Self-Publishing News: 12.11.2018

December banner with fir branches.

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing!

Forbes continues to keep us in rich and useful content this year with the latest contribution from Brandon Stapper of the Forbes Agency Council. Stapper, the “CEO of Nonstop Signs & Graphics, which has risen from humble beginnings to become a printing powerhouse” (according to the article) offers up three suggestions to those looking to break out into what he calls “thought leadership”–essentially, getting ahead of the curve in business through nuanced and effective brand management tied to future thinking of the highest order. Stapper’s first suggestion? Publish an ebook to boost your credibility in talking about industry-specific expertise.

Many readers will be most familiar with self-publishing as a vector for publishing fiction and memoir, but nonfiction books about specific niche industries are a rising star and market force. “Having a published e-book (even if you’ve published it yourself) signifies that you really know what you’re talking about,” writes Stapper. “Writing your thoughts on a particular aspect of your industry or a couple hundred pages on a how-to can easily establish you as an expert within your field. And people trust experts and are more inclined to follow them and even purchase their products.” It’s not a challenge to be undertaken lightly, he advises, but the potential benefits may just prove rewarding enough to make it a worthwhile venture.

In this week’s Post-Journal, Michael Zabrodsky breaks down the ins and outs of self-publishing versus taking the traditional publishing route in the “Write Now” podcast–an audio clip of which you can listen to at the link, where an extended written version is also available. If you’re at that tipping point where you’re still considering your options and you have a manuscript in hand, this episode of the “Write Now” podcast may just provide you with the information you need to make a decision. It’s worth noting that Zabrodsky, who self-published an ebook himself, makes note of but does not allow his personal decisions to influence the information he shares. This podcast makes for a straightforward look at what options are available, and the main questions you need to ask before moving forward. “It’s that easy,” he writes, but also: “It’s that hard.” He’s definitely onto something there!


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.

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Self-Publishing News: 12.4.2018

December banner with fir branches.

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing!

One of our favorite sources for international news regarding digital publications, The Bookseller has come through for self-publishing authors again this week. Contributor Emmanuel Nataf digs into the nitty-gritty of how to reconcile publishing with the nascent entrepreneurial start-up model popularized in recent years, and this article breaks down his findings into three critical tips. At the risk of spoiling what they are, we recommend you check out his full article at the link!

One of the great and ongoing overarching stories of self-publishing has been its emergence from the dawn of the Internet age and its evolution into a market force worth respecting–and yes, admiring–and yes, perhaps even pursuing if you’re an author. The word “stigma” is bandied around a lot, but the good news is that today’s self-publishing author has so much less of it to contend with than authors who chose to go indie in the 1990s. This article, courtesy of the Press-Enterprise contributor Marj Charlier, chronicles this emergence as well as the implications for current authors of its absence–or abolition, as the case may be. Authors today can build upon the shoulders of greats, of those who have gone before to pave the way and who worked tirelessly to improve the playing field and services offered. Charlier’s article is well worth a second reading, especially if you’re looking for suggestions in getting started searching for the right self-publishing home for your next book.

On that note, Entrepreneur‘s Chandan Sen Gupta has arrived on our radar this week with this fabulous list of tips and tricks for authors looking to set out on their self-publishing journeys. Writes Gupta, “There is no doubt that self-publishing has arrived and is here to stay, but setting one’s book up for sale is only half the job done. Marketing, to reach out to the readers, is equally important and with its success, an author’s battle is won.” To that end, he dives into ways in which you can take advantage of self-publishing tools as well as your skills in marketing your book to build a successful sales strategy.

Looking for a little bit more of the history behind self-publishing and its evolution? We return to one of our longstanding favorite pairings: Adam Rowe’s commentary and Forbes magazine. In this week’s valued addition to this delightful tech team-up, Rowe writes–like Charlier–on the legacy of self-publishing, its origins, and current trends within the digital self-publishing industry. Rowe investigates several case studies, including that of maven David Gaughran, whose work has long been respected as an exemplar of the form, and whose self-publishing guide Let’s Get Digital has now officially reached its third edition. Rowe investigates just what it is that Amazon has done to and for the industry, and the ever-evolving ways in which it treats its authors. Always a byline to watch, Rowe’s article provides useful insights into just where we might be headed as we prepare to exit 2018.


