Self-Publishing News: 6.25.2019

june

And now for the news!

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

It’s always something of a special moment when a big entrepreneurial website—in this case Inc.com—picks up on the role of publishing in building a personal brand and in sharing ideas, and this week’s example is a very sweet moment, indeed. Amy Morin, author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, writes to introduce readers interested in writing a book to the basics of what they need to know in order to do so. Morin first asks the big question: should an author go with traditional or self-publishing, and how do they know which is best for their circumstances? Writes Morin, each choice has benefits and drawbacks, but “A self-published book means you’ll have more control over what goes in the book and how it’s designed. While that can be positive, it also means you have to make more decisions and it’s up to you to hire people to assist you along the way.” Morin also points out that self-publishing is faster and allows authors to jump right into the writing process without delay. Morin’s article is thoughtful and well-reasoned, and for those new to the process, totally worth a read!

In another strong showing from Thrive Global, author Prince Sanders writes that “For publishing my last children’s book, “The Extraordinarily Ordinary Life of Prince – Which Fork’s First,” I opted to go a different route. I didn’t follow the traditional path of publication but instead chose to self-publish my book. Like every choice, the option has both its advantages and disadvantages. I learned a lot through my journey to self-publishing, and you will too! Here are some of the skills that I learned during the process.” Sanders, who is of course associated with a current politician of some power in this country by name and employment, is something of an advocate for author/entrepreneurs—but no matter where you fall on the political spectrum, we’re sure you’ll find something of value in Sanders’ closing encouragement: “Publishing your first book is a roller coaster of a process, full of ups and downs. With perseverance, dedication, and self-awareness you will be able to produce a piece that you are proud of. I hope you’ve been able to learn from my journey!” That’s a sentiment that we can all celebrate!


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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.

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Self-Publishing News: 6.18.2019

june

And now for the news!

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

This week, author and entrepreneur Trish Tonaj writes out of her own experience, narrating the story of how she came to build her career in the way that she has. Writes Tonaj,

I think back to a time when the only way you would find your name in the hallowed halls of a library or bookstore was to become “published.” Find a literary agent who would represent your work to a publisher who would “sign you on” and only if they felt you were marketable and had the credentials.

In today’s business climate, you have the ability to become self-published…a journey into the world of words where you may share your sense of adventure and market yourself!

I have had the pleasure of pursuing both options; self-publishing and being represented by a publisher.  To anyone in the biz, you are then able to use the phrase “published author” which confirms the time when someone has taken the leap of faith to “sign you on.”  I have heard it described as having “bonafides” – establishing yourself as a trusted author.  I am not sure if it makes a difference, but, there is something to be said for seeing your name on a bookstore shelf.

Tonaj goes on to suggest several ways of improving your writing and publishing experience, particularly in collaboration with others. Well worth a read!

Publishers Weekly has a long history of supporting indie and self-publishing authors, if only quietly or subtly (depending on the contributor), but this week the publication comes firmly out in defense of those who choose that route, even providing multiple useful tips for making a success out of one’s self-publishing experience and avoiding the pitfalls of falling foul of scams. For better or worse, as many are already aware, the word “scam” has long been (too) closely associated with “self-publishing,” with some detractors even going so far as to assume that every self-publishing company is a scam. This is manifestly not true, and a downright unfair association when one considers how little most traditionally-published midlist authors actually make, and how much support they receive, despite their “traditional” experience. That said, Alex Palmer of PW provides some useful suggestions in steering clear of bad experiences: know who you’re dealing with, spot the danger signs, and use discretion as you would with all other major life decisions. Another worthwhile 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 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: 6.12.2019

june

And now for the news!

