Self-Publishing News: 9.25.2017 – Publishing Trends

september

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’re coming out of the gate with a controversial item today, an article by Gautam Bhatia for The Times of India, one of the region’s most widely-read and well-regarded dailies. In this article, Bhatia digs into what he calls “the rapid privatisation of urban life, and the consequent trivialisation of public culture” and how this has altered public perceptions and quality control in achievement-based celebrations like architectural and literary awards. He hearkens back to a golden age when “Newspapers reported facts; opinions were reserved for the few whose long-term experience of those facts gave credibility to their voice” (which are highly debatable assumptions) and takes time to lament what he considers the downsides of self-publishing, too:

An accountant friend uses Photoshop techniques to make paintings and then sells them as signed prints; another penned a salacious novel, self-published, and critically reviewed and acclaimed by himself on the internet. “I am not a writer,” he claimed modestly, “it just came to me one night.” Both were good reasons for disqualification.

Bhatia is determined to vilify technology, social media, and the “‘I-me-my’ world with its instant gratification [which] has replaced the long-term value of a selective discriminating public space.” What do you think? Do you agree that the way our world works today, including self-publishing, has cheapened perceptions of value and the push for quality? Our own bias may be implicit, but we’re genuinely curious.

On a more positive note, Jane Friedman of Publisher’s Weekly released an article this week about the new ways and means available to authors seeking to reach new readers and therefore sell more books. “Start where you are,” she writes: “Use the power of your community—and the people you know—to gain momentum.” But … how exactly does that work in our modern, tech-savvy age? She argues that “indie authors can become obsessed with Amazon rankings and optimization.” And:

It’s not that those things don’t have a role to play, but national attention and great rankings are sometimes the result of doing a great marketing and promotion job within a community that knows you. It’s often easier to gain traction that way, and encourage word of mouth to ripple further out as a stepping-stone to the more difficult PR wins.

Hm. There’s a lot to unpack in Friedman’s article, which deconstructs the experiences of several specific authors and their books before moving on to providing some key pointers and recommendations. What with Facebook’s targeted ads making news headlines every other week, it’s well worth a look to see what ways going local–and going targeted–can benefit you!

Last but not least, this week we recommend you take a look at a new series just begun on The Guardian‘s website, chronicling the weird little intricacies of making money. This first article traces the path of one book series–J.K. Rowling’s crime fiction series, published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith–to success. But this article, by Donna Ferguson, has a twist: she wants to know what algorithms have got to say about literature, and about success. Self-publishing only merits a passing mention, but much of the meat and potatoes of the article applies to authors everywhere, no matter their means of publication. “It doesn’t matter whether a book is published as literary fiction, romance, sci-fi, crime or any other genre, there are some latent features of bestseller-dom in manuscripts and these patterns are detectable by a computer algorithm,” Ferguson quotes expert Jodie Archer as saying. What are those patterns? You’ll have to read the full article to find out. And then, of course, report back to us whether it shapes up with your experiences or not!


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: 1.30.2017

And now for the news!

This week in the world of self-publishing:

 

This week, Publisher’s Weekly gave some predictions for self-publishing in 2017. According to this article, a 21% increase in ISBN registrations between 2014-2015 alone will definitely make some alterations to the self-publishing market. “New services have made it easier than ever to launch self-publishing projects,”  says Alex Daniel, author of this piece, “and as the landscape gets more crowded, it becomes more difficult for authors to stand out and make a profit.”

However, this isn’t just a problem for self-published authors, but authors in general. The rise of the Kindle and other ebook readers has lead to an increase in supply of ebooks, and not necessarily an increase in demand. Daniel says that Amazon “requires participating authors to publish e-books exclusively with Amazon and allows titles to be eligible for Kindle Unlimited—a program that provides unlimited books for readers who pay a monthly subscription fee.” This means that authors are not compensated for how many books they sell online, but rather how many pages of their books are read by online subscribers.

As you can imagine, author’s reaction to the struggle in the online book marketplace has been to retreat from a sole focus on ebook business–to try and get their paperback or hardcover books back into bookstores and libraries, and to expand into other sectors such as audio books and television. Further, Daniel predicts that self-published authors will begin to beef up their business cards by “adding such words as consultant, publisher, and marketer[…], passing on lessons for success to other authors.” This is huge because it means that authors can make some money on the side helping others fulfill their dream of publishing just by sharing their first-hand experiences with self-publishing.

Where the internet seems to be helping authors in 2017, is of course, with marketing. Tapping into exactly who your audience is and what they are looking for has become immensely easier thanks to data from online readers. Not only that, but through social media, authors can directly sell their books to the readers that follow them. This serves a dual-purpose: ease of sales, and the establishment of a more personal connection with you reader base.

We will all have personal, political and business related challenges arise in 2017, however it is not the challenges that will define this year, but how we overcome them. Self-publishing authors are known to utilize their creativity and perseverance in the face of adversity. When a publishing company says “No,” we do not sit quietly and toss our manuscripts aside. If ebook sales are not satisfying our goals, we will find other means to get our work out there. The internet may have its share of flaws, but we can use it as a tool for our success, and this year I challenge you to do just that.


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.


Kelly

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.

Self-Publishing News: 5.23.2016

This week in the world of self-publishing:

First off, this little press release put out by Author Solutions on May 18th via PRWeb: the self-professed “world leader in supported self-publishing services” made an announcement last Monday to the effect that “it has entered a development partnership with immersive content studio Legion of Creatives. Through the relationship,” the press release goes on to state, “Legion will actively review indie book titles within the Author Solutions catalogue for possible film, television and digital adaptations.”  For fans of Author Solutions this is pleasant news indeed, but the company has its fair share of detractors.  Even critics have to admit, however, that the prospects for self-publishing as a whole are broadened by these kinds of pioneering partnerships–in the future, they are likely to not only be available to all self-publishing authors, but to be made much more affordable as the market broadens and competition increases.  For the original press release, follow the link!

In this, the first of two articles put up by Publisher’s Weekly on May 20th related to hybrid publishing, contributor Nicole Audrey Spector puts together a comprehensive guide to getting started with hybrid publishing––much as we did with our March 2nd blog post.  As Spector puts it, going hybrid is to seize upon a “third option”––an option “which fuses aspects of traditional publishing with self-publishing, often for an up-front fee. At least that’s one definition,” she writes: “as any author exploring the territory of hybrid publishing will find, it’s complicated.”  It’s complicated in part because hybrid publishing is not the same thing as being a hybrid author––the former involves a specific publishing model which incorporates the flexibility and authorial rights of self-publishing with the resources of traditional publishing … and the latter is usually used to describe an author who has published through both the traditional and self-publishing models (and may also have dabbled in the hybrid one) or may have moved from one to the other.  Spector goes on to describe the workings of various hybrid publishing companies and the experiences of several authors who have used them, and closes with this warning: “Hybrid publishing does have its drawbacks and is assuredly not for everybody.”  The “key,” she writes, is “for authors is to do their homework, connect with peers who have published with hybrids, and determine their expectations and goals from the start.”  Wise words all around, I should think.  You can read the rest of Spector’s guide here.

Brooke Warner contributed the second May 20th piece on hybrid publishing to Publisher’s Weekly, and her interest isn’t in explaining the concept to beginners a la Spector’s piece, but rather to project a forecast for the hybrid publishing market over the coming years (an equally vital task, I think!).  Says Warner, founder of hybrid firm She Writes Press, “Within hybrid publishing there exist many creative models, defined largely by what we’re not.”  The struggle has been for self-realization and self-definition, and to exist at the center of their own narrative––that is, not on the fringes of the self-publishing vs. traditional publishing catfight.  “As more hybrid publishers continue to enter the market,” she argues, “we need to start to define ourselves more by what we are, which requires certain standards to be adopted and certain industry practices to change.”  How to go about oding this?  Well, Warner has an idea––in the form of a brief manifesto:

Hybrid publishers ought to be meeting the standards of their traditional publishing counterparts—both editorially and in design. Hybrid publishers ought to have traditional distribution, or to find better inroads into the marketplace than currently exist in the self-publishing sector. Hybrid publishers ought to qualify to submit their books to be reviewed traditionally and to enter contests without being barred because of their business models. Their authors ought to qualify to join any professional organization they want without facing the discrimination that currently exists against any author-subsidized model.

Well, that’s a rallying cry if I ever heard one.  And with a pedigree like Warner’s to back it up, maybe the various power-players will listen.  Even if they don’t, Warner writes, “We’re tapping on industry doors and witnessing some acceptance and some pushback, but, since we’re here to stay, we’ll just let our books do the talking.”  Powerful stuff.  To read the rest of Warner’s article, click here.

 


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.

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 News: 2.8.2016

This week in the world of self-publishing:

In recent days, it seems as though we’ve crossed a rubicon in regards to where the topic of self-publishing arises as a mainstay news item.  It might once have been unusual to see multiple references in a single issue of Publisher’s Weekly, but these days it seems as though they’re beginning to––can it be?––specialize in matters of an indie nature.  This week, in a February 5th article by PW contributor Drucilla Shultz, we are privileged with the chance to see both what an industry titan defines as “success” in self-publishing, and how that titan advocates for achieving said definition.  Shultz consults with Jessica Lourey, an author who began her career in the traditional publishing industry and transitioned to indie publication because she couldn’t let her latest project, The Catalain Book of Secrets, “wither on the vine” due to its genre-defying niche appeal.  Together, Lourey and Shultz recommend three steps to the aspiring self-publishing author:

  1. Submit First
  2. Be Professional, and
  3. Don’t Expect Immediate Success

Of course, these points mean a great deal more when considered in the context of Lourey and Shultz’s explanations, which you can access by reading the original article here.

