Self-Publishing News: 4.2.2019

the word "april" from the wooden letters

And now for the news!

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

This week, we have two big how-to articles from two big media sources that normally don’t spend a lot of time thinking or publishing content related to self-publishing. The first comes from Barbara Krasnoff of The Verge, who writes to cover the “new technologies [which have] appeared and revolutionized the industry”—that is, this new industry that you and I find ourselves a part of: self-publishing, also often referred to as indie publishing. Krasnoff begins by tracing the history of self-publishing—something we have probably often already read about, if not on The Verge—before touching base with a number of authors who have pursued self-publication and delving into the how-to section. Krasnoff concludes:

In short, the process of publishing your own book can be both very simple and very complex. The actual mechanics of publishing an ebook, or even a print book, has become relatively easy, especially if you give yourself to the Amazon ecosystem. However, doing it well — and gaining a following of readers who will enjoy and buy your books — is not as easy. It takes trial and error, patience, and work. But if you’re a writer, and you want people to read your books, it’s certainly worth it.

Overall, Krasnoff’s approach is both nuanced and richly complex, drawing as it does on the real and lived experiences of authors with experience in the field. A worthy read!

Equally as unexpected—and equally as delightful—is this article from Kelley O’Brien of Women, whose article proves to be exactly what its title implies: a getting-started guide for authors looking to break into romance, including by way of self-publication. She opens her section on self-publishing by writing:

Every romance fan knows that Amazon is filled with self-published romance authors, some of whom are as popular, if not more popular, than traditionally published authors. It’s necessary to preface that self-publishing isn’t for everyone. It’s a ton of work. You’ll have to handle everything an agent or publisher would normally take care of, such as book promotion. You also won’t have the support of an agent or publisher.

It can also be very rewarding. Self-publishing, by far, gives you the most control over your work. You always retain the rights to your books. You get to set your own deadlines and won’t have to wait months or longer for your book to start bringing in money.

While she also touches on traditional publishing methods, O’Brien makes sure that authors interested in going indie have a solid foundation and a good place to start the process.


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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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Self-Publishing News: 3.26.2019

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And now for the news!

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

The Good E-Reader is back with more excellence, this time with a piece by contributor Michael Kozlowski on exciting developments in the world of manga—a visual art form most often described as the print version of anime—and the opening of a new self-publishing platform for that genre. As with any other new development in indie and self-publishing—whether or not it relates to a genre or field we personally read—the mere fact that more options are opening up for creators and readers in a genre and field parallel to our own is exciting, indeed. We’re excited to see what comes from VIZ Originals latest project!

Speaking of fascinating developments in the vein of “modes/genres/fields I didn’t know could take part in self-publishing but definitely are“, the latest news from Michael Futter of Variety relates to developments in the videogame industry, one which has long been the subject of conversation around alternate, indie, and self-published games—and how difficult it can be for a new studio or development company to “break in” against the kind of competition that churns out all of the PS3 and XBox games you may already be familiar with. Crowdfunding, which involves requesting many small promises of financial support from thousands of supporters before distribution can happen, may just be the way of the future. Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and GoFundMe have now been around for long enough that the mere act of crowdfunding has evolved since its early days—and Futter is here with the details in an engaging and delightfully voicy piece that updates us all on where things are now.

It’s something of an open secret that people are really, really good at policing each others’ definitions. Luckily, Dave Armstrong of Patheos manages to steer clear of many of the policing stumbling blocks one might fall over in attempting to understand the self-publishing experience in the context of its stigma—and comparisons to the traditional publishing model—by framing his piece through an interview with Karl Keating, another successful author. Speaking of “voicy” articles, Armstrong’s is a pleasure to read, rich with humor and also with the kind of spicy—and highly useful—details that may just provide a self-publishing author new to the market figure out some of the process, including how to price e-books and how to select a platform that works for you instead of restricting you from doing what you really want to do, and how to craft covers that you wouldn’t mind readers judging the book by. All in all, it’s a great little introduction to the act of self-publishing, and also includes details that may be of use to authors writing in the genre of religious and Christian literature. Be prepared to learn about Amazon sales rankings!


spa-news

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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Self-Publishing News: 3.19.2019

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And now for the news!

