Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Indie E-books

Is The Success of Indie Authors Just A Bunch of Hype?


There’s a war going on.

One side has been around for a long time and has lots of money.

The other side is the new kid on the block and has an unquenchable spirit.

The rich old ones are playing dirty and the young upstarts haven’t quite figured out the “rules”.

Yet, the old ones are scared

The pundits are having a heyday but contradict each other like the most fickle of winds.

So, what’s really happening with the Indie Author Upsurge?

Let’s throw what little true light we have on the facts:

1. Traditional publishers still have the bookstore and library markets in their grip.

2. Brick-and-mortar bookstores are having a very hard time of it.

3. Libraries are losing funding while pulling out all the stops on innovation.

4. Indie authors have the creative freedom they need but distribution of their print books is still mostly relegated to online retailers.

5. The market for e-books is growing

If you can make an accurate forecast from those 5 points, you must have secret information :-)

I’ve written here before about the Indie Author Phenomenon.

And, if you need a bit of clarification about who those authors are, try the past post, “What IS An Indie Author?”

One clear fact, at least from my perspective, is that the main arena for indie authors is the e-book market.

Enter Mark Coker, Founder and CEO of Smashwords, “…the world’s largest distributor of indie ebooks.”

One would think he might have a bit of perspective on the whole Indie-Thing, eh?

Well, he flat-out surprised the hell out of me with his recent article—10 Reasons Indie Authors Will Capture 50% of the Ebook Market by 2020.

I’ll list his 10 reasons below but the Surprise was his offer of a spreadsheet you can download and use to make your own trend-predictions for the e-book market’s growth and whether Indie authors will become as influential as the Legacy publishers

One reason I think he did this is that the Real Numbers for various types of publishing are rather hard to come by  ( Check out Making A Living As A Writer… for a new initiative to clarify some of those numbers ).

So, here are Mark’s 10 Reasons (do read the original article for his reasoning about these points):

* Print will continue to decline as a book-reading format as more readers transition to screens.

* Brick and mortar bookstores will continue their march into the sunset with more store closures.

* The perceived value of publishers will decline in the eyes of writers as the importance of print distribution declines.

* Indie authors have learned to publish like professionals, which means self publishing will lead to more better books, and more diversity of better books.

* The number of self-published ebooks will explode, and these ebooks will continue to enjoy democratized access to professional publishing and distribution tools….

* The most successful indie authors are mentoring the next generation of authors.

* The stigma once associated with self publishing is melting away at the same time the stigma of traditional publishing is on the rise.

* Writers are discovering the joy of self publishing.

* Readers don’t care about the publisher name on the ebook’s virtual spine.

* The growing rift between writers and publishers will cause the next generation of writers to avoid shopping their books to publishers, and will undermine the goodwill of writers who until now have been loyal to their traditional publishers.

Here’s a link if you’d like to read my past posts about e-books.

And, here’s a post that will guide you to over 40,000 Free E-books :-) [Hurry, ’cause the offers are going away after March 8th…]
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