“Every author I’ve ever met gets almost starry-eyed at the completion of their written work,” writes David Smith in his February 5th article for the Southern Utah Independent. “The problem with most authors is that while they may have indeed written the next “Twilight” series, they need to make people who might be interested in reading their book aware that it is out there.”  How to solve this dilemma?  Writes Smith, the key is to go digital:

There are websites that have blogs, podcasts, topical material, and point-of-sale opportunities to help authors promote, market, and sell their books. There are social media sites, (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), that you can use to connect with individuals and groups that may have an interest in your book. Email blasts to friends and family with the ability for each to forward notes to their circle of friends is another way to gain a following or make your information go viral.

And, of course, there are marketing programs that range in cost but provide more specific means to reach potential readers.

We couldn’t agree more, which is why it might be worthwhile to check out Smith’s complete article at the link.

Jurgen Appelo knows a little about being remarkable.  In this February 4th piece for Entrepreneur, the self-made businessman and CEO of Happy Melly writes that “Entrepreneurs always have it backwards. They want to be more successful at what they do, so they watch and copy what others do who are very successful.”  But this modus operandi doesn’t often work, he goes on to say: “Copying the tips and tricks of the experts rarely results in replication of their successes.”  Why?  And what can an aspiring author looking for inspiration––a true entrepreneur if ever we saw one––do without falling into that exact trap?  Says Appelo, failure is as much a taught principle as it is an avoidable reality. “I believe 80 percent of your success is determined by your unique approach to solving a problem,” he says. “Before anything else, understand what problem you’re solving and what makes your solution remarkable. After you’ve figured that out, it’s OK to read books and articles that may help you to polish and tweak your production and marketing. But if what you offer has little value and is not remarkable for anyone, no amount of other people’s scripts, routines and checklists will make it so.”  For Appelo’s full thoughts on the subject, access the latest edition of Entrepreneur here.

The internet, writes Anna Tims in this February 4th piece for British heavyweight paper The Guardian, is making room for more authors to innovate and in so doing, to make a living from what they do.  She writes that such global digital access “enables anyone to be an author with access to an audience and increasing numbers of people are discovering that they can earn an income from their own ebooks.”  This is good news for self-publishing authors, she goes on to say, because there’s a direct connection between the rise of ebooks and the rise of self-publishing.  She takes as her guiding star the story of Tracy Bloom, a self-publishing author whose first ebook, No-One Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday, reached the top rank in Amazon’s romance category.  “I realised that my best chance lay in ebooks and spent three months analysing the mechanics of how to make a book successful on Amazon,” Tims quotes Bloom as saying.  Hers was a long road, riddled with necessary research and with the intricacies to be ironed out before she considered her book “published,” but her journey may prove both interesting and insightful for the aspiring self-publishing author.  For more of Bloom’s story and Tims’ reflections thereon, take a peek at the original piece over at The Guardian.


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.

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 Week in Review: 6/17/14

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.

The Guardian’s first self-published book prize winner

The Guardian, a major newspaper, is now showcasing self-published authors. The publication has announced the first winner of its new monthly self-published book contest: Dinosaurs and Prime Numbers. It is important for authors to study other successful self-published books to help improve their own success.

Self-publishing boom lifts sales by 79% in a year

Self-published books’ share of the UK market grew by 79% in 2013, with 18m self-published books bought by UK readers last year, according to new statistics. This article details the findings in the study that shows self-publishing is still booming. This is a must read for self-publishing authors.

Writers Who Rocked Self-Publishing

This Publisher’s Weekly article features three successful self-published authors and shares their secrets to success. This is a must read for all self-published authors.

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

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the 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 at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

Self-Publishing Week in Review: 6/10/14

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.

Self-published Authors Learn to Market to Libraries

This article details the “Moving beyond online sales: Marketing to libraries” program by uPublishU. Topics discussed include why marketing to libraries is important, ebooks, and marketing tips. This is a fascinating read for all self-publishing authors.

Are Book Giveaways Still Worth It for Indie Authors?

In this article, several successful indie authors share their thoughts on book giveaways. This is an interesting read for authors considering book giveaways and for those looking for promotional ideas.

The #1 Reason to go Indie

This blogger shares the number one reason to self-publish your book. This is a must read for anyone considering self-publishing.

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

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the 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 at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

Self-Publishing Week in Review: 6/03/14

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.

A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Publishing and Marketing

This writer offers step by step instructions for making your self-published book successful. She covers everything from preparation to publication to marketing. This is an interesting read for anyone considering self-publishing.

Publishers Weekly to Integrate Self-Published Reviews in Book Reviews Section

Publishers Weekly doesn’t care if a book is published by a transitional publisher or is self-published. Both types of books will now be fully integrated into their magazine publisher’s regular review pages both in print and online.

‘Abducted’ Leads the Self-Published Bestsellers List

Abducted by T.R. Ragan leads Self-published Bestsellers List this past week. Reading successful self-published works and looking at the author’s marketing strategies is a great way to improve your own work.
If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the 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 at http://kellyschuknecht.com.