Self-Publishing News: 2.18.2020

February concept. stationery and notebook, business background

And now for the news.

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

This thoughtful piece by Emily Larson of The Clipper focuses on a subject of great interest and importance to many students (of all walks of life) in our world today: the cost and accessibility of textbooks. Students, writes Larson, have already expressed their concern over the rising cost of these all-important resources to school administrators. “However, teachers are aware of this situation. Some are already working on changing it,” Larson continues. Many instructors and professors are already pursuing more cost-effective routes, such as employing “non-traditional” textbooks that cost far less or nothing at all, depending on the source. Many are turning to something called Open Educational Resources, a loose online collection of free textbooks and other educational materials. One of the instructors Larson interviewed for the article, Nevins, “encourages students to speak up about self-publishing laws and to support their teachers. ‘The student senate could possibly set up a grant fund to support faculty in creating these textbooks,’ he suggests.” And here’s where the article touches on our field of interest: With a bit of time and elbow grease, educators can create their own custom content using any of a number of self-publishing platforms and offer educational resources for a much more affordable rate than the going cost of textbooks. This is a win for both educators and students, assuming that the educators involved have the time and elbow grease (and sometimes money) to spare. It might prove useful to educational institutions like Larson’s to optimize their professional development opportunities in order to empower their teaching staff to create these kinds of resources with adequate support.

This week, in a segment we like to think of as “self-publishing authors up to cool things,” we find Buzzfeed reporter Tanya Chen interviewing self-publishing Instagram phenom Caroline Calloway as a part of Chen’s ongoing newsletter series, which captures some of the Internet’s “top things” and Chen’s current obsessions. Calloway, whose new self-published book Scammer will release in April (or thereabouts), was the center of an Internet controversy when the Instagram star’s complicated past was written up into an article by a friend and caption co-writer. Rather than running from that experience, as many would have, Calloway took the infamy and reshaped into something true to form and brand: a book riffing on the big reveal. While Calloway still has at least one traditionally published book deal to satisfy, her self-published book Scammer promises to be much more quick to market. Says Calloway, “I think as the media landscape and freelance journalism changes, savvy businesspeople and ambitious writers will see that there is so much potential in self-publishing.” We’re already seeing the change mid-motion, with the Instagram star joining a host of other working professionals–doctors and physicians, educators, activists, and more–joining the movement to self-publish. We wish Calloway all the best as she steps into self-publishing!


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: 2.11.2020

February concept. stationery and notebook, business background

And now for the news.

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

The big news of the year is, of course, the rise and fall of one specific title–the much-lauded American Dirt. This book first made headlines after a fierce bidding war propelled it to the top of the list of sought-after books by traditional publishing houses like Hachette and Penguin Random House before landing with Macmillan. Its sympathetic portrayal of cross-border migrants meant that it appealed to the kind of reader who utilizes social media and other platforms for social activism; it came as a surprise to many (but certainly not all) that the book would eventually become something of a hot potato, with Latinx authors, readers, and academics panning its use of stereotypes even while attempting to do good. In a situation that seems like the perfect and utter reverse of the publishing stories of such blockbuster hits as Becoming by Michelle Obama and Educated by Tara Westover, American Dirt has become representative of deeper structural problems pervasive in the self-publishing industry. In this thought-provoking article on Latino USA (a branch of NPR), Christine Larson of UC Boulder attempts to detangle just why traditional publishing has become so difficult to navigate. As you might expect, self-publishing features–although in a nice twist, Larson doesn’t demonize those who seek an alternate path to publishing but rather lays out the facts:

My research has found that romance writers doubled their median income from 2009 to 2014, largely due to self-publishing. Romance authors of color, in particular, found new outlets for books excluded by white publishers. Back in 2009, before self-publishing took off, the Book Industry Study Group identified just six categories of romance novels; by 2015, it tracked 33 categories, largely driven by self-publishing. New categories included African American, multicultural, interracial and LGBT.

By 2018, at least 1.6 million books across all genres had been self-published. Nonetheless, though choice is expanding, readership has stayed flat since 2011. With more books but no more readers, it’s harder than ever to get the attention of potential buyers.

But self-publishing is just one of many factors, writes Larson, in the tangled web of publishing troubles. And when it comes to amplifying the voices of marginalized peoples, social media has become a powerful tool by “offer[ing] a powerful outlet for marginalized voices to hold the publishing industry accountable.” Larson’s entire article is well worth a read.

In this Businesswire article reporting on the findings of a recent Technavio report, things are looking rosy for those of us in the self-publishing industry over the next four years (this will come as an encouragement to those who found the American Dirt story, above, deeply saddening). The report’s findings indicate that while “The emergence of smart devices, e-books, and online subscription models has transformed both the publishing landscape as well as the reading behavior of readers,” and even medical publishing companies have gotten on board, ebooks remain a primary driver in the directions both traditional publishing and self-publishing industries will go in the years to come. A sample of the report is available at the link, and it provides more detail and analysis of both the present and the future.


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-Published Book Review: “My Dog is More Enlightened Than I Am”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this month’s featured book review:
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My Dog is More Enlightened Than I Am

by Maureen Scanlon

ISBN: 9781977210531

 

AWARDS and HONORS
* Spirited Woman Top 12 Pick List
* 2019 Author Shout Recommended Read

Synopsis*:

Follow the ways of our furry friends and learn to focus on positive thoughts and change habits!

Maureen Scanlon is a certified life and spiritual coach and relationship expert with training in cognitive behavioral therapy and NLP techniques. In her book My Dog Is More Enlightened Than I Am, Scanlon offers tips on how to take inspiration from animals to make the most of your life and nurture your relationships. Take time for yourself and find peace. Understand others’ beliefs and perspectives to learn compassion. Find the joy and happiness we all seek. All with the help of the animals in your life.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Reviews

My Dog is More Enlightened Than I Am by Maureen Scanlon is a self-help book which, as the title suggests, takes its inspiration from man’s best friend. Relax Whenever You Can, Be Spontaneous, Appreciate Our Differences, Take Care of Each Other, Self Care, No Regrets, and Be Curious are especially true and, I presume, all dog owners and lovers will be reminded of their canine friends and can easily relate to these first six chapters. The rest of the topics take their cue from the law of attraction with the writer sharing some of her experiences, both painful and joyous.

Maureen Scanlon is a certified life and spiritual coach and her book exhorts readers to emulate these loyal and carefree creatures that have been important parts of many people’s lives in more ways than one. One of the things that make this book intriguing is that we don’t only get to know her dogs Jade and Brodie but the feeling that they are hugely instrumental in the production of this inspirational work, thus they are co-authors of this book. All of us would like to make the most out of our lives and may look everywhere for inspiration, not realizing that the animals around us can help us find the peace and happiness we seek. My Dog is More Enlightened than I Am opens our eyes to the fact that there are a lot of things we can learn from animals, especially from these loyal furry creatures that will always be there for us.

Author Interview:

 

 


tuesday book review

Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space!

Self Publishing Advisor

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Self-Publishing News: 2.4.2020

February concept. stationery and notebook, business background

And now for the news.

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

Forbes has proven itself a useful platform in recent years for news regarding self-publishing breakout successes, challenges, and opportunities. This week, contributor Bryan Collins tackled the remarkable success story of Texas-based authors, business owners, and podcasters Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant–as well as their semi-anonymous third partner, who simply goes by the name Dave. Before implementing some big changes, Platt and Truant were “generating over $60,000 a month in royalties from their popular sci-fi seven-book series Invasion, for several months,” writes Collins, but when faced with the kinds of in-person events (such as interviews, convention appearances, book fairs, and so forth) that come with that level of success, they found the process to be “Diluting their focus [… and] they had less time to write genre-fiction books (science-fiction, thrillers, etc.).” Their royalties took a hit, and they took a long look at just what they wanted their legacy–their brand–to be. Together, they landed on crafting a business that resembles a story studio, in that it will employ a number of authors around the world to collaborate on diverse projects. Their vision to pour their personal profits into another way for indie and self-published authors to break out into the public eye is an inspiring one.

This recent article from Emma Shacklock on the Woman and Home website is everything you need to get started in self-publishing, from figuring out which company fits your project to sorting out the benefits of print and digital editions of your book after publication. She also touches on marketing and promotion, with advice on how to make the most of your social media presence and suggestions for maximizing your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) by way of going all in on metadata. She highlights the need for an attractive book cover design as well as a good, professional editor or proofreader depending on your book’s needs. Overall, Shacklock’s approach is the emotional as well as the practical starter kit we needed this week as a reminder of just what the essentials of self-publishing really are.


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: 1.28.2020

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.