Self-Publishing News: 1.28.2020

january

And now for the news.

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

This week on the Tech Times website, Eric Hamilton gave an important recommendation for the website’s readership to take a longer look at self-publishing than many of them will have given before. This is important because the typical Tech Times reader will already have the sorts of aptitudes and interests to make self-publishing a book and promoting it on social media and through other digital outlets a success–but many of them will not have considered doing so for a variety of reasons. Hamilton appeals to the tech industry’s built-in activist leanings when he writes that “going the route of self-publishing will help someone level the playing field against traditional publishers. With self-publishing tools, authors will have access to the same industry best practices and standards that are used by traditional publishers.” Appealing to a sense of democratic justice can only resonate with generations of Tech Times readers who have come into their voices during the last few decades of increasing online engagement.

Adam Rowe, who has written about self-publishing before for Forbes, brings us another stellar piece this week in the form of an email exchange with self-publishing expert David Gaughran, who serves up his top five reasons for authors of all kinds to spend some quality time developing a robust email methodology as a part of their promotion. His reasons run the gamut from email’s particular suitability for “deepening engagement and retaining readers” to the fact that you own the content, not some social media platform that mines your material for commercial uses, to its unique ability to convert readers into book buyers. While many tout the advantages of social media promotion (including us, of course!), Gaughran writes that the motivational weight of a social media post differs from that of an email. “Through a repost,” he notes, followers “can align themselves with your brand without paying anything for the privilege. But on email, no one’s watching, which encourages genuine, monetary support.” In an age of social media supersaturation, it might just be that slowing down a moment and taking the time to develop an email list retains a certain unmitigated power.


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.

 

Self-Publishing News: 1.21.2020

january

And now for the news.

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

As mentioned last week, awards season is now well and truly underway, with some of the biggest awards for authors of self-published works either beginning their consideration periods or announcing winners. In the latter category comes arguably the biggest news of this week, the PR Underground announcement of the 2019 Best Indie Book Award winners. While the linked PR Underground article provides a great summary, the complete list of winners can be found at https://bestindiebookaward.com/live.

This week’s article from Rafael Castillo (originally published by the Express-News service and boosted by MySanAntonio.com) is one of the best pep talks we’ve ever read, and it comes just in time to pump us up for the main bulk of 2020. (Can you believe January is almost over? Neither can we!) Writes Castillo, “The internet, Instagram, Facebook and cellphones are the new masters of the mass publishing market. And that, my dear friends, is a good thing. The democratization of poetry, publishing and getting the word out will become a fad making everyone a Walt Whitman or an Emily Dickinson. The decade of the MFA artist is slowly coming to an end.” In its place, the independent author is flexing his or her artistic muscles, adds Castillo, and many a hybrid author is carving out a niche–sometimes a well-paying niche, as is the case with visual and poetic artist Rupi Kaur. While there are far more authors out there pushing the envelope than ever before, hard work is seemingly still required to get a leg up on the competition. Still, Castillo’s article is the motivation we needed this week.


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.

 

Self-Publishing News: 1.14.2020

january

And now for the news.

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

Awards season has officially begun, and not just for film and television–the publishing industry is in the thick of things with shortlists being announced left and right for the big ones: The Nobel Prize for Literature, the National Book Award, the Man Booker Prize, and many others. Self-publishing has a number of awards geared towards independent and self-published authors, with the Selfies being a great example. This week, Publishers Weekly announced the beginning of the awards process, with works under consideration, and the wheels grinding towards the announcement of a shortlist in May. The final winner will be announced in June. This is an especially exciting year for the Selfies, as 2020 marks the first year where an award will be offered for works published in the United States; up through 2019, the Selfies were a project specific to the United Kingdom only. For more about the Selfies, check out the original article (linked above).

This from Michael Kozlowski of The Good E-Reader: 73 libraries around the world passed the 1 million mark when it comes to ebook checkouts in 2019–which is to say, EACH of those 73 checked out AT LEAST 1 million ebooks. According to Kozlowski, “Half of all the libraries that joined the club had more than 2 million checkouts in 2019. Collectively, this group amassed a staggering 174 million checkouts.” That is exceptionally good news for authors of ebooks, including self-published authors; as demand and usage both increase, libraries become more willing to experiment with new ebook-lending and collection development strategies. We’ve already seen some incredibly exciting experiments taking place, including one at the Multnomah Public Library in Oregon, as we’ve reported before. Kozlowski’s article breaks down just which libraries are seeing the most success.


