Self-Publishing News: 6.25.2018 – Publishing Trends Roundup

june

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.


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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.

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Self-Publishing News: 6.18.2018 – New Releases!

june

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, specifically new releases written by self-publishing authors and published by independent presses! Today we’ll be featuring brand-new releases in the Outskirts Press Bookstore!

If you’re anything like us, every now and again you just really need a good and powerful historical mystery to set its hooks and draw you in, and Daniel K. Edmondson’s new novel, The Parchment, is exactly what the doctor ordered! A pastor with more than 40 years of experience, Edmondson knows more than a little about life and how the human mind works, and he brings that knowledge to this book. Steeped in biblical archaeology, The Parchment follows the intrepid James and Anne down a path which leads to both religious epiphany and historical revelation as they uncover the mysteries of an ancient library, one hard-won clue at a time. For readers of both Dan Brown and Frank Peretti, but with a voice and a style all of its own, The Parchment is sure to remind all of us why books like these and films like National Treasure remain the bedrock of many people’s love of history.

Life was different way back when, wasn’t it? If you’ve spent much time in the American public school system, you’ll already be more than aware how tightly budgeted the average child’s time is, and how little of that time is given over to play. Well, other sources have dedicated a great deal of time arguing for more play and freedom from sociological, psychological, and developmental perspectives, but until now it has been rare to find nonfiction narratives for the kids themselves which point to an alternate way of doing things. In My Nana Was a Free-Range Kid, author and illustrator (and all-around Rennaissance woman) Nancy Peek Youndahl lays out the story of her grandmother, “an outrageously mischievous child that was left to her own devices” and who grew up running “free range” in North Carolina during the 1940s and 1950s. Part biography, part entertaining story, and part argument for more freedom and more play during a child’s formative early years, this book covers a lot of ground and does so with grace.

With its eye-catching cover, Titanus’ Rage is sure to be a popular pick with lovers of science fiction and fantasy, but this latest book from author Miles Monahan has a lot going on under the surface to delight readers of any genre: biting prose, interesting characters, and a crisis of galactic proportions to avert. The first installment of what will hopefully be a long-lived series, Titanus’ Rage proves once and for all that genre does not define or limit a book, but rather opens doors for comparison and connection. Here is a book to satisfy even the most hungry of space-shenanigan lovers!


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

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Self-Publishing News: 6.11.2018 – The Interviews!

june

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, specifically interviews with or articles written by self-publishing authors and experts!

If you’ve spent much time browsing our blog over the last few years, you’ll know that self-publishing isn’t just a thing for authors of novels and book-length manuscripts; there are all sorts of materials that can be self-published, from music to video games to comics, and that the indie sector in all of these industries is growing at a rapid clip. This week, Nicole Herviou of Comics Verse put together a great interview with comic creator and letterer Ryan Ferrier, who has had a hand in many major “mainstream” comic franchises (including Godzilla and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) over the years, as well as a profound influence and prolific presence in the indie and self-published corners of the comic market, most notably multiple D4VE arcs and Curb Stomp, one of our personal favorites). What’s so special about this particular interview, you might ask? First of all, Ferrier’s experiences run the whole gamut of possibilities for a comic creator, and he’s not shy about talking about any of it. He also delivers some great insights into how the world of comic publishing (and self-publishing) has changed over the years, particularly in relationship to and support of creator-owned material. This is one enlightening conversation, and we highly recommend you read the whole thing if you’re at all interested in pursuing a career in comics.

One of the things we love most about running this blog is the opportunity to identify, discover, and boost the stories of authors who are finding new and unique ways to make self-publishing a part of their lives–and those lives all look very different, making for quite the diverse field of possibilities. Meet Marie Force, another author so prolific that it would take hours simply to list and describe her more than 70 books out on the market. Force is, ahem, quite a force to be reckoned with (sorry, couldn’t resist)–and after years of publishing mostly independently, she’s now partnering up with Kensington Books (distributed by Penguin Random House, one of the Big Five traditional publishing houses still scraping by) in a deal that at first glance might seem to be trite, but on a closer look is anything but.

