Statistics Suggest Good News for the Self-Publishing Author

Bowker, the global leader in bibliographic information management, recently released 2007 book publishing statistics compiled from its Books In Print database. Based on figures from U.S. publishers, Bowker is projecting that U.S. title output  last year increased slightly from 2006 to almost 300,000 books. That’s over a quarter of a million books published in one year alone.

Here’s another interesting statistic, while traditional book publishing was basically flat last year, there was a staggering rise in the reported number of on-demand and short-run books to 134,773, pushing the grand total for projected 2007 U.S. book output to 411,422 books. In fact, Bowker has planned to separate this particular output from its traditional reporting and has begun tracking the On Demand industry segment separately.

What does this mean for you? To begin, your book may not stock in every bookstore. Or any bookstore. And it’s entirely possible that you may not want it to.

As a self-publishing author, these statistics undoubtedly suggest your sales opportunities will continue to grow and become more profitable. Sales are shifting from offline to online. More and more people are becoming comfortable with (and even accustomed to) shopping online. Selling books online is more cost-effective than selling through a typical bookstore, and that means more money in your pocket. It’s no coincidence that Amazon’s book sales numbers mirror the same increases on an annual bases. That’s good news.

It’s been said before on this blog, make sure your self-publishing choice lets you set your own retail price, royalty, and discount to take maximum advantage of shifting consumer trends.

Something to keep in mind as you wrap up your writing and begin the publishing process.

Have fun and keep writing

– Karl Schroeder 

Copywriting done right in Self-Publishing

Okay, copywrite is not actually a word. Copywriting is, and an equally important element in self-publishing your book as successfully as possible on the market.

Copywriting, as spelling would imply, has less to do with copying anything and more to do with writing. So what is copy? Copy in this case as a noun is, according to Merriam-Webster, “something considered printable or newsworthy.”

Copywriting by that definition is akin to marketing, and helps promote your book once published. It is perhaps most effectively implemented on your book’s back cover.

Studies show that a book has around 8 seconds to convince the reader to buy it. 3 seconds for the cover image to captivate them and 5 seconds for the back cover copy to sell them on the contents. The fact is most authors don’t know how to write sales copy. Sales copy is an entirely different animal, after all. A skill honed by advertisers and marketing folks.

A handful of quality self-publishers offer those services. Look for that option when choosing yours.

Have fun and keep writing (just not copy).

-Karl Schroeder