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.

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Self-Publishing News: 11.26.2018

november

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing!

Look, it’s always cool when self-publishing gets a good word in a high-powered magazine like Forbes, and this week our industry got not just one but two references. First we wanted to mention Kimberly Whitler’s excellent November 24th article, which delves into a number of practical ways in which authors of all stripes and origins and publication modes can capitalize on their skills in order to, as the title of the article indicates, boost reader awareness and engagement with their books. She interviews founder and CEO of Smith Publicity, Dan Smith, about his recommendations. According to Smith, his company deals with roughly 60% traditionally published authors and 40% self-published authors, giving him a range of experience and wisdom on both methods, much of which bleeds into this interview.

The second Forbes article we mentioned? It comes to us by way of Rachel Kramer Bussel, who corresponded with a number of different authors from different publishing backgrounds whose worlds were upended with their publishing house closed down. Many of these authors, Bussel emphasizes, are award-winners and high performers in sales, which is another way of saying “they didn’t deserve to be dropped!” Even the best and most accomplished authors, her article indicates, can find themselves in this situation–and when they do, they need to develop a new plan of action. The publishing house at the heart of this article, Midnight Ink, is of course playing down the impact of their closure (or their decision not to take on new projects after September 2019, as they put it), but authors are justifiably spooked. Where can they go, Bussel asks? Many are choosing to self-publish.

You can find out more about both Forbes articles by clicking the links, above.

Self-publishing is, of course, a global phenomenon–and it’s not one that’s slowing down. Writes Eduardo Simantob of SwissInfo.ch, “Switzerland has a long tradition in independent publishing”–and it’s a history that can be traced all the way back through the country’s long and storied social and religious and technological evolution. Says Simantob, “Today’s independent publishing market has very little to do with politics or religion. Rather, it is a niche increasingly explored by visual artists, with or without renown, as well as for designers who work this medium as an art form in its own right.” These artists are now reaching back across the ocean to show their skills at international publishing venues such as the LA Book Fair, and they’re proud to be leaders in the art of self-publishing beautifully designed books. They’re also building lasting connections and relationships with indie publishers and artists across the European continent. This article, beautifully written and fittingly accompanied by beautifully shot videos by Carlo Pisani that showcase many of Volumes’ beautifully made books, is well worth a visit for the history and the eye candy both.


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.

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Self-Publishing News: 11.20.2018

november

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing!

Don’t you just love finding nuanced conversations about self-publishing in the most unexpected of places? This week, we stumbled across this article by Heather Hansman of High Country News, and we just *had* to share! Hansman chronicles the lead-up to the third-annual Seattle Urban Book Expo, a grassroots event that has come to be a launchpad for authors of all walks and paths, including founder and self-published author Jeff Cheatham. As a Seattle-based author initially hoping to boost diversity and representation in children’s books (Seattle was, Hansman notes, “recently ranked as one of the 10 least racially diverse cities in America”), Cheatham saw a need … and set out to fill it, both with his own books and with the founding of the SUBE. Says Cheatham, “‘I’m all about creating a family reunion vibe […] When I first started, I felt like there was no one I could talk to, so I never want to deny anyone knowledge.'” For more on the expo and what to expect next from Cheatham, check out Hansman’s excellent article in full!

This article comes to us by way of Oon Yeoh of the New Straits Times, in which she tackles the evergreen subject of marketing after publication. Says Yeoh, a former editor at a local publishing company, “I had to deal with authors of all stripes. Each of them had their own quirks and personalities, as to be expected, but the one thing almost all of them had in common was their aversion to marketing their books. ‘Isn’t that the job of the publisher?’ would be the common refrain.” After laying out how even traditionally published authors have to dedicate time and energy to marketing if they want to succeed, Yeoh addresses self-publishing:

Self-publishing is a very realistic option. But once you go down that route, you’re becoming an entrepreneur whether you realise it or not. When you self-publish, you have to do everything yourself. You’ll have to arrange for the editing, design and layout to be professionally done; you’ll have to arrange for the printing and distribution to be done as well. Lastly, you have to market and promote your book to the general public. And, you have to fund all of these activities out of your own pocket. If your book sells well, you’ll reap the profits but if it sells poorly, you’ll be the one who suffers the losses. Just like in any other business.