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

The biggest news in publishing—traditional and indie alike—this week is, of course, the sale of Barnes & Noble. After what amounted to a rapid-fire ping-pong match between incoming and outgoing leadership, Barnes & Noble may be on firmer footing at last—although the ultimate effects of having been purchased by the same hedge fund that manages U.K. book juggernaut Waterstones remain to be seen, as The New York Times contributors Alexandra Alter and Tiffany Hsu point out. Barnes & Noble has hit an incredibly rough patch in recent years, shuttering stores and experimenting with new sales models in a desperate bid to keep its head above water. Barnes & Noble’s in-house self-publishing platform was part of a doomed—truly disastrous, financially—bid to keep the retailer on the forefront of change. That platform has fallen by the wayside, but self-publishers everywhere who want an alternative or additional platform through which to sell other than Amazon still lean heavily on the NOOK store for distribution. You can be sure authors and readers across all publishing and genre divides will be watching closely as Barnes & Noble moves into this brave new era with (yet more) new leadership.

EconoTimes has come out with a recent list worth taking note of: the top five ways its staff recommends getting to know one’s readers. The article covers how and why to dig into advance copies (collectively known as ARCs), how to parse digital content created by others as well as how to make full use of one’s own blogging platform for building a sense of community amongst readers, getting interviews on podcasts, and some additional general tips. It’s a great little primer for those who have a manuscript in process but aren’t quite to the publishing stage, and could even prove useful to authors who have already self-published a book and are struggling to connect.

One of our favorite awards of the year, the 2019 Next Generation Indie Book Award winners have been announced! This press release points readers towards the full list: “A complete list of 2019 winners and finalists is available at the Next Generation Indie Book Awards website at www.indiebookawards.com.”  A number of self-publishing and indie presses are well represented, including Outskirts Press! We couldn’t be more excited to dig into our newly expanded reading lists!


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: 6.4.2019

june

And now for the news!

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

In what has turned out to be a slower news week, Katy Cowan of Creative Boom brought us something really special: a profile of and interview with Kristyna Baczynski, an illustrator and zine enthusiast who has recently put together a workbook through which children can get their first hands-on experience with zines themselves. Writes Cowan,

What is it about magazines that Kristyna loves so much? “Boutique publishing, self-publishing, small press, micro-publishers, DIY zines… they are all different, but have a similar ethos or motivation; the creators saw a gap, a lack of representation and decided to construct it themselves. From bedroom stapled zines with a run of ten, to beautifully printed bi-annual niche magazines, I love when people get together and make the weird content that nobody asked for, but they feel compelled to share.”

The implication? There’s room in self-publishing and these other edge-of-the-envelope-pushing forms for everyone, including blockbuster authors looking for a bit more creative control as well as niche writers and creators—those who are, as Baczynski puts it, “make the weird content that nobody asked for” … but that everybody most definitely needs in their lives. Sometimes it’s the niche unasked for book that helps change our minds about something, or broadens our perspective a little, in ways that reading asked-for content just can’t do.

We’ve written about zines frequently on Self Publishing Advisor, but this is the first time we’ve seen someone actively producing physical or print materials and resources to enable young newcomers to create their first zine. What a neat idea!

We’re always excited to see self-publishing gain a toehold in new corners of the world, and this week brought us exciting news from Romania, no less! In a press release on Digital World, we found out the details about Vlad Alecu, who launched his career at age 12, and who self-published his first book at only 16. Now no longer a teenager but a teacher and fully-fledged entrepreneur, Alecu is looking back on his work in self-publishing. As the press release puts it,

Vlad teaches to over 10,000 students on Udemy, expanding more in the educational area with books for almost all ages (now launching “Kickstart.” – The #1 Digital Marketing Guide!).

It didn’t take long for Alecu to become a Self-Published Author & Entrepreneur with several ventures in the self-publishing space, e-commerce and app development.

Asked about his remarkable entrepreneurial success, Alecu said, “I am looking towards solving bigger problems, even though I like creating little projects for fun.”

Good news out of Romania! We wish all Romanian self-publishing authors, including Alecu, the best of luck in their ongoing efforts.


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: 5.28.2019

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!