What do we mean by that? Well, there’s a common misconception that success in self-publishing–success of the kind that Force has achieved–is followed by an immediate transition to traditional publishing. But Force is having none of that; she may be adding Kensington to her arsenal, but she’s not giving up her affiliation with and wholehearted support of self-publishing. In this Publisher’s Weekly press release, the traditional publishing house notes that Force “continues to see the advantages to both indie and traditional publishing models,” and that their role is to get “behind her on some previously published and forthcoming original novels,” not to replace her indie and self-published presence. As the release notes, Force is a champion of the “personal touch,” and that extends to honoring her existing readers, and crafting a hybrid presence to suit her specific needs. As we mentioned earlier, there are as many ways to be a self-published author as there are authors in the world.


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

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Self-Publishing News: 6.4.2018 – The Company Files!

june

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, specifically news from or regarding self-publishing companies!

Every once in a while, an article comes along which is the complete package, in that it will address issues relating to self-publishing as a whole, to the authorial experience, and to the method behind our not-madness as we each separately pursue our own writing and publishing goals. This article by Sabine Brix of ArtHub, profiling Melbourne author Alice Boer-Endacott, is one such article–and it’s special in part because rather than placing the establishment (i.e. academia) at odds with self-publishing, it finds the middle ground. Boer-Endacott, writes Brix, sees her graduate studies and her self-publishing experience as complementing her overall goals. Says Boer-Endacott, “I definitely credit the EMA as crystalising what all my various interests were that I loved and then pushing me back towards what I had always – at the heart of it – been circling around.” What was she circling around? Writing, and making a life from it. Boer-Endacott goes on to say: “I am my own business and I think that’s what the course gave me [….] Even if I am not working in a business, to view the world though that lens and be professional in my communications and learn how to set standards for myself and how to protect myself.”

That’s a message for writers and entrepreneurs of all kinds that we can get behind.

Self-publishing isn’t limited to books, as you are probably already well aware, especially if you spend much time on our blog here at Self-Publishing Advisor. We’ve written extensively about the relationship between self-publishing and zines, comics, and video games, after all. But what about other media–is there a place for other forms and kinds of material to be published with a indie or self-publishing ethic?

You bet there is! In fact, that’s exactly what’s been happening with adult coloring materials in the last year. Writes Adam Rowe of Forbes, the adult coloring movement really took off in 2015 and 2016, but in 2017 the bottom fell out of the market.  But only out of the traditionally published market! As Rowe explains, the sharp decline in numbers is indicative of a shift away from traditional methods of publishing by creators of adult coloring books and other materials. If you’re an artist with an interest in line-work and creating interactive coloring pieces, this may just be the year you ought to consider putting that out into the world … and retaining complete artistic control of the process, while at it. Rowe’s article makes for a great starting point if you’re looking to identify some options to get started.

In this week’s news of important self-publishing company discounts, here comes the good word from Outskirts Press: for this month only (the month of June, 2018), authors who publish through this top-rated company will receive a free custom cover design with the purchase of one of their two top self-publishing options. It’s worth a look, especially in light of our various arguments for seeking out professional assistance when it comes to cover art and graphic design.


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

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Self-Publishing News: 5.28.2018 – Publishing Trends Roundup

memorial day

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!

Well, I suppose the title of this article is a touch misleading: indie author Jonathan Kile didn’t actually trade away his love of or involvement in self-publishing for the titular road trip–but he did write about both in this excellent article for Tampa Bay’s Creative Loafing column, as excellent a place as any to find reflections on music, art, and lifestyle. In his column, Kile deliberates upon what exactly it looks and feels like to “take a moment” while self-publishing. The temptation, one assumes and Kile confirms, would be to constantly take work with you; after all, portability is one of the self-publishing author’s greatest freedoms. One of technology’s–and therefore self-publishing’s–greatest strengths may, in the end, make it hard to clear your head. And while it is, theoretically, possible to make edits to your manuscript and even your published book while tent camping in the Sierras, Kile’s column is the reminder we all need that sometimes it’s okay to take a step back, take a deep breath, and leave work at home.