This is realism, Yeoh writes, not a negative–it’s just the way things are, and as self-publishing authors themselves remind us regularly, it can be enjoyable when you feel empowered and engaged with your readers. Yeoh goes on to describe the “hard” and “soft” skills as well as the business skills writers of all publishing paths will need to refine in order to achieve success in marketing. A very worthy article!

  • How Self-Publishing Can Serve Your Mental Health

**Note: The article proper, in keeping with the brand of AnOther Magazine, contains some NSFW art photography. We are moving the link to the bottom of this article so that you don’t click it by mistake at work. Do not open at work!**

Here’s some good news we didn’t expect this week: according to Georgina Johnson on AnOther, World Mental Health Day 2018 provides the perfect starting point for conversations about agency, self-fulfillment, and self-publishing. Johnson, described as “a London-based multidisciplinary artist and designer, and the founder of art collective The Laundry,” first dabbled in self-publishing in the form of a 2017 zine project embracing and amplifying stories of black womanhood and diverse lives. The zine spoke with a voice that resonated, containing such powerful lines as “Freedom is a direct derivative of creativity; you could almost call them two peas in a pod. But how do you become free to create without the validity of louder or weightier voices? The answer for me laid upon the pages I braved producing.” The zine set out to show what mental health actually is or can look like–a nuanced take not often found in popular media. The article closes with this rousing endorsement for self-publishing, which made the zine and its conversation about mental health possible:

In a culture in which you can be made to feel small, as a woman, as a Black person, or someone on the fringes of society, self-publishing gives you power on your terms. It’s in no way easy, but when you create something honest, funny, critical, or something that just embodies you and the way you see, you open up yourself to others and allow folks to experience the world the way you do. In our climate of increasing intolerance, this is needed more than ever.

As mentioned above, the article and zine contain some NSFW art photography. You can read it [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 each month to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

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Self-Publishing News: 11.13.2018

november

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing!

“Kevin Guest does not recall the date his family’s lumber mill in Columbia Falls burned to the ground. A trusted employee had sparked the blaze while welding,” opens this recent article from the Daily Inter-Lake‘s Duncan Adams. The article follows the self-publication of Kevin Guest’s new book, All the Right Reasons, and his subsequent appearance in October on The Dr. Oz show to promote the book. The book, which purports on its cover to teach the “12 Timeless Tips for Living a Life in Harmony,” chronicles the rest of that one particular story–among others–as an illustration of these principles. Says Guest, “My parents were devastated, but because kindness and forgiveness were two of my dad’s core values, I don’t remember ever hearing him say anything derogatory about that employee.” Afterward, writes Adams, “Francis Guest and a partner rebuilt the lumber mill and carried on. The employee who inadvertently started the fire still had a job.” Throughout the book, Guest draws upon a deep well of family experiences and principles. Although his roots are in Montana, he now lives in Utah, where he works for USANA–and is not hurting for money. Why did he choose to self-publish, Adams asks? “Not to make money,” he answers. “He said he is donating all proceeds from the book to help feed starving children.” For Guest, self-publishing is about crafting a legacy which will live on through the generations. Read more of Adams’ excellent article at the link!