This week, Publishers Weekly contributor Matia Burnett profiles indie success story, Gurpreet Kaur Sidhu, who wrote her first book in the seventh grade (heavily inspired by Harry Potter, like many of us!) and who always found in writing a way of both retreating from and reframing her relationship to the off-the-page world. Writes Burnett, “As Sidhu came of age and pursued a career in business management—serving as assistant manager at a Fortune 500 company—she continued to find a haven from life’s stresses and disillusionments through writing creatively.” Burnett allows us a closer look at Sidhu’s latest book, a self-published title simply titled Storm. Her journey was, as with many indie and self-published authors, far from straightforward:

Sidhu set out to publish her novel traditionally. “In the very beginning, I was dead set on getting an agent and having my work published through a big publishing house,” she says. But she was pragmatic in her approach, weighing the pros and cons of traditional publishing and self-publishing. The latter won out.

“After getting rejected over 50 times, I decided that if I wanted the world to read my work, I wasn’t going to wait around or be dead by the time they discovered Storm,” Sidhu says. She also recognized that she’d need some expert advice in order to effectively navigate the world of self-publishing and hired an editor and a publicist—a move that she strongly recommends for first-time authors.

In an age of plentiful gadgets and gizmos, finding useful expertise to navigate all of the options is indeed a move that we here at Self Publishing Advisor could get behind, as well. You can find out more about Sidhu’s book by following the link to the Publishers Weekly article, above.

(Hint: Step 6 is to self-publish.) Tarun Varshney writes a straightforward what-to (a necessary prequel to any how-to) in this week’s Entrepreneur that provides, if only as a final flourish, an endorsement of self-publishing for those authors struggling to find publishing homes for their manuscripts. Writes Varshney, there are definitely some structural and sentence-level work that can be done to render your work more appealing to traditional publishing houses, but there are also some manuscripts that are better suited—whether in content or form—for an indie approach.

Rejection doesn’t mean: your book is bad. There could be other reasons:

a. publisher doesn’t know how to sell your book and fears to invest money
b. publisher’s book publishing target for the year has been completed
c. a literary agent is fully occupied
d. a literary agent is not active at that time

So, do not think about the flaws in your work. Your work is in the best possible shape if you have followed steps properly. Go for print-on-demand model. So you can invest along the way based on the response from readers.

Varshney also reminds readers of Entrepreneur that ultimately, the polish and shine isn’t what brings a book financial success—it’s connecting with readers. And connecting with readers, as Varshney puts it, is “all about awareness about you and your book.” Boosting awareness requires as much time and energy as writing, but there are ways forward through the workload—as we have written about on this very website!


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: 5.21.2019

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!

This week, Forbes came through for self-publishing authors in a big way, with this article by ForbesWomen contributor MeiMei Fox bringing a bit of sunshine into our lives. Fox’s premise is fairly self-explanatory, given the article’s title, but her content is well worth a deep read or two. “These days,” Fox opens the article, “aspiring authors don’t have to rely on the miracle of finding a literary agent and securing a deal with a traditional publishing house. Self-publishing makes it easy to get your words out there – the tricky part is ensuring that your work gets read. That requires self-promotion.” She touches base with three bestselling self-published authors who happen to be women, all three of whom “have built highly successful careers […] while also being sure to create entire brands around their literary creations to generate income and further secure their fan base.” Those authors are Crystal Swain-Bates, an accomplished children’s book author dedicated to closing the diversity gap in publishing, Kristen Ashley, successful author to numerous romance novels that embrace body positivity and a richer perception of womanhood than is common in the genre, and Penny Reid, who first got into self-publishing because traditional publishers rejected her romance work as having “too many thoughts and used too many big words,” which says a lot about what publishers think women want and are capable of digesting. Each of the authors Fox covers provides some strategic advice to authors (of any gender) looking not only to get into self-publishing but to market their books successfully. Fox’s article closes with a list of eight suggestions on how to do just that.

