Self-Publishing News: 7.7.2020

National Strawberry Sundae Day vector

And now for the news.

Highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing:

Some good news for parents out of the Big Sky State! Many parents have found themselves in the unique position of having to be educators as well as bread-winners, and with case numbers all over the map (literally as well as figuratively), it doesn’t look like that will be changing any time soon. Whether you’re electing to be cautious in states like Montana that have begun to reopen or following state and federal recommendations elsewhere, a much-needed resource has arrived to fill the gap. Writing for Helena’s Independent Record, Tyler Manning writes about how “Two Helena teachers recently self-published a kindergarten readiness guide for parents.” The project had been in the works for six years or more, but this proved just the right moment for teachers (to observe proper classroom etiquette) Ms. Hankins and Ms. Buresh to self-publish. As Manning puts it:

According to Hankins, they had many tips but verbally explaining them lots of individual parents wasn’t wholly effective. The pair then had the idea to start writing down tips, idea and exercises. Before they knew it, they had enough to write a book.

The book takes the form of activity pages for each letter of the alphabet. It teaches concepts like numbers, shapes, colors, vocabulary and more. Hankins said the book also aims to answer many of the social questions that parents have as their children start school for the first time.

“It’s two-fold,” said Hankins. “It’s to get the kids ready and to put parents minds at ease.”

While the material might have been embraced by a traditional publishing house, the lag time would have prevented many parents from getting their hands on the book when they most need it––which is now. According to another article from the Independent Record, Helena’s schools are still aiming to reopen for the Fall semester, despite a recent rise in recorded statewide COVID-19 cases that will still seem small to those states with city-concentrated populations. In any case, this local Montana effort will hopefully signal the start of a new wave of high-quality self-published resources for parents of young children that are both timely and teacher-tested as this one seems to be. 

Tyler Manning’s coverage includes much more and is worth reading in its own right. You can find out more about Hankins, Buresh, and their book at www.summerbeforekindergarten.com. More news soon!


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

Self-Publishing News: 6.17.2020

june

And now for the news.

Highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing:

“Michael Volpatt, the chef-owner of Big Bottom Market in Guerneville, has released a new book, Cooking In Place: 50 Days, Stories, and 70+ Recipes to Keep You Sane in Challenging Times,” writes Sonoma West editor Laura Hagar Rush in the opening to this article. The state of Arizona has been hit particularly hard by the novel Coronavirus, and is still seeing huge spikes and clusters in the number of positive COVID-19 cases––as well as deaths. In the middle of all of this bad news comes at least one bit of good: authors are pushing through, and innovating, and making use of self-publishing even while the world of traditional publishing is still operating at a crawl. Volpatt, writes Rush, “decided to self-publish his new book when established publishers couldn’t meet his demand for a faster turnaround time than normal. ‘My book agent and I would have gone to my current publisher with this, but we decided to bypass traditional publishing so we could get it out fast,'” said Volpatt to Rush. The cookbook chronicles his at-home cooking adventures, which were a Facebook Live hit, and includes both recipes and suggestions for cooking during times of hardship and limited ingredients. This idea is, simply put, genius–and we’re glad self-publishing is around to make its rapid publication possible.

Struggling to keep your kids occupied as you work from home? Simon Brooks of Mom.com might just have one possible solution: writing a children’s book can keep both the adults and kids in a house busy for days, even weeks. It’s not a process, however, without its complications, Brooks admits: “using pictures and illustrations to tell a compelling story in thirty-two pages is not a very easy thing to do. The low word count does not mean that the genre is not a ‘no brainer,’ and there is a lot that goes into writing a good children’s book in such a competitive industry.” He goes on to provide what he calls a “roadmap” to writing one of these little gems, and advocates for self-publishing the finished product, calling it a “comfort” to those in need of a solution. We couldn’t agree more–and if you make use of this international crises to write a book with your kids, please let us know in the comments!

Well, that sounds interesting, doesn’t it? In another fascinating article from Scroll.in, Manish Purohit describes the experience of self-publishing in India during this unfolding COVID-19 situation–and even steps back and reframes the development of self-publishing throughout India’s history as a nation and subcontinent. “Self-publishing in India is as old as publishing itself,” writes Purohit: “Publishers may scoff at this, but deep discounts to authors, subsidy publishing and buyback arrangements have always been available and used. And these terms have always guided publishing decisions.” The process is even easier now, with the availability of so many self-publishing options, and many authors are considering it as their first and preferred option. Says Purohit, “Self-publishing platforms democratised the dissemination of writing and earned a dedicated audience,” and now they may prove ever more important in providing additional avenues to publication outside of traditional publishing houses, many of which will struggle to overcome the increased inventory returns resulting from COVID-19 and will have to resort to publishing what Purohit calls “mostly comprise safe, sellable titles.” Without the modern flourishing of self-publishing alternatives, midlist authors would see ever-shrinking options to get their words out there. Thankfully for all of us, this shutdown happened in 2020, when we are mostly equipped to overcome.


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

Self-Publishing News: 6.9.2020

june

And now for the news.

Highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing:

Here’s a thought-provoking article to start off your Tuesday. Harshad Marathe, an illustrator, Rachna Kalra, a publicist, R. Ajith Kumar, a typesetter, and Lakshmi Krishnan, an editor: These four industry professionals from the Indian subcontinent put their heads (and their words) together to create a portrait of what it’s like to be working (or not working) during the time of COVID-19. Their experiences vary, of course, in the way that no one’s pandemic experiences are the same. What’s interesting is what they say about self-publishing. Kalra, the publicist, notes that “we must bear in mind that reading is a leisure activity and at the moment the focus is on safety measures and essential items.” This explains to some extent the variability in the market over the last few months as readers binge-buy and then plateau. Krishnan, the editor, has concerns regarding how the rapidity of change may leave many in the traditional publishing industry afloat:

Suddenly, one is faced with taking into account shifts in remunerative patterns of employers. Benefits of work accruing from independent writers eager to make the most of the lockdown and get their manuscripts readied for self-publishing can but to an extent balance the income sourced from the mainstream; palpable anxiety and fear loom large on the horizon.

Past data suggests that self-publishing and traditional publishing can have a symbiotic, supportive relationship, with authors moving back and forth between the two. What happens if the entire structure of traditional publishing gives way at once? This is an issue we’ll be keeping in mind over the coming weeks.

The title really says it all, doesn’t it? Well, save for one thing … the book in question is a self-published book. This article, courtesy of Washington Post’s Jay Greene, covers all the salient details to this still-developing story, in which two of America’s multibillionaire technology giants go head-to-head over a book. Really, the central question is about a monopoly as well as a book: What happens when one company can manage not only a book’s production from start to distribution as well as the distribution of all other publishers’ books? Sure, both traditionally and self-published authors have other routes to distribution–they just aren’t as centralized and convenient to many buyers. And in an age of COVID-19, increasing percentages of the world’s population is turning to Amazon for essentials. No matter what your view on the companies involved, this is one battle of personalities that could have ramifications for almost everyone. We’ll be watching this developing story, as well.


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

Self-Publishing News: 6.2.2020

june

And now for the news.

Highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing:

One of the things we love so much about self-publishing here on the blog is its adaptability–how it’s just such a perfect fit for so many different stories and contexts. Such is the tale of Len Shaw of The Syncopated Times, who just released a collection of his “Jazz Jottings,” including interviews with those musicians helping to shape and reshape Jazz in the vast and evanescent present. Shaw’s second book,  JAZZ BEAT ENCORE, More Notes on Classic Jazz follows up his first successful self-published book from 2013 with rich and varied interviews with some fascinating musicians.

If Shaw was empowered to publish interviews with Jazz musicians, what untold stories do you have to tell?

Not to belabor a point, but it still amazes us that in the year 2019 there were still some folk who hadn’t fallen in love with the opportunities and possibilities and vision of self-publishing the way we have. Luckily, as Suzanne Van Atten attests in this article for AJC, an Atlanta-based news site, despite the initial sadness and setback of being excluded, the self-publishing authors of Georgia have banded together to create something exciting and new: “Some members [of the Georgia Writer’s Association] quit, including novelist Vickie Bley, who was prompted to start a separate awards program for self-published authors.” Bley then “established the Georgia Independent Author of the Year (GIAY) awards for self-published authors.” So if you’re an author based out of the peachiest of states, we hope you’ll boost the new awards and take part. Nominations close on June 15.


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

Self-Publishing News: 5.26.2020

And now for the news.

Highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing:

As a part of their series, ‘Publishing and the Pandemic,’ Scroll.in hosted a piece by Siddhartha Gigoo, whose recently published Love in the Time of Quarantine is as winsome as it is earnest. Gigoo began the book as many writers have–as a record of his own experience, given new form and voice and presence by the page. Unlike most authors, however, he set himself what seems an impossible challenge in authorship. As he puts it,

That night I opened a blank Word document and saved it as “Isolation Diary”. I stared at the unmarked page for a long time, wondering what to do with it. After some time, I closed it and went back to reading Homer’s The Odyssey.

I couldn’t go beyond the first stanza:

“Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns, driven time and again off course, once he had plundered the hallowed heights of Troy.”

I kept humming it constantly in my head. Such was the spell cast by its imagery.

21 days

The next day I opened the blank word document again and typed a sentence. I posted a story on Instagram that evening – “Friends, I have decided to write a novel in 21 days.”

Even while he was writing nearly nonstop, Gigoo found time to think through his publishing philosophy and process. He writes, “During my stargazing breaks in the balcony, I wondered what to do with the manuscript after I was done. ‘Should I send it to my agent or pitch it directly to publishers?'” His decision was influenced by the immediacy of self-publishing. His goal? Write a book in 21 days. Publish on the 22nd day.

That’s just not something you can hope to do with a traditional publishing house and process! A fast-tracked manuscript can sometimes scrape by some of the usual delays, but the traditional publishing mechanism usually equates to a wait of eighteen months to two years between submission and publication. That wasn’t going to work for Gigoo. “The nausea of it all!” he exclaims. So he recruited his daughter to design the book cover and his wife to serve as editor and copyeditor, and he sat down to cram eight days a week of work into the usual seven day schedule we all live through. (Even though time now seems liminal and transient.) He made it work, despite last-minute hiccups and obstacles, despite his near-impossible timeline, and even now he celebrates the flexibility and functionality of the self-publishing way. Pondering the weighty reality of mortality, prompted by current events, Gigoo writes that “If at all I am able to finish my next novel, digital publishing will be my first choice. Less baggage is preferable in the current times.”

The perfect end note to our own piece, we find. Please read Gigoo’s entire article at the link, above! It is well worth the time to enjoy his original words in full.


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