Did you know that there’s an annual self-publishing summit in Durban, South Africa? One of the most amazing aspects of taking part in this blog is learning about the global self-publishing movement, and how the tools we know and love here in North America are empowering and enabling indie authors all around the world to craft their platforms and find their audiences. The Durban Self-publishing Summit 2018 was by all accounts (including this one from Berea Mail) a great success, and if you’re in the area or will be around this time next year, it might just be worth penciling into your calendar for 2019. Here’s to many more successful self-publishing summits in far-flung places we hope to visit!

If you’ve spent much time around book blogs, you’ll know that we are often a bit … snobby. And don’t get me wrong, snobbery and gatekeeping is one of life’s finest pleasures … so long as you’re using it as an avenue to celebrate books and open up doors for authors, not the reverse. And it has long been an assumption, these days entirely unfounded, that self-published books suffer from poor cover design. But as this fabulous article from The Bookseller makes plain, it’s time for this particular brand of snobbery to disappear into the void. Writes Stuart Bache, the initial wave of self-published books may have struggled more with design simply because of tight budgets and limited options. These days, he goes on to say, are different. Writes Bache: “We had only dipped our toe into the self-publishing world for mere seconds before we were swept up in its authors’ enthusiasm and positive attitude towards publishing. Even on a tight budget. some of our indie clients were doing phenomenally well. There are entire communities on Facebook where an author can ask for advice about marketing and ask for recommendations for editors and designers they can use – the support network is one of the best.” Self-publishing companies like Outskirts Press offer design services, as do many independent contractors and graphic designers. These days, it’s much easier to craft a beautiful book, and Bache’s article for The Bookseller goes a long way toward pointing out options if you yourself are looking for a good place to start.

Do you know that old saying, “The King is dead. Long live the King”? Well, while traditional publishing is a long way from dead, the new kid on the block is definitely on the ascendant. This article from Frank Catalano of GeekWire is packed with good news for indie and self-publishing authors, and we all need a bit of good news after the last quarterly reports from Barnes & Noble. Writes Catalano, “Over a thousand independent authors surpassed $100,000 in royalties in 2017 through Kindle Direct Publishing,” and many of the statistics pertinent to indie authors are not included in the general publishing reports, including those for ebooks. If indie authors are discounted, ebook sales continue to drop as they have done ever since publishers won the right to raise ebook prices in 2015. If indie authors are included, writes Catalano, the numbers are much less dire for authors as a whole, although they certainly indicate that the healthiest portion of the ebook industry lies firmly toward the indie and self-published end of things. Long story short: Catalano breaks down the numbers (and uses infographics!) to explain just what is up with ebooks in 2017 and the first half of 2018. Well worth a look!


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

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Self-Publishing News: 5.21.2018 – New Releases!

May -wooden carved name of spring month. Calendar on business office table, workplace at yellow background. Spring time

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, specifically new releases written by self-publishing authors and published by independent presses! Today we’ll be featuring brand-new releases in the Outskirts Press Bookstore!

 

Remember when Internet dating websites were still young and those who met their future partners online were still rare enough to shock everyone and raise eyebrows? 2018 sometimes feels like a different world from 2008, and Patricia Little-McCrain is here to update us on the latest research into online dating and the increasing number of both successful and unsuccessful relationships which result. This book collects the stories and anecdotes of online dating from a number of men and women who reached out to Little-McCrain after the publication of her first book, a book which detailed the trials and tribulations of looking for love online as an older woman. This book serves as a necessary and delightful counterpoint to both the naysayers and the unrelentingly optimistic; there’s room aplenty for all kinds of stories online, and Little-McCrain has put her finger on the pulse of the whole lot of them. This book is an absolute must-read if you are considering online dating, are already involved in online dating, or if you simply want to share in the joys and struggles of those who are.

