A recent report from Author Earnings confirms that self-published titles are gaining enormous traction in the book market, and in particular, e-book sales. From humble and amateur beginnings only a few short years ago, Indie publishing has reduced the Big Five publishers to only 16% of the Amazon e-book market. While the data is only drawn from Amazon sales, their market dominance is so large that one can easily believe that it represents a trend across the whole publishing industry. But does this mean you can write a book, get rich and say, ‘I’ll give up my day job?’
With this information, it might be easy to conclude that self-publishing, or Indie publishing as it is often called now, is turning into a gold mine for authors. So should you give up your day job, write a book, and instantly become a rich Indie author? Well, no, yes and no.
Self-publishing isn’t easy to define
Self-publishing is not a singular definition. There are many so facets to it and while there are certainly a number authors who work all day and write all night and make a decent side income from self-publishing, there are also those who have tried to make it a full-time career, but failed to make more than a few dollars a month in their first year, so gave up. There are the hobby authors who appreciate the opportunity to publish, but are not dreaming of making a lot of money from their passion but do make a little money each month. Then there are those who think that by tapping out a few words and loading it up onto Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) will make them a killing. Within this group are scammers, Internet marketers and dreamers, and without being unkind, writers who have trouble even spelling the word, writer. Yet they are a very real and important component of self-publishing, as it is the freedom to publish that is at the very heart of this new form of publishing.
At the top of the list, though, are the professional self-publishers, who are a different breed of author to those I listed before. They treat it as a business and invest heavily in book launches, promotion, advertising and media placement. They are often authors who have been published traditionally in the past but have grasped the opportunity to earn far more than was being offered by their agents and publishers, by using their established author brand to self-publish and self-promote their new titles.
Then there is the new grey area, which is Small Press. These can range from well-established specialist traditional publishers, down to one self-published author who uses his or her knowledge and experience of publishing a few books on KDP to help other authors to self-publish. This is becoming more and more common, as those who often have little or no computer knowledge seek free or inexpensive help in getting their book published.
While the report by Author Earnings paints a very rosy unit sales picture of self-publishing against traditional publishing, it doesn’t offer any real information regarding Vanity Publishing.
As the Big Five all have vanity publishing wings now, are these books classed as self-published? There is also no breakdown of the sales data to know which segment of self-publishing is making the most inroads. My instinctive gut guess would be that those who have considerable publishing industry knowledge and acumen would stand the best chance of success. Self-publishing may be new, but publishing is not. The basics remain the same.
So by all means, take the opportunity to use self-publishing to express yourself, get that manuscript that has been gathering dust for years out into the marketplace, and when you have finished, write another book. But give up your day job? No. Not if you only plan to open a Twitter account, a Facebook Page and then believe that your book will sell like hot cakes, without a pound of investment.
Self-publishing is now a very big business with huge potential market. Don’t get too carried away by the suffix in front of the word publishing. Self-publishing is still publishing and that has always been a tough business, even when you know what you’re doing. Just ask the Big Five.
You may be familiar with the phrase “we don’t take unsolicited manuscripts” on publishers’ websites. It can be a disappointing sight for an aspiring writer yearning to be published. Fortunately, publishers are always soliciting; you just need to know how to get your work into that category.
1. LITERARY AGENTS
While many publishers don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts, some literary agents do. Literary Agents are there to connect writers with publishers and to help handle the legal documents regarding copyright (including print, film and radio) and royalties.
Entering writing competitions is a great way to get your name and work in front of publishers. Winners and those short-listed are often named in literary media—the same media that publishers read.
In addition to the publicity, some competitions also offer publication as a prize. The publication could be in media such as a magazine or newspaper, or it could be as a printed anthology or book. Manuscript competitions and awards have also helped many first-time writers publish.
Publishers and editors may not have time to read manuscripts, but they do have time to listen to pitches. A pitch is a short, sweet and powerful way of sharing your manuscript. If you can capture the essence and selling points of your story in a quick and compelling way, you could get someone willing to read your whole manuscript.
A portfolio is a collection or sample of your work. If you are a long-prose writer it might be beneficial to work on your short-prose skills, as portfolios usually aren’t made of novels. Portfolios can be attached to your resume, but if you want a publisher to notice you, you want it out in the world.
Lastly, but certainly not least, you need to know the right people. If you want a publisher to hear about your manuscript, you want to tap into that publishing network. Pitch your manuscript to the right people, and they might know a publisher who could be interested and pass it along.
For more tips and tricks on how to get your foot through that door, visit the rest of the article here: http://writersedit.com/5-simple-ways-take-manuscript-unsolicited-solicited/
Never give away your book rights for nothing
There are so many avenues available now for authors to publish a book.
At the top of the list, of course, are the five big publishers and their myriad of imprints, followed by medium and small press publishers.
Then there is a long list of hybrid publishers, micro-publishers, vanity publishers and lastly, untrustworthy charlatans.
For a new author, it can be daunting to know which is the best avenue to take, especially for those not confident in taking the self-publishing route.
Whenever an author considers using a publisher, the most critical element is making a decision will be in regard to the author’s book rights. Whether in part or in total, publishers will always want the rights to a book before they publish.
Generally, if a publisher is offering an advance, then it is logical to expect that an author would agree to sign over the rights to a book. But advances are a rarity in today’s publishing world.
For new authors, the far more common occurrence is that a publisher will demand the rights, but offer no money in return. In an increasing number, due to a lack of financial resources, small publishers ask for money from the author, to cover a part or even all of the publishing costs. This is definitely a danger signal.
Signing up with a publisher might sound exciting, but signing away the rights to your book without knowing how financially sound a publisher is, or checking on how successful they have been, can lead to serious problems.
Almost every day there is news of publishers going out of business, and this is when trouble can really strike. Getting your book rights back could take years, and that may even be optimistic.
So what can a new author do to avoid making a huge mistake? Find out here: https://www.justpublishingadvice.com/book-rights-and-wrongs-and-traps-to-avoid/
There can be many reasons why a book fails to grab readers, and while this blog concentrates mostly on the technical aspects and marketing side of self-publishing rather than the actual writing process, the choice of book genre can have major implications on both writing and marketing.
Writers often start writing a novel without giving their end product much thought, so when finished, it may sometimes be difficult to find a precise category or book genre for the book when it comes time to publish.
So here is a useful guide which explains with absolute clarity what the major genres represent, and what readers expect from each genre:
So you want to write a book and have it published. That’s great. But before you give up the day job, here are 10 awful truths about book publishing that you should be aware of: