How to Scare Away Readers

Happy October, everyone! In honor of this month, I’ll be sharing Halloween-themed posts each week. Be sure to check out the previous posts about spooky self-publishing statistics and why authors are scared to self-publish. This week, I’ll talk about things that will scare away readers and how to avoid these mistakes.

1) Typos and poor grammar

While even books published by big name traditional publishers occasionally have mistakes, readers expect books to be near flawless. If your manuscript is full of typos and grammar mistakes, readers will not take you or your book seriously, no matter how great your story. It is difficult to review your own manuscript, so I always recommend hiring a professional copyeditor.

2) A poorly developed story

Sometimes authors get rushed to meet a deadline or lose track of the direction of their book. If elements such as plot, characters, setting, organization, and voice aren’t properly developed, your book will leave readers disappointed. Since you are attached to your story and know in your mind how it is supposed to read, it is always best to have someone else review your story. Consider hiring a developmental editor or ask trustworthy friends, family, and colleagues to provide feedback.

3) A generic cover

Despite the cliché “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” readers decide whether or not to purchase a book based on the cover. Rather than using stock photos or artwork, I highly recommend spending extra for a personalized book cover that is professional and that captures the essence of your book.

I’d love to know, what scared you away from a book?

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

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

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.

 How a Bestselling Author Revived Her Career by Self-Publishing 

New York Times bestselling author Eileen Goudge has written 32 novels, sold over a million copies, and been translated into 22 languages. But you won’t find her next novel in a publisher’s catalog: she’s doing it herself. This is an interesting read for all authors.

The Next Wave of Tech Change | Self-Publishing & Libraries

This article discusses how the publishing industry has changed and what it means for libraries and self-publishing. It is a fascinating read for all authors.

Self-Publishing Maturing, Up 17% Last Year in the U.S.

The self-publishing market is entering a new stage of maturity after an initial boom several years ago, according to Bowker’s latest analysis of ISBN registrations in the U.S. from 2008 through 2013. Not all self-published authors obtain ISBNs for their work, but among those that have done so, the number of ISBNs registered in 2013 rose nearly 17% from the previous year. Be sure to check out the full article for more self-publishing statistics.

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

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 at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

Why Authors Are Scared to Self-Publish

Happy October, everyone! In honor of this month, I’ll be sharing Halloween-themed posts each week. Be sure to check out last week’s post about spooky self-publishing statistics. This week, I’ll talk about the haunting thoughts that keep some authors from self-publishing and share why you shouldn’t be scared of this publishing option.

1) The fear of not being taken seriously.

There was a time when self-publishing authors weren’t taken seriously. People referred to self-publishing as vanity publishing, but today, self-publishing is changing the publishing industry. Self-published authors have the opportunity to gain the same credibility and success as traditionally published authors. Many of them earn spots on prestigious lists such as NY Times Bestsellers lists, earn a lucrative income, and win various rewards and other recognitions. If you are willing to make your book professional, you can be taken seriously as a self-published author.

2) The fear of failure.

Some people associate self-publishing with low book sales and income. This is not accurate. It is important to remember that everyone has a different definition of success. Many self-publishing authors don’t publish with the goal of fame and fortune. They might create a book to share with family, or they may simply want to see their story in print and never worry about actually selling it. For these authors, yes, sales and revenue may be low, but there are also countless other self-published authors who strive to be profitable and who successfully do so. The key to self-publishing success is defining your goals and creating a marketing and promotion plan that will help you achieve those goals.

3) The fear of the process.

Self-publishing can seem a little overwhelming. You will be responsible for making a variety of decisions, including cover design, editing, promotion, and pricing. While control is what brings many people to self-publishing, it can feel a little overwhelming to some. Don’t let the process scare you. A good self-publishing company will have a wonderful team to guide you through the process and help you make the best decisions for your project. While you are in control, you are not alone.

I’d love to know, why are you scared of self-publishing?

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

Spooky Self-Publishing Statistics and Trends 2014

Happy October, everyone! In honor of this month, I’ll be sharing Halloween-themed posts each week. Today, I’ll start with some self-publishing and industry statistics and trends from the most recent data available. The information may shock you, but don’t be afraid; just keep reading.