Big news from the science fiction and fantasy community! Locus recently posted the news that Bowker, the industry number-cruncher, “has updated their self-publishing statistics with numbers from 2017 – the first year with more than one million self-published books carrying ISBNs. Bowker counted 1,009,188 ISBNs issued to self-published authors, a 28% increase over 2016.” The article goes on to note that while this number looks pretty high already, it may not even remotely touch the real figure, “as many ebook authors don’t bother with ISBNs at all since Amazon, the dominant ebook retailer, doesn’t require them.” Such enormous growth is not especially new to self-publishing; the indie corner of the market has seen steady (and sometimes exponential) growth since its origins in the early 1990s. (Although if you read this article from Jamie Fitzgerald of Poets & Writers from 2913, it’s pretty clear we’ve been self-publishing–sort of–since clay tablets and cuneiform were a thing.) There’s no sign that things are slowing down, either, or that reader demand for new material is lessening. It’s always a good time to get in on the ground floor of self-publishing!

There’s no one-size-fits-all path to follow when it comes to breaking into the self-publishing market, as military romance author Cristin Harber discovered. In a recent article for Zebra, contributor Kris Gilbertson tracks her progress from early days retreating from busy days working in grassroots politics to a crucial stage of exploring her options and pursuing workshops on craft and publication. Writes Gilbertson, Harber’s introduction to self-publishing came as an unexpected–but welcome–surprise: “In July 2013, at an Atlanta writing conference, Harber set up a meeting about a traditional contract situation, but she had time to fill. She went to a workshop where three prominent names in romance writing – Barbara Freethy, Bella Andre, and Lilliana Hart – were presenting about self-publishing. It was a new and not fully accepted concept then. Harber stepped in out of curiosity, with no intention of following up, but found herself enthralled.” And she did follow up on that workshop, mastering the skills necessary to format and publish her work, then building a fanbase through careful planning. Now a New York Times and USA Today Best Selling author, Harber “realized early on that more than an entrepreneur or small business owner, she was a whole publishing house: the researcher, the CEO, CMO, CIO. When her website was hacked last year, a Go Daddy tech asked to speak with her webmaster. She said hold on a moment, paused, then said ‘Hello!'” Packed with wisdom and riveting in its own right, Gilberton’s profile of this titan in the self-publishing field is well worth a read.


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.

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Self-Publishing News: 10.29.2018 – October Round-Up

october month

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, wrapping up what’s new for you and yours in October 2018.

One of the things we love most about science fiction is the same thing we love about self-publishing: it’s created, by and large, by a community of people who believe in taking whatever path fits the situation best, fits the individual creator best, and which best enables writers of so-called “niche” material to reach their (so-called) “niche” audience. For many science fiction authors, especially now, this translates into self-publishing their science fiction, bridging the gap between two of our favorite things.

How did this come to be a thing for science fiction authors? Adam Rowe of Forbes (poor guy, we keep quoting him, he so reliably writes interesting material about self-publishing!) describes how this, ahem, stellar connection came to be. Writes Rowe, “Today, prolific writers can earn six-figure incomes entirely through stories self-published on Amazon. If they’d lived in the mid-twentieth century, those same writers might have instead turned to science fiction magazines, a source of income that has all but dried up today.” The transition from magazines (print) to self-publishing (mostly digital) hasn’t been seamless, it has been lucrative. Rowe quotes the numbers: “Together, self-published indie imprints and indies with no listed publisher make up the largest segment of speculative fiction ebooks sold over the past year, at 46.2% of all ebook units sold in the genres of science fiction and fantasy, according to industry data service Bookstat.” That’s a huge chunk of the new science fiction and fantasy reading material out there! Read Rowe’s full article for more great background on the history of this new normal.

It’s a proud day, indeed, when self-publishing makes The Frisky! This is not a lengthy piece, but it is an important one, as The Frisky’s readership likely includes many newcomers to the idea (much less the lived experience) of self-publishing. This piece, half press release for a new publishing company and half sterling information that applies to anyone looking to publish, details some of the broad-strokes information new authors need to know before pursuing any option. It’s quick, it’s straightforward, and it’s probably exactly what first-time readers need to know to get started in looking for more information on the subject. Many kudos to The Frisky for supporting what we do!

