From the Archives: “Self-publishing’s Strongest According to Inc. Magazine”

Welcome back to our new 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.

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[ Originally posted: August 13th, 2009 ]

Inc500Cover2Inc. Magazine released its annual top 500 fastest growing US businesses yesterday. Outskirts Press, Inc ranked #268 on the list, and exclusive among full-service self publishing outfits. With on-demand publications up 132% over the previous year, Outskirts Press finds itself the fastest growing provider in the fastest growing segment of the book publishing industry. Congratulations Outskirts Press.

Author Solutions – the only other self-publishing related provider recognized, came in at 3266 among the top 5000 companies.

Congratulations self-publishing.

by Karl Schroeder

 

Six years later, Inc. 500 has morphed into the Inc. 5000 but the list remains a stellar launch point for discussions about what industries are seeing success in a mostly-post-recession USA––and not just for the men and women who walk Wall Street.  It remains a fantastic resource for indie and self-publishing authors, too.

Inc. 5000

But first, the bad news: This year, no self-publishing providers made the list.  The good news is that this is because the self-publishing industry has begun to stabilize, diversify, and revisit its offerings in order to better tailor them to the end user.  Because the Inc. 5000 only lists the fastest-growing companies, a stable market fast reaching its maturity just doesn’t quite fall within its purview.

And while indie, hybrid, and self-publishing companies may not have made it into last year’s list in the Inc. 5000, they continue to occupy headlines over at the Digital Book World (see here), Publisher’s Weekly (see here), and one of my personal favorites, Library Journal (see here).  We’ll be following the news within the industry as it emerges this year, and while indications seem to be present that e-book sales remain down from this time two years ago, it may very well be that Hachette’s battle with Amazon and the resulting price hike has driven readers back to print.  That’s a profitable (and surprisingly cheerful) piece of information, I think!  Watch our Monday morning posts for more statistics as companies head into their Spring quarter. ♠

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.

From the Archives: “Self-Publishing – A Growing Industry”

Welcome back to our new 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.

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[ Originally posted: January 11th, 2010 ]

Did you know that over 40% of all book sales in the United States last year took place online, through e-retailers like Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com? More and more people are becoming comfortable with (and even accustomed to) shopping online. What’s more, consumers are more likely to purchase lesser-known and self-published books, according to Inc. Magazine.

What does this mean for the self-published author? With the convenience of on demand-printing and full-service self-publishing options: Good things. Selling books online is more cost-effective than selling through a typical bookstore, and that means more money in your pocket. Again, make sure your publisher lets you set your own retail price, royalty, and discount to take maximum advantage of shifting consumer trends.

Just something to keep in mind as you write and investigate the publishing options best in-line with your goals.

Have fun and keep writing!

by Karl Schroeder

sales growth

Almost six years on from Karl’s original post, we now have the benefit of hindsight to apply to many of his predictions–and fortunately for all of us who happen to be involved in the self-publishing industry, most of them came true!  According to Statista.com, “some 41 percent of global internet users having purchased products online in 2013”–and the numbers have continued to climb steadily from there.  And in respect to total e-commerce sales, a separate Statista article shows that Chinese retail giant Alibaba had a massive 23.7% market reach (outright) in 2015, but that Amazon and its affiliated sites together had an aggregate market penetration of 39.6% (the affiliates earned 22%, and Amazon proper 17.6%).

Many companies might struggle to find their niche in a market so overrun by big business, but smaller, more nimble organizations (including hybrid and self-publishing firm Outskirts Press) have shown they’re more than capable of keeping their footing.  Outskirts, which ranked in Inc. Magazine‘s top 500 or 5000 for four years in a row starting in 2009, continues to ensure that its authors make waves in the Amazon bestseller listings–and get their books onto actual physical bookshelves, as well.

And Outskirts Press is just one company among many who are succeeding at delivering on the promises of self-publishing as laid forth by Karl in his article: convenience in on demand-printing and full-service self-publishing options, cost-effective marketing, and more money in authors’ pockets, not to mention control over retail price, royalties, and discounts.  Inc. Magazine and others have come forward to bolster our knowledge and understanding of the inner workings of the publishing and self-publishing business, with articles like “How to Self-Publish Your Book” (2011), “How to Self-Publish a Business Bestseller” (2012), and “Publisher’s Note: Celebrating the Power of Partnership” (2015) underscoring new ways to adapt in an ever-shifting landscape of opportunities and challenges.

Some things have changed since 2010: Barnes & Noble seems to be stuck in a slow and gradual decline, print books seem to be on the rebound after Hachette and the other Big Five traditional publishing houses won their battle in the Amazon price-fixing war, and so on.  But other things haven’t changed: self-publishing is succeeding where traditional publishing continues to fail–in providing vital and necessary services and support to authors whose books are too daring, too interesting, and too precious to fall through the cracks.

What does this all mean, though?  It means, as Karl’s article so eloquently stated, that self-publishing remains a “Growing Industry.”

 

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 company named Best of the Best

This post won’t find its place among my direct self-publishing and book marketing tips, but an recognized advancement in the publishing world worthy of mention.

Coming off a recognition as #268 on Inc. Magazine’s top 500 fastest growing privately held US companies, self-publishing option, Outskirts Press, was recently placed among Inc.’s “Best of the Best” as determined by a panel of leading adventure capitalists. Only 5 of the original 500 made the list.

The top five Inc. Magazine “Best of the Best” companies as identified by the panel of venture capitalists were Kiva Systems of Woburn, Massachusetts; SkullCandy of Park City, Utah; Centro of Chicago, Illinois; Outskirts Press of Parker, Colorado; and Enalasys of Calexico, California.

– Karl



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