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.

 

Self-Publishing News: 1.7.2020

january

And now for the news.

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

One of the most useful things to do early on in a new year is sit down with a calendar and plan out what to sign up for or prepare for and when. Publishers Weekly to the rescue! This article from last week lays the groundwork for the coming “big events” of the bookish world in 2020, from regional to national to international book fairs, festivals, and conferences–including several our blog contributors and fellow bookish folk shall be attending. The PW list has some quirks in organization, in that it is sectioned off by month, but within each month the individual events are organized alphabetically, not chronologically. (So be aware of that.) We were going to say something about how certain months look particularly busy, but in spending a little more time with the list, it’s fair to say that every month is packed full of potential opportunities.

It’s never too early to pick up some new marketing and communications tricks, and along comes Eric Fischgrund of Business 2 Community with a few ideas just as we’re unpacking the new yearly planner and our fresh pack of preferred pens. And Fischgrund? He gets us. Like, really gets us. And our busy schedules, and how easy it can be to distract us from our wonderful new goals with shiny cool new things or even just the complications of everyday life. Writes Fischgrund,

Marketing and communications programs often fall through the cracks, and ideas from December are cast aside by February when new corporate directives are pursued. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

He then goes on to list the four points indicated by the article title. Several are perhaps not specifically applicable to self-publishing, but points 2 and 3 are more or less exactly the enthusiastic reminder we needed to get started on our self-publishing goals.


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.

 

Self-Publishing News: 12.31.2019

happy new year 2020

Goodbye, 2019! Happy New Year’s Eve.

And now for the news.

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

This eye-opening article by Ron Charles in the Washington Post serves as a retrospective of the last decade in publishing, including insights into many encouraging trends as well as several ones that might serve as watchwords for the future. Charles covers the phoenix-from-the-ashes return of indie bookstores as well as the rise of audiobooks, graphic novels, and female authors. He also gives room to the politicization of both adult nonfiction AND children’s picture books–at the same time as a boom in the diversity of children’s book authors and characters, the popularization of erotic romance, and the surge in print-on-demand options and availability to readers and authors alike. The world of the gatekeepers (librarians and publishers among them) grew contentious, while television and film feasted on book adaptations for the big and small screens. Charles spends much more time on each of these points than our simple summary might imply, and we cannot recommend reading this article highly enough, as each and every one of those points has huge implications for self-publishing authors and their readers.

We are loving this article from Virtual Strategy Magazine‘s Allen Smith, which serves as a straightforward but delightful survey of all of the different steps one must go through before and after digging into self-publishing. The article is a relatively brief one, which makes it a good and quick browse for this holiday season.

Chandler Bolt contributed this excellent piece for Influencive, a website dedicated to “unconventional wisdom” and “influential minds.” He writes that “When we picture something as significant as writing and releasing a book, doubt starts to creep in. Our hardwired instinct to stay in our comfort zone and protect ourselves from failure is powerful and shouldn’t be underestimated.” But that protective instinct can often translate into a lack of confidence, and that lack of confidence can paralyze authors who are entirely deserving of being widely read. But there’s never been a better time to become an author, Bolt argues, in part because of the proliferation of possibilities and options and opportunities and services, including a number of self-publishing platforms that are easily available at the click of a button.


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.

Self-Publishing News: 12.17.2019

December banner with fir branches.

Welcome to December!

And now for the news.

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

The big news in self-publishing this week is, of course, about as politically charged and divisive as it gets. As such, we’re not going to get too deeply into the woods here, but simply point out that there’s some confusion over what self-publishing platforms, specifically, were at play. The Washington Post article linked here mentions self-publishing three times, each time going on to name Medium and “some other self-publishing platforms” or “other blogs and self-publishing platforms.” One can certainly use blogging platforms such as Medium to self-publish short form pieces like articles and short stories, but it’s not widely or at least entirely considered one and the same as other (legitimately and uncontestedly and solely) self-publishing platforms. This is because many self-publishing companies and websites offer proofing and editorial services or can otherwise check for deliberately spread misinformation, which would make them unlikely places to find something like the list mentioned in the news just now. All this to say—self-publishing can look like a lot of different things, and it’s articles like this that muddy the waters and lead to increased stigma.

