Self-Publishing News: 4.30.2019

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And now for the news!

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

Remember how we recently mentioned the Library Writers Project from the Multnomah County Library in Oregon? It looks as though the entire state of Minnesota is now on board and doing something similar as they launch their Indie Author Project. The IAP. One significant difference from the collaborations we’ve highlighted earlier is that the IAP is competitive, with winners receiving both financial and promotional rewards for their involvement. (Multnomah County Library, for comparison, partnered with Ooligan Press to help move certain leading lights of their Library Writers Project into print.) They do share some core DNA, however, in that the IAP’s “Winning authors will reach hundreds, if not thousands, of new readers via Minnesota’s libraries, and can also leverage being an award-winning author for additional marketing opportunities.” The barriers to entry are low, with the only requirements being that submitted works be:

• Indie-published
• Written by a Minnesota resident
• In an adult fiction or young adult fiction genre
• Available in either PDF or ePUB format

If you are a Minnesota author and are interested, there is more information on submissions in the original article, which you can access by clicking the link, above, and following the instructions and links provided there.

If you’re a science fiction and fantasy fan, you’ve likely heard about some of the many award-related controversies taking place in the world of SFF literature. Recently, the Nebula Awards had their own controversy. The Nebula’s parent organization opened their awards to considering indie and self-published books for their awards in 2013 (which was actually rather ahead of the trend, we’d note; many literary and book awards still to this day do not allow indie and self-published works for consideration). The upside of this has been that their ballots have become ever more inclusive and diverse, a fact of which the Nebula organizers are proud of. They’ve gone on the record to encourage voters to vote according to each book’s individual merit, not outside agendas: “The work that stays with you, that moves you, that work that you love the most should earn your vote,” the article quotes. Unfortunately, the downside of opening up the eligibility is that new legions of participants and supporters are now being asked to learn what might be termed “award-season etiquette.” Unfair promotional campaigns, of which there are many kinds, can sway voters in ways that ignore the merit of individual works. A “slate vote” is one such campaign, and often entails someone putting together a list (or “slate”) of books for others to vote for without having read the works themselves. (And yes, often these slates are put together based on ideologies, not the works’ merits.) So what was this most recent controversy? A very well-intentioned influencer put together a recommended reading list of indie publications up for the 2018 Nebula Awards, and the Internet went a little nuts, with widely-varying opinions all being expressed very strongly. The influencer, one Jonathan Brazee, has since written an apologetic explanation for the reading list, which has made clear his good intentions—which were not to sway voters to vote on books they hadn’t read, but rather to boost awareness of the awards’ growing diversity in nominated works.

It’s good to know that even in this age of polarized online debate, people can still come to understand each other better. And we agree with both parties involved—with Brazee, that indie and self-published authors are totally worth celebrating as we exit awards season, and with the Nebula organizers, who are understandably concerned that new audiences may not be aware of some of the inherent pitfalls to award voting processes. Each award has its own rules and recommendations.


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: 6.25.2018 – Publishing Trends Roundup


And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, specifically regarding publishing trends within the publishing industry, and their implications for all authors!

We’ve written occasionally about the happy synchronicity between self-publishing and genre fiction, but this article more or less proves it: while traditional sales in some of these genres, here specifically science fiction and fantasy, actual sales may have actually doubled when those crunching the numbers include information from indie and self-publishing sources. The difficulty, of course, is that many of these companies (here’s looking at your KDX service, Amazon!) refuse to give up information, or at least to do so reliably. Still, from the information available Adam Rowe of Forbes is able to speculate, drawing upon Nielson reports among others, that while “Indie-published authors may be just 48% of the SF&F market (and their unit prices average just $3.20 compared to traditional publishers’ ebook average of $8.04), but these authors are likely still earning the majority of the profits.” This is good news for self-publishing authors, Rowe writes, but may not be the kind of boost or reminder that traditional publishers need to invest in these genres in which authors are jumping ship. The authors are, in part, jumping ship because they weren’t being invested in; they have good reasons to leave the traditional route, just as much as they have good reasons to choose an indie route. At some point, are the Big Five going to reach a tipping point where they simply discontinue their science fiction and fantasy (as well as other genre fiction) imprints? Because that would be a loss to us all.

Speaking of science fiction, did you know that the history of zines is inextricably tied up with this genre? As Claire Williamson of the Japan Times Culture column writes,

“The Comet” is widely acknowledged to be the first zine — first published in 1930 by the Science Correspondence Club in Chicago — and its release heralded the beginning of a decades-long trend of fan-produced science fiction zines. By the 1970s and ’80s, zine culture was decidedly punk; in the 1990s it centered on the feminist “riot grrrl” movement. Nowadays zines often combine elements of both text and design, running the gamut from in-depth, research-based publications to pocket-sized collections of personal doodles, and encompassing myriad topics.

Zines are also, of course, tied up with self-publishing. Writes Williamson, “From the modern ukiyo-e prints of the Edo Period (1603-1868) to contemporary dōjinshi (self-published) fan comics, there has always been an outlet in Japan for artistic self-publishing.” It may have begun in the Edo period, but “The mid-2000s, for instance, heralded the rise of keitai shōsetsu (cell phone novels), which were written in sparse, colloquial Japanese — ideal for drafting or reading on cramped cell phone screens — and appealed to the masses. Meanwhile, nijisōsaku (derivative works) that draw on copyrighted characters have historically been protected from lawsuits to allow the growth of the parent work’s fanbase and encourage budding artistic talent.” As Williamson points out, in such a historical context, self-publishing as we know it today makes for a natural fit. Williamson unpacks the rich story of zines and self-publishing in modern Japan, as well as several of its current players, making this a must-read article. The article may be of local interest, but its implications are global.

