it’s every author’s or aspiring author’s dream. Being able to claim “bestselling author” is the equivalent of earning a verified badge on social media.
But things didn’t quite go according to plan. Latanya goes on:
I wrote my first book and I just knew I’d sell a ton of copies. Ummm — that did not happen. When I signed with two different publishing companies, I assumed they could get me that badge. Ummm — I still didn’t get a badge.
Despite Latanya’s unflagging optimism, elbow grease, and even the leg up that traditional publishing is supposedly supposed to provide those authors who pursue it, selling her books remained an uphill battle. And finally? She broke out of the rut by returning to self-publishing, this time putting her own name down for the publisher and mixing up the kinds of books she was writing. But the main difference, Latanya notes, between her first (not bestseller) book and her second (bestseller) book was something else entirely:
I asked myself, “What did I do differently this time around that I hadn’t done before?” The answer is: Promote. Promote, promote, and then promote. I ran ads, held a giveaway, and even gave some books away for free. Word of mouth helped a lot, too.
While many things about publishing and self-publishing are universal experiences, much also differs from person to person. We love to raise the profile of authors who have something to say for those who are looking to get into self-publishing themselves, and Latanya is certainly fully in control of her own narrative. It’s empowering—and enlightening—to read her story. Many thanks to Black Girl Nerds for hosting her story!
Our second article for the day comes from NewsUSA by way of The Brownsville Herald, and it touches on one of the reasons why more people than ever before are moving from reading to writing self-published books. As the article puts it, “some parents are seeing gaps in the available options of topics they want to share with their children. To combat this, there is a growing trend of parents who have taken matters into their own hands and turned to self-publishing to fill these holes themselves.” Because self-publishing is a safe and welcoming space for books targeting niche audiences or covering material that isn’t quite one-size-fits-all (the way that the United States public school system must necessarily attempt to be), these parents are looking to self-publishing as a place not just to find educational and entertaining books that do what no Big Five publishing house can do, they’re ready and willing to dive into the creation process themselves! While the article is very specifically pro-KDP, its principles apply to all self-publishing companies. The article closes, “These parents have been able to create the books they couldn’t find for kids and found financial success – and sometimes a whole new career – in the process.” And that’s an idea we can get behind.
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.