Self-Publishing News: 11.13.2018

november

And now for the news!

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

“Kevin Guest does not recall the date his family’s lumber mill in Columbia Falls burned to the ground. A trusted employee had sparked the blaze while welding,” opens this recent article from the Daily Inter-Lake‘s Duncan Adams. The article follows the self-publication of Kevin Guest’s new book, All the Right Reasons, and his subsequent appearance in October on The Dr. Oz show to promote the book. The book, which purports on its cover to teach the “12 Timeless Tips for Living a Life in Harmony,” chronicles the rest of that one particular story–among others–as an illustration of these principles. Says Guest, “My parents were devastated, but because kindness and forgiveness were two of my dad’s core values, I don’t remember ever hearing him say anything derogatory about that employee.” Afterward, writes Adams, “Francis Guest and a partner rebuilt the lumber mill and carried on. The employee who inadvertently started the fire still had a job.” Throughout the book, Guest draws upon a deep well of family experiences and principles. Although his roots are in Montana, he now lives in Utah, where he works for USANA–and is not hurting for money. Why did he choose to self-publish, Adams asks? “Not to make money,” he answers. “He said he is donating all proceeds from the book to help feed starving children.” For Guest, self-publishing is about crafting a legacy which will live on through the generations. Read more of Adams’ excellent article at the link!

Big news from the science fiction and fantasy community! Locus recently posted the news that Bowker, the industry number-cruncher, “has updated their self-publishing statistics with numbers from 2017 – the first year with more than one million self-published books carrying ISBNs. Bowker counted 1,009,188 ISBNs issued to self-published authors, a 28% increase over 2016.” The article goes on to note that while this number looks pretty high already, it may not even remotely touch the real figure, “as many ebook authors don’t bother with ISBNs at all since Amazon, the dominant ebook retailer, doesn’t require them.” Such enormous growth is not especially new to self-publishing; the indie corner of the market has seen steady (and sometimes exponential) growth since its origins in the early 1990s. (Although if you read this article from Jamie Fitzgerald of Poets & Writers from 2913, it’s pretty clear we’ve been self-publishing–sort of–since clay tablets and cuneiform were a thing.) There’s no sign that things are slowing down, either, or that reader demand for new material is lessening. It’s always a good time to get in on the ground floor of self-publishing!

There’s no one-size-fits-all path to follow when it comes to breaking into the self-publishing market, as military romance author Cristin Harber discovered. In a recent article for Zebra, contributor Kris Gilbertson tracks her progress from early days retreating from busy days working in grassroots politics to a crucial stage of exploring her options and pursuing workshops on craft and publication. Writes Gilbertson, Harber’s introduction to self-publishing came as an unexpected–but welcome–surprise: “In July 2013, at an Atlanta writing conference, Harber set up a meeting about a traditional contract situation, but she had time to fill. She went to a workshop where three prominent names in romance writing – Barbara Freethy, Bella Andre, and Lilliana Hart – were presenting about self-publishing. It was a new and not fully accepted concept then. Harber stepped in out of curiosity, with no intention of following up, but found herself enthralled.” And she did follow up on that workshop, mastering the skills necessary to format and publish her work, then building a fanbase through careful planning. Now a New York Times and USA Today Best Selling author, Harber “realized early on that more than an entrepreneur or small business owner, she was a whole publishing house: the researcher, the CEO, CMO, CIO. When her website was hacked last year, a Go Daddy tech asked to speak with her webmaster. She said hold on a moment, paused, then said ‘Hello!'” Packed with wisdom and riveting in its own right, Gilberton’s profile of this titan in the self-publishing field is well worth a read.


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.

icon logo self publishing advisor

From the Archives: “Self-Publishing Statistics – Trends in E-book Consumerism”

Welcome back to our Tuesday segment, where we’ll be revisiting some of our most popular posts from the last few years.  What’s stayed the same?  And what’s changed?  We’ll be updating you on the facts, and taking a new (and hopefully refreshing) angle on a few timeless classics of Self Publishing Advisor.

∗∗∗∗∗

[ Originally posted: June 6th, 2012 ]

Since November 2009, Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading, a survey conducted by Book Industry Study Group’s (BISG), has been tracking the habits and preferences of book consumers who have acquired an e-book or a dedicated e-reading device within the past 18 months. The report shows important information for authors and publishers. Not only do the findings squash the pessimistic rumors that the publishing industry is dying, but the report also gives authors and publishers a glimpse at the future of publishing. Here is an overview of some of the most interesting and hopeful statistics.

  • Readers’ preference for designated e-readers has dropped from 72% to 58%, while readers’ preference for multi-functional tablets has increased from 13% to 24%.
  • The Apple iPad was not the preferred tablet; instead, readers choose non-Apple devices, such as those offered by Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
  • More than 62% of survey respondents reported an increase in dollars spent on e-books.
  • More than 72% of survey respondents reported an increase in the number of e-books they are purchasing.