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

“As dramatic technology shifts continue, book publishers,” writes Barbara Pellow of Printing Impressions, “authors and printers need to adapt to benefit from new opportunities.” Reporting from a a recent Book Business Webinar, Pellow describes her experiences interviewing three key players in the indie book world: David Walter, Executive Director of Client Development at the NDP Group, Inc., Brian O’Leary, Executive Director for the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), and Angela Bole, CEO for the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA). They discussed current trends in books emerging in 2019, as well as some constructive decisions booksellers, authors, and industry experts can all make in order to take advantage—and thrive in an ever-more-complicated market. What’s the bottom line? Writes Pellow, “The challenge for the industry is to capitalize on new business models and to re-engineer processes and workflows for a digital business, even while supporting their traditional print business”: a lesson we can all learn from.

We haven’t, overall, spent much time on the Columbus Dispatch website, but this week that all changed with the paper’s coverage of Delana Jensen Close’s forays into self-publishing. With a byline by Kevin Stankiewicz, the Dispatch unpacked Close’s story, beginning with two compelling opening lines:

In 1955, Delana Jensen Close began to write a book.

It’s finished now; it just took 63 years.

Close was 95 last year when she finished her first book, The Rock House, and her family set about publishing the 806-page tome through Amazon. The book, writes Stankiewicz, covers a lot of ground:

Set in the early 20th century, “The Rock House” follows the life of Abigail Langley, who is maligned in her tiny religious town after having a baby out of wedlock with the son of a wealthy, well-connected man. The son, Adam Townsend, heads east for medical school before Abigail can tell him she is pregnant.

The rest, as they say, is historical fiction of high caliber. And while the book itself sounds fascinating, we’re above all fascinated by the story of its 63-year development, as well as with the woman behind the book: 96-year-old Delana Jensen Close, an inspiration to us all.


spa-news

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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Self-Publishing News: 3.12.2019

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And now for the news!

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

In news that will delight indie music lovers, SPIN contributor Maggie Serota is spreading the word about singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey ‘s latest venture: a poetry collection that the indie sensation is more or less giving away for (almost) free. Del Rey, whose online fans and followers are legion, is determined to boost the work of local indies by delivering boxes of her finished books personally. Writes Serota, “Del Rey fans who live outside of California can read Del Rey’s poetry for free on her Instagram page, but the hand-bound volume of her writing does seem like a nice collectors’ item.” We’ll be watching her progress closely to see how this musician, who has managed to build a platform in the most unlikeliest and yet most earnest and winsome of ways, lends the self-publishing and self-promotion process her personal touch.

In yet another stellar piece for Forbes, Adam Rowe writes to update the magazine’s loyal readers on what’s happening int he indie book scene … at least from the perspective of one person somewhat central to the movement: publishing startup Reedsy’s co-founder and CEO, Emmanuel Nataf. Rowe’s interview with Nataf is enlightening, with the Reedsy CEO unpacking three of what he considers to be the biggest trends to watch over the remainder of 2019: the rise of “escapist fiction” (in Nataf’s words; more colloquially these are referred to as works of speculative fiction, science fiction and fantasy, romance, and other popular or genre fictions); the continued ascent of young adult (or “YA”) fiction as a major force in the book market as the digital natives who make up a significant percentage of its readership settle into adulthood and a market force of their own; and the maturation of nonfiction and memoir as a category. We think these are some interesting premises, and are looking forward to seeing whether Nataf’s predictions come true.

