And now for the news.
Highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing:
- Book Clubs in Lockdown by Davina Morgan-Witts
This article showed up shortly after our last News post, but we held onto it because it’s not the sort of thing that shows up all that often: a well-researched, impeccably presented report on the state of book clubs. The report, which is free for download from BookBrowse.com, is described in detail by BookBrowse publisher Davina Morgan-Witts in a recent Publishers Weekly post. Of particular interest in this particular iteration of the report is the effects of the ongoing pandemic on book clubs, including impacts on where they find their books, whether they purchase or borrow them, whether more book clubs are investing in ebooks or print books, and how the book clubs are adapting to pandemic social distancing guidelines. If you yourself are the author of a self-published book, you might be interested specifically in what this report has to say about the intersection of book clubs and authors under the pandemic; writes Morgan-Witts, “some groups have discovered how easy it is to invite authors to join them on Zoom.” The whole report is absolutely worth exploring, and if you’re an author, maybe this is the impetus you needed to put out a call on social media or through your local library network that you are available for meeting with book clubs by way of Zoom or other videoconferencing options!
- Why Every Entrepreneur Should Consider Self-Publishing by Stephanie Burns
This last week, Forbes contributor Stephanie Burns went to bat for self-publishing. Burns, whose primary area of focus is female entrepreneurship, writes that “If you want to gain credibility and exposure online, you can’t afford to pass up the opportunity to self-publish a book, especially when you’ve most likely already created enough content to fill one.” While she mentions KDP several times, it’s the concept of self-publishing that she is specifically behind: “Authors can also list their books for sale on Apple iBooks and Barnes & Noble,” she writes, and “Regardless of the platform, the digital book market is booming. Every day you remain unpublished is a day you’re losing revenue and customers to a less knowledgeable competitor.” Burns cites the case of Jen Ruiz, a lawyer-turned-bestselling-author whose entrepreneurial work has helped connect residents of Puerto Rico with the resources the need to build “online income streams.” Ruiz herself argues that with the pandemic changing the world as we know it, going digital is a way to make use of both the current moment and the entrepreneur’s existing marketing skills. She also actively rejects the idea that the only “real” authors are the ones who publish via the traditional route. Self-publishing can also provide what Burns and Ruiz call “warm leads,” or “the ability to access a free preview of eBooks with hyperlinks.” With this preview properly linked to and from your website, Ruiz argues, it “acts as your personal lead magnet to grow your audience.” Please do read Burns’ entire article on Forbes––it is very much worth your time.