The movement from e-readers to tablets is important for authors and publishers to be aware of because it offers insight to what readers want. As multi-functional tablet devices become more popular, authors and publishers will be expected to produce a richer, more interactive e-book experience. In addition, the increase in e-book sales is great news for authors and publishers. It shows that there is a demand for great writing and that publishing, though in a new format, is still alive. If you are considering self-publishing a book, be sure to consider offering both a print and electronic version of your book. This will ensure that you appeal to both e-book and print consumers.

– by Kelly Shuknecht

We’ve written about the changes in the long-term outlook for e-books more recently than this 2012 post, but I think it’s important to look a little further back in time–to a moment in the history of e-books when it looked as though both print and e-book models might have unlimited growth possibilities.  But of course, they don’t–unlimited growth often looks possible in the early stages of a new market, only to slow and eventually plateau when that market’s growth reaches a balance with existing ones.

Bowker Report

In the case of e-books, the market held steady through some fairly revolutionary changes within the distribution platform––from dedicated e-readers to iPads and tablets to mobile––but the bottom ultimately dropped out after Hachette and Amazon resolved their price-fixing dispute.  And I have to be careful when I weigh the consequences of this dispute, since one of the oft-quoted reasons Hachette brought its suit in the first place was to negotiate better terms for its authors.  One of the end results has been, of course, that booksellers and publishers were able to jack up their prices for e-books, often reducing the price difference between print and e-book editions to a pittance.  And if buying an e-book saves readers just two or three dollars off of a print price (often in excess of $20 for new books), the preference for the weight of a print book in hand wins out.

Or at least, that’s what sales figures are showing. People still read print books.  And they’re not about to stop reading e-books either, due to their portability.  But there’s no getting around it: “Consumer behavior has changed,” says Randy Petway, Chief Revenue Officer at Ingenta.  When asked by Publishing Perspectives what the greatest challenge facing publishers today might be, he responded that it’s “Understanding and adapting to the way content is bought and read since the rise of digital publishing.”  We may have reached a new equilibrium in the quantity of e-books sold, but we have yet to fully contextualize this new market in other ways––including finance and law. This place we’ve reached is a messy one, as Petway reminds us, but it’s also rife with opportunities.  What will be our next step forward?

Thanks for reading.  If you have any other ideas, I’d love to hear them.  Drop me a line in the comments section below and I’ll respond as quickly as I can.  ♠

From the Archives: “Statistics Suggest Good News for the Self-Publishing Author”

Welcome back to our Tuesday segment, where we’ll be revisiting some of our most popular posts from the last few years.  What’s stayed the same?  And what’s changed?  We’ll be updating you on the facts, and taking a new (and hopefully refreshing) angle on a few timeless classics of Self Publishing Advisor.

∗∗∗∗∗

[ Originally posted: December 17th, 2008 ]

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.

by Karl Schroeder

While in many ways the e-book and digital book industries have stabilized, reaching a kind of balance with print publishing in the wake of Hachette’s price-fixing settlement with Amazon, much has changed.  Nielson, for example, is reporting that “in 2014, US publishers sold almost 142.5 million adult fiction titles in the three major print formats (hardback, trade paperback and mass market paperback) and 132 million ebooks (across all platforms).”  To put that in the context of Karl’s original statistics, Publisher’s Weekly and Bowker both reported that earlier, in 2013, “the number of self-published titles rose [by] 16.5%, to 458,564. The increase was due entirely to the release of new print books which rose 28.8% to 302,622 offsetting a decline in self-published e-books which fell 1.6%, to 155,942.”  In less than a decade, then, the number of self-published books outpaced the total number of books of ALL kinds published in the United States in 2007.  Not only that, but there are now more self-published print books alone being published each yer than there were traditionally published books in 2007.
bowker

But what does this mean for you, the indie author, in 2016?

First of all, it means you’re not just on the cutting edge any more–you’re part of a phenomenon.  And because self-publishing is in some ways the new normal, that presents both some very good and some very hard news.  Good news first: there are loads more resources out there and available to you now than there were a decade ago.  You can probably find a “how-to” step-by-step guide for each and every aspect of self-publishing just by hopping on Google and typing in a few keywords.  Need to convert your book to a new format or launch a fresh marketing campaign?  There are entire companies out there that specialize in such things, now.

The hard news is this: self-publishing has more or less lost its novelty.  It’s a stable market niche that has gained a lot of attention and a fair bit of respect over the years, and it’s clearly not going anywhere.  Libraries have policies in place as to whether they can add self-published books to their collections, and bookstores like the Tattered Cover in Denver and the Amazon Bookstores now dedicate entire shelves to self-published titles.  Algorithms have been tweaked.  News has been made.  And all of this presents a bit of a challenge to you, the indie author.  How to stand out in such a crowded marketplace–and for the right reasons?