Last but not least, another update from Forbes, this time from contributor Elaine Pofeldt, who lasers in on more big news from Reedsy—the launch of another platform for book recommendations and discovery, aptly titled “Reedsy Discovery.” As with Goodreads and Amazon recommendations, as well as paid services such as Book Riot’s “TBR” (standing for “Tailored Book Recommendations”), Reedsy Discovery is aimed at boosting the visibility of books that might otherwise slip under the raider, including (and perhaps even especially) indie and self-published titles. We’ll continue to track the progress of Reedsy’s new offering to see how it manages to compete in a crowded marketplace.


spa-news

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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Self-Publishing News: 2.26.2019

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And now for the news!

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

Forbes has well and truly been showing up for those amongst its readership who are self-publishing authors lately, and Amy Morin’s recent piece is yet another example of this excellent representation. Morin, whose website describes her as “a psychotherapist turned ‘accidental’ author,” knows the stakes when it comes to building a brand and crafting resources for others, including books. Morin has traditionally published three books domestically to date, but she understands the value to self-published works as well. In fact, her fifth “way” in this article is to publish a book in the manner most suited to your individual circumstance. Writes Morin:

While some people insist a self-published book is the way to go, others say traditional publishing is more profitable. But, publishing isn’t a one-size-fits-all. It depends on your topic.

If you have (a) small niche market, you may need to self-publish. Then, it’s up to you to decide whether to create a $50 manual or a $l.99 eBook.

She also advocates for traditional publication in other circumstances, but it’s heart-warming to see even this traditionally published author showing up for and advocating for self-publishing.

Good e-Reader is another news platform that has routinely showed up for self-publishing authors, and this week’s article by Mercy Pilkington demonstrates their continued support for authors seeking another way. Pilkington opens by describing just how far self-publishing has come, from origins shrouded in stigma and production difficulties to high-quality works offering diverse opportunities for diverse authors. Pilkington’s article is especially concerned with those authors who self-publish with the goal of having their self-published title or future works picked up for traditional publication. She touches on a recent blog post by powerhouse literary agent Anne Tibbets, who warns authors that already-self-published works are not the best candidates for making that transition, and offers this advice to authors wanting to make the leap from self-published to traditional publication:

Tibbets does offer some advice for seeking a traditional publishing deal, but there’s bad news: the advice itself isn’t new. “Write a whole new book that’s completely unrelated to anything you’ve self published, that’s unsold anywhere, unpublished anyplace (even online), and fits into the traditional publishing categories, sub-genres, and word count requirements, and query agents with that novel.”

We might put it another way: If you’ve successfully self-published a book already, the incentive to republish your book traditionally is marginal (you’re already making bank, and a traditional publisher will cut into your profits). Most people who are self-publishing these days are choosing to do so because self-publishing is the only or the best fit for their book anyway. There are plenty of reasons to self-publish, including the narrow selection parameters traditional publishers employ when picking manuscripts which exclude many high-quality works worth reading. And readers know this! One glance at the comments might well indicate that there’s still some negative opinions floating around in the ether, but a second glance will show that there are readers and commenters going to bat for self-publishing, as well:

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As in all things, don’t let the haters get you down! Listen to those who know the value to your dreams.


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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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Self-Publishing News: 2.19.2019

February concept. stationery and notebook, business background

And now for the news!

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

It has been a long time since we’ve written about the Espresso Book Machine (EBM) on this blog, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not still out there and making a big difference. And they’re still newsworthy! Last Fall, the iconic New York bookstore Shakespeare & Co. closed its doors on its original historic location and reopened them elsewhere in New York, with the added bonus of an Espresso Book Machine! For those not already read into the EBM and what it can do, Mackenzie Dawson breaks it down this way for readers of the New York Post: ‘If a title is not available on the shelves, the patented 3D printer Espresso Book Machine can print one “in the time it takes to brew an espresso.”‘ She quotes bookstore CEO Dane Neller, who went on to add:

“I felt that the future of bookstores was smaller stores, community-based and experiential. This technology is like bringing the warehouse into the store, allowing us to offer customers the selection of Amazon.”