Not familiar with The Kissing Booth? That’s alright; until two weeks ago, no one else had either. This made-for-and-by-Netflix teenage drama has risen to through the ranks of most-watched films online in its brief time in the world, and is forcing entertainment companies to re-evaluate where they find their source material. Because The Kissing Booth? Yeah, that was self-published. We’ve written about Wattpad, the blogging and self-publishing site so popular with teens, before on this blog–but it’s worth point out again that self-publishing doesn’t ever look like any one thing. It’s microbloggers like Rupi Kaur who use Instagram to find an audience. It’s fanfiction and lengthier bloggers like those who use Wattpad, LinkedIn, and Tumblr to find their audiences. It’s authors writing full-length novels and publishing them through companies like Amazon and Outskirts Press. It’s zine makers making and distributing their work by hand or through the Internet. It’s indie comic creators and game designers pushing the envelope of what’s considered self-publishable material, as well as musicians and artists and so, so many more. Now that companies like Netflix are literally banking on self-publishing authors and other creators, it’s only a matter of time before we see an explosion and diversification of the base definition of self-publishing, and before that list is multiplied by a factor of ten. If you’re a self-publishing author or creator reading this blog, you’re in the right place at the right time. We can’t wait to see what happens next.


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 Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.


Self-Publishing Week in Review: 12/02/14

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.

Defying the Traditional Model: Crowdfunding in Sci-Fi and fantasy

While the publishing industry has seen a number of changes over the past few years, the impact of crowdfunding on the sci-fi and fantasy genres is potentially game-changing. This is an interesting read for all writers in these genres.

Sidestepping the Slush Pile: PW Talks with Tricia Donovan

In this interview, indie author Tricia Donovan talks about how she leveraged Kickstarter, a book trailer, and a little help from her friends to bring her novel to market. This is a fascinating read for all authors.

Five Digital Publishing Questions for Jane Friedman

This post is part of the “Digital Publishing Questions” blog series featuring Scratch Magazine publisher Jane Friedman. The series is intended to help lay the groundwork for conversations that will take place at the Digital Book World Conference + Expo, kicking off on January 13, 2015.

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

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at, 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

Weekly Self-Published Book Review: Imlich’s Tale: A Woeful Buffeting at the Hands of Fate, or Accident, or Error

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 week’s book review by Midwest Book Review:

Imlich’s Tale: A Woeful Buffeting at the Hands of Fate, or Accident, or Error

Elizabeth Carroll

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781432775391

Reviewer: Beverly Pechin

First and foremost if you’re not one to appreciate a good folklore or tale of tall tales, magic, and dragons, you won’t enjoy this book. This book is for those who still have a bit of child in their heart and love the ideas of mythical creatures and the magic of those creatures.

This is a story of Imlich, one of a “baker’s dozen” whom his mother has hatched in her nest. She quickly takes a special liking to Imlich, much like you will as you read along with his story. Imlich was among those thought to have the ability to be an heir among the dragons, and it seemed to be in the cards for the future as all could see and feel. While he had no clue what that meant, neither he nor his siblings really cared. They just knew that they were hungry often and were certain that they should fly, as all dragons do. Imlich seemed to be the first to comprehend, at least the beginning steps to obtaining flight, and he quickly helped those siblings that were interested to join him as he taught them the moves he found that brought them each closer to flight, showing he was a leader from the beginning.

His father, the King, seemed to be very much in love with his mother; unlike so many others who had been brought to the King to serve him in bearing him children. Most made it as the companion to the King for less than two years, some not even close to that time, yet his mother was quickly approaching the two-year mark and the comment was made to her by the King himself that it seem there may be an heir to his throne in their batch of little ones. The love seemed endless and true between the King and Imlich’s mother, and the future seemed to be already written.

Had Imlich known the ways of the King, he would have understood that the King had taken to his mother and brought her as close as she would ever come to becoming his Queen. She had been so in love with him, and he seemingly with her. His custom was to  woo those he loved for a matter of two years and then send them off, never marrying them. But this time it was different. This time the future was in the stars and in the eyes of the two who loved each other so very much.

Imlich’s mother had been with her love for almost two years now when they called for a “Seer” to determine who the next in line would be to the throne. The Seer was called upon to give his great insight as to who the next in line to the throne would be. It seemed that both Imlich’s mother and the King himself were both certain that it was one of their own offspring, but in particular she felt certain it would be Imlich. However the Seer instead damned her and turned her and her offspring away immediately in front of everyone. From that evening on, she never again was acknowledged by the King and was thrown to live the life that she had never thought she would live, held captive in the castle area of the King to live with her guardian.

Each part of the story goes on to show you the life of both Imlich and his beloved mother as they move on through time. They face adventures and meet people much like those we have all met in life. The story telling ability of the author makes each adventure as magical as it is, and the story of a dragon and his mother growing up in a world that can often be strange and unpredictable will warm your heart.

Perhaps you may even see yourself in many of the situations and enjoy the comfort of the magical creatures that you grow to love being an inspiration in the real world and what happens in it. It’s truly an amazing, magical book, filled with tender stories, frightening fears and somehow realities that are made magical. The real world intertwines with the magical one, showing you how sometimes we are caught in our own dreams only to be left alone against the world. Touching and amazingly well written, Elizabeth Carroll has a way of truly creating a world of fantasy that encompasses you the entire time you’re reading it.

If you’re one who loves to enjoy the magical wonder of the world of medieval dragons and the wonder of being lost in the magical world of a book, then you will love “Imlich’s Tale.” It allows you to cheer on the “good guys” and hope for the “little guys” in both the magical world of dragons and in the real world of humans. It’s definitely a wonderful way to escape into another world of magic. Keep it handy for any time you simply need to escape into a book of fantasy and a touching story of a dragon and his mother.