Luckily, I have one last bit of good news.  Well, I guess it’s more a statement that comes full circle.  If you take care with your book, and give it the time and energy and focused attention that it deserves–or rely upon the assistance and advice of paid professionals to do so–then your book will stand out.  It has always been the case that readers can recognize a well put-together title from across the bookstore, library, and even airport.  A beautiful cover, a polished jacket, a carefully managed marketing campaign: all of these things are within your reach, thanks to the hard work of many who have gone before.  And if you stick around on Self-Publishing Advisor, you just might stumble across the exact insight you need in my Wednesday marketing strategies posts, Elizabeth’s Thursday reflections as a longtime industry expert, Royalene’s Friday perspectives as a successful self-publishing author, and our other posts throughout the week.

If you have any other ideas, I’d love to hear them.  Drop me a line in the comments section below and I’ll respond as quickly as I can.  ♠

KellyABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.

 

 

Self-Publishing Week in Review: 12/03/13

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 every Tuesday to find out the hottest news.

How I Do It: Super Successful Indie Authors Share Their Secrets. This Week: Diane Capri

In this interview, thriller author Diane Capri shares her secrets to success, her upcoming plans, and her tips for other authors. One of her important pieces of advice is “Learn the business.” I couldn’t agree more. It is very important for authors to understand the publishing industry and keep up-to-date on the latest news and trends.

Ten Things I’ve Learned from Evaluating Self-Published Books for a Year

Jessica Bennett, co-creator of Compulsion Reads, shares ten things she’s learned from evaluating self-published books. This article is insightful and a must read for anyone considering self-publishing. Her reflections give authors a glance into the mistakes and successes of other self-published authors and can help writers avoid making the same mistakes.

Companies book profits from self-publishing

This article shares the story of a social worker who sold her self-published books on Amazon. She has been very profitable and successful. This is an interesting read for anyone considering self-publishing.

If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

Self-Publishing Week in Review: 11/19/13

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 every Tuesday to find out the hottest news.

Self-publishing can be fun, and (for some) even profitable

This article discusses self publishing trends as well as the options available to those considering self-publishing. The author also covers important topics such as finding an audience and selling your book.
In this interview, Pastor James E. Parker talks about how self-publishing is changing the art world for the better. He shares his own self-publishing experience as well as his opinions on the publishing industry. It is an interesting read for anyone considering self-publishing.
The self-publishing industry is continuing to grow. According to Bowker, the market is up 59% compared to last year.
The Self-Publishing Book Expo marked its fifth anniversary Saturday at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City . The event featured panels, workshops, and addresses, as well as a host of exhibitors.

If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

Self-Publishing Week in Review: 11/12/13

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 every Tuesday to find out the hottest news.

On the Books: Allison Winn Scotch to self-publish fifth novel with Jennifer Garner’s production company attached to film

Entertainment Weekly reports that Time of My Life author Allison Winn Scotch plans to self-publish her fifth novel The Theory of Opposites. This article briefly shares why Scotch plans to self-publish and tells a little bit about the book.

DIY: How to Understand Self-Publishing Acronyms

Bowker’s Senior Manager of Publisher Relations and Content Development, Patricia Payton, recently moderated a session at BEA’s uPublishU on understanding how to distribute a book and offered an extensive glossary of terms. This article shares some of the terms and provides the link to the full list of terms.

Self-Publishing And Direct Sales: Pros, Cons And Problems

This Forbe’s contributor discusses her decision to only sell her self-published book via direct sales. She shares the benefits and disadvantages of this method.

Mahwah teen becomes self-published novelist

This is an inspiring story of a 15-year-old sophomore who has recently self-published her first novel. It shows that anyone, no matter what age, can achieve their dreams of writing and publishing a book.

If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

Self-Publishing Week in Review: 11/05/13

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 every Tuesday to find out the hottest news.

Smart Businesses Find that Self-Publishing Isn’t Just for Authors Any More

Self-published books are a great part of businesses’ “content marketing” strategies. This article talks about how smart businesses are taking advantage of self-publishing.

3 Simple Censorship Rules Can Safeguard Self-Published Ebooks

Censorship has been a hot topic recently due to the self-publishing erotica scandal. This article talks about how censorship impacts self-publishing and how changes may impact the future.

Self-publishing grows, with almost 400,000 titles last year

A recent Bowker report shows that self-publishing is still a growing trends. More than 391,000 self-published titles were published in 2012. That is a 59 percent increase compared to the year before.

Opinion: How Indie Publishing Compares to the Indie Music Scene

This interesting articles compares indie publishing and indie music. Not only does it point out all the perks of independent publishing and music, but it also discusses the growing acceptance of indie publishing.

If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.