Now that we’ve gotten the least fun and most unavoidable news out of the way, here’s a palate-cleanser! This article from Blake Morrison of The Guardian is everything we needed to remind us that yes, creative work is valuable, and yes, self-publishing is everything we need it to be right now—a force for good. Morrison addresses self-publishing’s place in the larger ecosystem of memoir-writing and publication, writing:

The outlets for publishing memoirs have diversified too. Small presses and the subscription publisher Unbound have widened the field. Self-publishing also plays a part, as does the internet: from online blog to book-length memoir is an obvious trajectory, since both are first-person discourse offering an intimate relationship with readers.

And while we thoroughly advocate for reading the whole article, we can think of no better way to end our article today than with a quote Morrison includes by author and memoirist Katherine Angel.

The memoirist will always be asked, with a hint of disapproval: was writing the book therapeutic? But to Katherine Angel, in her recent Daddy Issues, “it’s the wrong question. The more accurate formulation, for me, is that writing is how I experience my experience. Until writing, in mere living, everything is out of focus.”

“Until writing, in mere living, everything is out of focus.” The act of writing is an act of vision, and a way of framing the world for ourselves and others to re-envision their own choices and experiences. What more important work is there than that? What more important endeavor than the one self-publishing helps make possible?


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.

Self-Publishing News: 12.10.2019

December banner with fir branches.

Welcome to December!

And now for the news.

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

This week, web platform IdeaStream showed up for self-publishing in a major way in the form of an article by Carrie Wise on the stigma (still somewhat) attached to self-publishing. And while we’ve come a long way, writes wise, there are still authors like Shondra Longino (AKA Abby L. Vandiver) “still feel it.” In Wise’s article, Longino notes that she “think[s] more and more people are finding that self-published authors, you know, are good writers and their books are good. But […] there’s still a bias, and they hold us [to] a higher standard.” Longino recently found herself courted by traditional publishers, one sign that the market really is changing and that publishers themselves are now looking to self-published books as a resource and discovery system. Wise also records the changes taking place in how libraries, bookstores, and nonprofits in order to celebrate existing self-published works and support those authors choosing that path.

 Cleveland independent bookstore Loganberry Books carries self-published authors primarily on consignment, according to book buyer Elisabeth Plumlee-Watson.

The stigma around self-publishing “is certainly much less than it was 10 years ago,” she said.

Area libraries are also carrying more self-published books. Akron-Summit County Public Library makes a point to feature local authors. Cuyahoga County Public Library takes the lead on self-published books from the media, picking up ones reviewed locally or nationally. Cuyahoga County also has a writers’ center at the South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch.

But one’s very definition of “success” can shift an experience from negative to positive, Wise hints, quoting musician and self-published author Zach Fenell: “Do not let… somebody else’s opinion of be the reason you don’t self-publish.” The world has come a long way from when self-publishing first became an option, with stigma taking a rapid slide into background noise, but if you do happen to stumble into the middle of some, don’t let it get to you–there’s an entire community of supporters, as evidenced by Wise’s article, eager to show up for you.

In Spokane’s The Spokesman-Review, contributor Jared Brown covers the story of self-publishing author Libbie Grant’s journey to success (on her own terms, of course). Grant, who publishes under the pen names Libbie Hawker, Olivia Hawker, and L.M. Ironside, first built up an audience for her writing through the publication of several works of historical fiction, then began branching out once those books reached a loyal audience. Writes Brown, “The audiences for Grant’s pseudonyms overlap very little except for hardcore fans, she said. At one time, she thought about using initials as a veil for her gender. But Grant said the feminist in her decided she wanted to win a Pulitzer Prize in spite of persisting gender bias.” She also was determined to fight any remaining stigma, as we covered, above: “‘There’s a myth among people who love books that great books are always published,’ Grant said. ‘But that’s just not the case.'” We are so in love with her point of view!


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.