We haven’t given you too many interviews lately, but this one we really couldn’t pass up. Published in the Gaston Gazette (of North Carolina fame) by contributor Michael Barrett, this piece features the work and backstory of author Megan Allen. Allen, who struggles with chronic pain herself, transmutes this experience into the genre of young adult fantasy in her latest self-published release, Magic Headaches. According to Barrett, the book follows the story of “Elinor, a young woman whose headaches give her access to an enchanted world known as Morland.” There’s a practical benefit to writing the book, Barrett notes, in that it provided Allen an outlet for her frustrations over the way the general public perceives and responds to chronic pain. Writes Barrett, “Because everyone gets a headache from time to time, Allen was used to people offering remedies for kicking them, and sensed many people don’t understand what she copes with. Writing the book became her way of processing her own feelings, while also helping friends and family to understand her mindframe.” Not one to let the world get her down, Allen not only conceived of this creative outlet, but pushed through the pain to finish her manuscript and, now, self-publish it. You can learn more about her and Elinors’ fascinating–and enlightening–journeys by reading the full article!


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: 10.22.2018 – Publishing Trends Roundup

october month

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 in the past on this latest trend, in which media engines like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon have been looking to self-publishing platforms such as Wattpad for their source material; previously, Hulu had tapped the Wattpad piece The Kissing Booth for translation into the visual medium. Now it’s Light as a Feather’s turn, a soon-to-be-ten-episode horror story originally by author Zoe Aarsen. This article, from Forbes contributor Adam Rowe, chronicles the process through which this story has gone since its publication. Aarsen is an ardent supporter of self-publishing, having joined Wattpad in 2012 “specifically because she was interested in self-publishing and ‘Wattpad seemed like a great way to build an audience.’ ‘When I posted chapters for the first time,'” she told Rowe, she “‘became really excited by receiving feedback from readers all over the world, and so quickly!'” Self-publishing’s timeliness and responsiveness has long been touted as one of its strengths, and it’s certainly one which has paid off for Light as a Feather, and Wattpad certainly seems to be having a moment as well, according to Rowe: “As the biggest and buzziest media companies continue to realize that books are the simplest medium for IP acquisition, Wattpad’s uniquely data-driven artistic approach seems to make the most sense.” We’ll leave the final judgment call up to you, but if you’re interested in serialized fiction, this is a must-read piece!

The grand Good E Reader is showing up for the industry again, as this article from contributor Mercy Pilkington demonstrates. In analyzing several reports from Publishers Weekly and Bowker, Pilkington crunches the numbers and comes up with a summary: “To correlate the numbers, the number of ISBN-assigned self-published ebooks has been dropping steadily–a fact that makes for really good soundbites from publishing industry conference stages–but the number of self-published books is still growing.” Which is a nice and straightforward way of saying: don’t trust the numbers from industry titans whose stranglehold on ISBNs is no longer universal, and whose expensive services an increasing number of self-publishing authors are learning to circumvent. The numbers that matter–and that can be tracked–are giving us far more good news than bad, Pilkington indicates, proving once more that self-publishing is in no way, as it was originally predicted to be, just a “flash in the pan.” Check out her full article!

Last but not least, we bring you some more of those very good numbers! This report comes to us courtesy of Books + Publishing, one of Australia’s premiere news sources for global industry data. This report, published less than two weeks ago, also digs into the Bowker report indicated above–an annual report covering worldwide publishing and self-publishing statistics–and highlights several other important details not touched on in depth by Pilkington. But first! The raw data. The report indicates that “Self-publishing in the US grew by 28% between 2016-2017, with a total of 1,009,188 self-published titles in 2017, up from 786,935 in 2016 with 8% growth from 2015-2016.” This is good news all-around for readers and writers in the industry, with unparalleled volume of reading material promoting the production of higher-quality material, as well. (As is indicated by the increased tendency of media engines in picking up self-published material for adaptation!) B+P agrees with Pilkington that the decrease in ISBNs issued has more to do with authors skipping that process altogether and the diversification of publishing paths–Wattpad is now considered a viable alternative to Amazon, as is the growing stable of quality indie and self-publishing companies–than it does with any decrease in self-publishing overall. Keep publishing, ya’all! You’re doing great things!


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.

selfpubicon1