And there, we very much agree. The EBM isn’t limited to Amazon selections, however; EBMs also allow customers to bring their own media for printing in a variety forms, including UB. For more on how the EBM works, check out their online brochure.

Romance is big business, as Kim Komando would be (and is) the first to tell you. On Valentine’s Day last week, Komando write that “More than half of the top 20 books on Amazon’s romance best-seller list are titles from its book-publishing arm or are from self-published authors.” And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Komando’s words of wisdom; she also notes that while “Romance is serious business” indeed, “Some authors make six figures a month selling love stories. And to keep their books at the top of the charts, authors are known to spend upwards of $50,000 a month in advertising.” So even though “Love doesn’t always make sense,” as Komando would put it, “for eBook authors, it can make dollars.” And it costs dollars, too. Keep an eye on Komando’s website for more developments on this front; she knows the industry.

One of this last week’s more interesting developments comes from an unexpected corner of the internet: Psychology Today, not exactly our usual go-to spot for news on publishing. But this week? This week they’re in our corner, and they’ve got our back. PT contributor Marty Nemko, PhD, unfolds his own self-publishing story:

I’ve written 11 books, most published by Wiley, Random House’s Ten Speed Press, etc. Yet perhaps surprisingly, I feel best about the few I self-published using Amazon’s CreateSpace and its Kindle Direct. And here’s the punchline: That’s true even though those self-published books have sold far worse than my commercially published ones.

Especially today, when most publishers will look only at agented submissions—and it’s hard to get a respected agent—I believe it’s usually wise to write for self-publication, even if you’ve previously written books that have sold well. Indeed, I made that choice with four of my five most recent books.

So why is he such an advocate for self-publishing?

It comes down to the process, writes Nemko, and he gets into the fascinating psychology of why, exactly, self-publishing might be of benefit to everyone. We cannot recommend this article enough!


spa-news

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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Self-Publishing News: 2.13.2019

February concept. stationery and notebook, business background

And now for the news!

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

While it’s difficult to tell if any article could really ever tell us everything we need to know about self-publishing, much less publishing at large, Forbes’ latest piece from Forbes Coaches Council member and contributor Divya Parekh makes an intense effort to do so. Fittingly for a website dedicated to more many more topics than publishing, Parekh’s article opens with a bit of framing discussion about content creation and personal branding generally, and what it is that draws consumers to content. Writes Parekh, “A universal truth for most people is that they have something in their lives they believe others would want to read. This is especially true of anyone who is successful in their profession and has a business or life philosophy they want to share with the world or a story to tell.” Parekh goes on to describe the high points about what has changed, what has stayed the same, and those misleading myths which have always swirled around book publication. For Parekh, writing a book isn’t just for those who have always had the itch and the urge to put pen to paper; rather, publishing is about spreading one’s brand and building one’s sphere of influence. “Like a snowball rolling down a hill that gathers speed and mass as it travels down the slope, your book will do the same for you in spreading your brand and message,” Parekh writes. To read more, follow the link.

Actor Laura Cayoutte, famous for her roles in films such as Django Unchained and Kill Bill: Volume II, is also a successful self-publishing author. According to Earl Hodges of NOLA, Cayouette has now self-published seven books (Know Small Parts: An Actor’s Guide to Turning Minutes into Moments and Moments into a Career perhaps her most widely known publication, while Lemonade Farm and her Charlotte Reade mystery series are also popular), and has scored celebrity reviews. Writes Hodges, “In her career as an actor and writer, Cayouette has learned a few things about taking risks and moving to the next level. And she generously encourages and shares with others who have dreams of their own that they are pursuing.” This article chronicles not just some of Cayoutte’s shared wisdom, but also the experiences of those who lucky enough to attend the January meeting of the South Louisiana chapter of Romance Writers, which also featured self-publishing author Farrah Rochon and SLRW’s president-elect, Devon Alexander.


spa-news

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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