  • The Big Five traditional publishers now account for only 16% of the e-books on Amazon’s bestseller lists.
  • Self-published books now represent 31% of e-book sales on Amazon’s Kindle Store.
  • Indie authors are earning nearly 40% of the e-book dollars going to authors.
  • Readers prefer longer e-books. The bestselling books tend to be over 100,000 words.
  • Series books outsell standalone books.
  • Pre-orders give authors a sales advantage.
  • Non-fiction earns more at higher prices.
  • The number of self-published titles in 2012 jumped to more than 391,000, up 59 percent over 2011 and 422 percent over 2007.
  • Ebooks continue to gain on print, comprising 40 percent of the ISBNs that were self-published in 2012, up from just 11 percent in 2007.
  • Self-published books’ share of the UK market grew by 79% in 2013.
  • In the UK, print sales fell by 10% last year and book purchasing as a whole was down 4%,  but ebook sales continue to grow.

Being knowledgable of book industry and self-publishing trends and statistics can help you make important decisions as a self-publishing author.

I’d love to know, how do these statistics impact your plans as a self-publishing author?

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

Self-Publishing Week in Review: 8/12/14

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.

Indie Authors Talk Editors

In this article, eight successful indie authors share their editing experiences and offer some tips and advice on the editing process. This is a must read for all self-publishing authors.

Everyone Needs an Editor

This article shares why a great story, professional book cover, awesome marketing plan, and stellar website are all a waste of time if you haven’t hired a professional editor to review your book. This is a must read for all authors.

Simon & Schuster Acquires Self-Published YA Novel

Aladdin Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, has acquired the book rights to Strays by Virginia Castleman, a self-published YA novel about two orphans. This self-publishing success story will inspire all independent authors, especially YA writers.

Self-Publish or Perish: Why I Made the Leap from Traditional Publishing to Indie

This NY Times Bestselling author shares why she decided to take the leap from traditional publishing to indie publishing. This is a fascinating read for all authors.

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

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 at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

Self-Publishing Week in Review: 8/05/14

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 Make A Living — And Sometimes A Fortune (http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2014/07/25/334484331/unknown-authors-make-a-living-self-publishing)

This article discusses how much money self-publishing authors make and how some authors are able to make a “fortune.” It also discusses Hugh Howey’s report that suggests that self-published authors make more money overall from ebooks than those signed with the big five publishing houses. It is an interesting read for all authors.

31 Percent of Daily E-Book Sales Are Now by Self-Published Authors

(http://smallbiztrends.com/2014/07/self-published-ebooks-on-amazon-study.html)

According to a report by the author’s advocacy group Author Earnings, self-published ebooks now account for 31 percent of daily ebook sales on Amazon, and self-published authors are now earning nearly 40% of all ebook royalties on the Kindle store.  This data is very encouraging to independent authors.

Surprising Self-Publishing Statistics

(http://booklife.com/books/07/28/2014/surprising-self-publishing-statistics.html)

This article also looks at the report released by the group Author Earnings as well as a 2014 survey from the founder of Smashwords. Key findings include:

  • The Big Five traditional publishers now account for only 16% of the e-books on Amazon’s bestseller lists. Self-published books now represent 31% of e-book sales on Amazon’s Kindle Store.
  • Indie authors are earning nearly 40% of the ebook dollars going to authors.
  • $2.99 and $3.99 are currently the pricing sweet spots for most ebook bestsellers.
  • Readers prefer longer ebooks. In fact, bestselling books tend to be over 100,000 words.
  • Pre-orders give authors a sales advantage.

Be sure to check out the full article for more surprising statistics!

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

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 at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

Self-Publishing Week in Review: 7/22/14

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 Publisher of One’s Own

This interesting article from Inside Higher Ed looks at self-publishing statistics and the role self-publishing currently plays in academic publishing. This thought-provoking piece illustrates the problems with traditional publishing while discussing the reluctance of many scholars to self-publish. This is a must read for all academic writers.

Kindle Unlimited earmarks $800k extra for self-publishers 

Amazon recently confirmed it will increase its fund for self-publishers agreeing to loan their ebooks by $800,000 this month. The retailer predicts an uptick in downloads with the launch of the Kindle Unlimited subscription service. Those with ebooks already being distributed under the Kindle Owners Lending Library will automatically see their titles added to Kindle Unlimited.

 Self-publishing surging to 31% of ebook market, claims report

A new report claims that self-published authors have surged to 31% of ebook sales on Amazon and are now earning more ebook royalties than writers published by the “Big five” traditional publishers. While some people have questioned the data, the figures show that self-published authors are successful and that the industry is growing.

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

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 at http://kellyschuknecht.com.