And now for the news!
Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing!
While the whole notion of a “side” hustle is up for debate when it comes to self-publishing (we’ve spent quite a lot of page-space talking about the work that’s necessary to make a real success out of it here on the blog), we find ourselves smiling while reading Abdullahi Muhammed’s suggestions on Forbes this last week. Muhammed himself writes that “you may need to experiment with different eBook niches, pricing and promotion strategies before you’ll start seeing tangible profits,” after all. It may be a bit of a surprise to find self-publishing ranked equal with housesitting, renting “stuff” out (such as your parking spot or car), and crafting an online course to showcase your specific skills, but as Muhammed reminds us, we live in a gig economy now. And that means … it’s a tough world out there, and diversifying your income sources is always a good plan.
“Libraries are changing,” writes NPR affiliate Mountain West News Bureau’s Rae Ellen Bichell, and one of the ways they’re changing is in the services they’re offering to their users. They’re also helping offset the problems sparked by what Bichell calls “news deserts”:
More than 170 counties across the country have no local newspaper, and half of all counties only have one — according to a recent report from the University of North Carolina School of Media and Journalism. Other studies suggest these growing “news deserts” contribute to low voter turnout, increasing partisanship and even makes local government more expensive to taxpayers.
How do libraries play into this? At least in one town, the local library has helped support a group of local residents in starting their own news publication, one that has faced the usual challenges of a community-run endeavor: funding problems and volunteer scheduling. They hit on a solution that looks an awful lot like how many libraries secure steady funding: a special district. “And what are libraries […] if not nonpartisan, nonprofit sources of trusted information chock full of some of the nation’s best information ninjas?” One of Bichell’s interviewees “dreams of the library housing not just a staff of local journalists, but also tools for citizen journalists to cover their community, like a makerspace for news.”
How does self-publishing fit in? Bichell writes that:
In the most literal sense of content creation, a growing number of libraries host equipment for physically producing new material, like 3-D printers and machinery for self-publishing actual books. In a broader sense, Kerr adds, they’re already starting to share more characteristics with news organizations — like the libraries that have podcasting equipment and green screens available, or even the ones with plans to house a public TV channel in the same building.
The future is wild, but we can’t imagine a better future than one where libraries are looked to by all as centers for boosting information access and countering misinformation—whether we’re talking about traditionally published books, self-published books, sort-of-self-published news resources, or any number of other possibilities. We’re here for it.
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.