While many self-publishing authors who are not male might bristle at this article title, this article provided by Prime Press to the Good Men Project opens with a statement of fact: “According to a study published by ResearchGate, men cover at least 72.62% of all the published books recorded since 2010. In the digital publishing world, nothing much will surprise you as well.” Publishing has been growing more diverse of late, of course, and self-publishing provides a democratizing influence over the process as it makes room for diverse authors, women authors, and voices from the margins—but it’s true, men are still in the lead when it comes to overall quantity of voices. As Prime Press puts it, “a whopping 31% of e-book sales on Amazon’s Kindle Store are self-published books, with at least 51% of it written by male authors. This is not surprising since literature spent centuries being a male-dominated arena. There are more male authors receiving recognition, financial success, and hold positions in relevant associations.” But that percentage—51%—is a lot closer to parity than in traditional publishing! The article goes on to profile a number of male self-publishing authors, including Mitch Miller, Robert Gallent, Paul Halme, and Brad Gilmore, each of whom has had great success in self-publishing. 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 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: 5.14.2019

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!

In this recent article for the Irish Examiner, contributor Margaret Jennings converses with Frank Kelly, a printer who provides services to self-publishing authors. Kelly, who often partners with older authors looking to publish for the first time after retirement, pushes back against the lingering threads of stigma still tied to the process, especially when it comes to older writers. Writes Jennings,

You don’t have to “have a creative bone in your body”, he says, to witness the joy of seeing your name in print. Memoirs, biographies, family histories, local historical society compilations, are also all very popular projects and demand the focussed [sic] application of collating information in a chronological order.

All this is very good for the ageing process, he says.“It’s great for our whole well-being and longevity: it exercises the brain; it gives you a purpose in life, and a sense of achievement. We should always have something to look forward to, that’s my own personal philosophy — it’s the simple things that keep you going in life.”

For positive brain-ageing, writing focuses the mind, but also encourages the self-discipline to sit down and write a few pages every evening, he argues: “Instead of sitting down and watching a box-set, like a couch potato, in the evening, do a chapter a day, or write four pages a day; make a commitment to do something.”

In addition to the benefits associated with writing, Jennings (and Kelly) also note that publishing, separately from writing, has its own advantages: publishing provides a legacy, while promoting a new book with a launch party gives the author a specific time and place to boost their connectedness within their own community. Sounds pretty good to us!

In this week’s issue of the University of Melbourne’s Pursuit, Dr. Beth Driscoll digs into the development of what she calls microgenres, or “ultra-specific tags and categories” which are affixed to various books as they are published in order to render them more easily findable by readers. According to Dr. Driscoll, while “Genre has never been a very stable concept […] that hasn’t stopped it shaping the book industry and driving readers’ choices,” and the rise of microgenres isn’t all bad. Writes Dr. Driscoll, “they have effects that are social, textual, and industrial. Genres prompt social gatherings like cosplay at conventions. Genres influence what happens on the pages of books”—and “In an industry where all publishing is to some extent digital, microgenres, categories and tags all feed algorithms and make titles discoverable.” This is good news for readers. But what about self-publishing authors? As someone who has gone through the process herself, Dr. Driscoll knows a bit. “It’s often authors, these days, who choose how to categorise their own books,” she writes; in order to explore just what the experience looks and feels like, Dr. Driscoll and her fellow researchers co-wrote a comic erotic thriller about self-publishing and then … self-published it. Under a pseudonym, of course. They picked their codes and microgenres and then released into the world. The project is ongoing, writes Dr. Driscoll, but some results are already in:

As author-publishers, we have found that ultra-specific tags and categories can feel limiting, like putting creative work into ever-tinier boxes. But they can also feel generative and exciting, as they suggest new pathways for a book to travel along.

What our self-publishing adventure highlights is that microgenres help books and readers find one another in a global, digital age. Microgenres feed the algorithms that can push books towards niche bestseller charts or reading communities, and then springboard them into wider readerships.

Despite, or perhaps because of, the challenging instability and adaptability of ‘genre’, it is an ever-more powerful tool to help books circulate.

As you write and publish your own works, it’s worth keeping the power (and pitfalls) of microgenres in mind.


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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