This week in the world of self-publishing:
This has been a huge week for self-publishing, in that there doesn’t seem to be a large media outlet left untouched. Take this October 23rd article in Publishers Weekly, for example, in which contributor Alex Palmer demystifies a few tried-and-true self-marketing methods. Why is this such a big deal? For starters, when an industry giant like PW dedicates significant page-space to a (for lack of a better term) “self-help” piece specific to self-publishing authors … well, this is a tacit acknowledgement that there are enough self-publishing authors out there to make them a significant reading bloc that PW is clearly willing to go to great lengths to woo. Ten years ago, or even five, PW would have been far more likely to publish “discovery” pieces aimed at readers (past, present, or future) of self-published books and traditional publishing experts, rather than self-publishing authors themselves. So this is exciting. And the tips Palmer lists (like: “call ahead to make an appointment with the librarian or bookstore owner rather than just appearing unannounced” and “build […] ties to communities long before books come out so [authors and librarians or booksellers] won’t be strangers when the time comes to ask for arranging author events and distribution”) pack a punch and are backed up with useful insights from a variety of experts. This has to be one of the best (and most interesting) assistive pieces I’ve read this year.
Talk about making serious press with serious media outlets; this week in The Bookseller‘s “FutureBook” section, contributor Porter Anderson walks us through a variety of self-publishing related news items (some of them in the lead-up to a #FutureChat Twitter event on Oct 23), but far and away the most interesting (I find) is his commentary on the divisions and contentions that exist between the different players in publishing today, and between traditional publishers and the self-publishing author. He asks the question: “Is independent publishing ‘the contrary’ of the Trade?” by which he means, “Do we really have to frame every conversation about self-publishing and traditional publishing as a case of binary opposites?” (My wording on that one.) This is partially in response to some comments made by Hachette Livre’s Arnaud Nourry at the recent Frankfurt Bookfair (in which he described self-publishing as “the contrary of my business. We look at books and decide what we do and do not want to invest in”). Anderson comes to no conclusions, leaving the field open to conversation in the “FutureBook’s” #FutureChat and at the upcoming Author Day conference on November 30th in London.
You thought it couldn’t get any bigger, didn’t you? Well, it did. And by “it,” I mean “self-publishing authors making a big splash in major headlines this week.” Take this October 20th article for People Magazine‘s online edition by contributor Drew Mackie, in which we are presented with exactly what the title promises: seven movies that have their roots in the self-publishing book industry. The Martian has gotten plenty of press lately, and Still Alice made the rounds and raked in a whole bunch of awards as both a book club favorite and an indie film darling, but some of the other titles might surprise you: Legally Blonde, for example. Who knew? Not me. And I certainly am excited to hear that Hugh Howey’s Wool has FINALLY been moved out of “Development Hell” and into pre-production. Mackie quotes Howey as saying, “Traditional publishing is much too restrictive. I don’t want to pump out the same book over and over. I want to challenge myself and produce the work that I feel is missing from the marketplace.” And that, dear readers, is exactly the kind of rip-roaring rallying cry we all need to hear once in a while!
This one goes out to those of you from across the Pond––no, the other pond. Australian media supergiant Yahoo7 highlighted the accomplishments of a self-publishing Aussie in a detailed October 21st article by contributor Sophie Smith. Beau Taplin, a native Melbournian, has been making waves not just in the self-publishing industry Down Under, but among celebrities the world over. He counts Kim Kardashian, Jessica Stam, Sophia Bush, Bindi Irwin, and Lauren Phillips among his many readers, but far and away he can credit his social media prowess with garnering him a wide readership. Writes Smith, “Mr Taplin is making a living from the full-time occupation [of writing] despite choosing not to refer his work, which has attracted 281,000 followers on Instagram, 16.3K on Twitter and 10,000 on Facebook, to a commercial publisher.” Taplin, who self-professes to “lean toward the shy end of the spectrum,” sees the novel as falling naturally in line with the traditional publishing model––but he wanted to do something different. His book, Buried Light, comprises only 100 pages of prose, but it has rapidly eclipsed Taplin’s previous two books in sales. Of finding his voice through self-publishing, Taplin has much to say: “I was lost before this.” You can read more about his book at the link.
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.
ABOUT 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.