Self-Publishing News: 3.10.2020

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And now for the news.

Highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing:

Self-publishing is HUGE in the United States, and very accessible. But what about in other countries? This article from the Regina Leader-Post out of Saskatchewan, Canada, offers some interesting insights into just what the industry has done to instill change beyond our national borders. Lynn Giesbrecht chronicles the journey of one author whose work was published traditionally, only for the publishing house that released it to go bankrupt shortly after, taking her book down with it. The grim summary is that “the cost of producing a book in Canada has jumped by 40 per cent since the 1990s while retail book prices have remained virtually the same. This has caused profit margins for the publisher to drop from between 10 and 12 per cent per book to single digits.” But not all is looking so grim, writes Giesbrecht: one respected author of science fiction has recently gone indie, reporting that “Over the last few years, Willett has seen a steady rise in the number of Saskatchewan authors turning to self-publishing or using local publishers instead of submitting their manuscripts to the major companies.” While the loss of any small or indie publishing company is a hard blow to the province of Saskatchewan, the general attitude seems to remain one of upbeat ambition.

On the one hand, this review in the form of a forward is just that: a review of a book about academics who have successfully carved out a niche beyond traditional academia, making use of new platforms and new opportunities courtesy of this digital, connected, global age. But on the other hand, this review/forward by Joshua Kim to the website Inside Higher Ed gives us a critical insight into the ways in which self-publishing has become foundational to even general conversations about the state of supposedly “unrelated” fields. As we’ve noted in previous news summaries and other pieces here on the Self-Publishing Advisor blog, many professors are moving away from traditional textbooks and towards open resources that their students can access for free. In an age where the average textbook seems to cost more than a bout of gambling in a Vegas casino, it’s hard to justify paying for–or asking one’s students to pay for–a book that they’ll likely never look at again, save to perhaps (if they’re lucky) pass it off to another student at a fraction of the price. But Kim’s summary, while it is specifically referring to just the one book, also hints at whole new aspects of connection between academia and self-publishing. It builds a case for the 1974 self-published The Moosewood Cookbook helping launch a generation of “vegetarian academics,” academics who were more likely to question the status quo, and more likely to pursue “alt-academic” careers, and more likely to turn to open resource and self-published materials as resources–or create them themselves. Are we reading a little too much into this? We leave it to you to decide.


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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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