Well, we’ve all been there, and by there I mean cranky about other people–and boy, does Charles Hastings have it right. This hilarious autobiography is packed with dry witticisms and bleakly humorous observations on the ways people go about living. “I didn’t always hate everyone, it was an acquired taste,” says Charles in this book’s summary blurb–but he got there, with a lively sense of humor and a willingness to fall in love with the world even as he struggled through some of its more tormenting moments. And Hastings really does love dogs (I mean, who doesn’t?) and that really shines through in this book, a book which he wrote “to keep everyone laughing and feeling like they’re not alone in their view of the world.” If that’s not a generous-hearted thing to say and do, we don’t know what is. Hastings really is one of those crusty-on-the-outside, warm-on-the-inside people who you always wished was your friend. Now you have a chance to peek inside his mind!

The legendary St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital looms larger than life in much of the medical literature, and Walter T. Hughes, Jr (MD) is here to unspool some of its history for those of us interested in learning the backstory behind one of America’s premiere medical institutions. And you couldn’t look for a better guide! Dr. Hughes has such a long and storied history with St. Jude’s that you really ought to look into some of his other five hundred publications (mostly essays and papers, not books, but still, what an incredible body of work!). Then, dig into this deeply satisfying history of the hospital, replete with suffering, happiness, intrigue, and … Conquistadors? That’s right–the plot of land upon which the hospital was built was part of the area claimed by Hernando de Soto in 1541 AD. Talk about history! This is a story full of history and full of heart.


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

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Self-Publishing News: 5.14.2018 – The Interviews!

May -wooden carved name of spring month. Calendar on business office table, workplace at yellow background. Spring time

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, specifically interviews with or articles written by self-publishing authors and experts!

Ironically enough, we can’t access part one of this series, but we are absolutely in love with part two, in which author and Mount Observer assistant editor Michele Walsky details both personal experiences in self-publishing as well as various tips and tricks for getting ahead when self-publishing on a platform like Amazon. Walsky, who publishes under the pen-name Chele Pedersen Smith, is known for the romantic spy mystery, Behind Frenemy Lines, and a collection of mini-miracles, The Pearly Gates Phone Company. Putting it succinctly, Walsky writes that “Part one, ‘The Whirlwind of Writing and Promoting,/ appears in May’s print edition of The Mount Observer and covers the creative process of writing, unlocking writer’s block, editing and conjuring up promotional ideas. Part two will follow the technical side of publishing and contains links to the Amazon sites.” Part two poses some important questions and takes some significant steps towards answering them, too: what’s the deal with a book’s cover? How difficult is it, really, to generate an ebook from your manuscript? Should you print physical copies as well? How should you price those editions? And what role do royalties play in the larger picture? We’ve made attempts at answering these questions ourselves here on the blog, but it’s refreshing to find someone so articulate, like Walsky, who can sum it all up in a nice article. So if you find part two as useful as we did, you’ll be scrambling to track down that print edition of part one. If all else fails, you can simply follow Michele’s progress and stories by clicking the link (in-story) to access Walsky’s Amazon author page.

Megablockbuster-selling and iconic literary fiction author Richard Russo isn’t exactly the first name to leap to mind when we think about self-publishing, but this week he delivered an interesting interview via the web-based news platform Fosters.com. As you might expect, he and interviewer Deborah McDermott come off as rather harsh critics of the self-publishing process (describing it as something which puts “a writer’s life […] on the brink – a brink of self-publishing where craft often takes a back seat to swift scripts and swift economic returns, a brink where there is less room for the slowly-emerging novel that goes through a rewrite, and then another rewrite, and perhaps a rewrite again”).  More interesting than their take is what emerges between the lines: a portrait of misunderstanding. It would seem that authors like Russo fundamentally do not understand what the self-publishing process entails, and the self-publishing industry’s heavy reliance upon editors, graphic designers, and other industry experts which the traditional publishing industry has been setting adrift during the economic downturn at increasing rates. There’s rather a lot of expertise available to the average self-publishing author, and if that author can’t afford to pay for certain services or wishes to retain creative control, that’s that author’s prerogative–and no one is forcing Russo and other authors like him to read anything he doesn’t want to read, or publish any differently than he always has. But perhaps we are, as Russo puts it, putting “righteous indignation” on the front foot. Whatever the case may be there, we’re proud of how far self-publishing has come–and that it perhaps poses a legitimate challenge to those systems and structures which have been gatekeeping excellent authors out of publishing until the rise of self-publishing set them free.


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

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