Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Self-Publishers

Lots of the News About #Publishing Is Dead Wrong


What?

The news not telling us the truth??

Well, that just can’t be true!

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I certainly hope you can detect my irony

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Nearly all the news (as far as I can tell) has an agenda, pulls a few punches, caters to money or influence or special interests

The BookWorld is no different.

However, there are, thank God, sources of news that can be trusted.

One of the most trustworthy folks in the BookWorld is Jane Friedman.

In fact, if you scroll down to the Top Tags widget in the left side-bar and click on her name, you’ll find 37 articles featuring her (including this one…).

So, she recently had an article titled, The Myth About Print Coming Back and Bookstores on the Rise.

As usual, I’ll give you a few excerpts and leave it to you to check out the full article

As far as news outlets and individuals touting the two issues in the title of her article, she states simply:

“Most of it is wishful thinking rather than an understanding of what’s actually happening out there.”

There are some very clear graphs in the full article and these bullet points:

1. The ebook sales decline in the United States is related to traditional publishing and possibly its high pricing.
2. Recent print sales gains can be accounted for by coloring books.
3. Market share is drifting away from the Big Five publishers to small presses and self-publishers.

Just a few more excerpts ( for the folks who never take links out of blog posts :-)

“Adult ebook sales have been relatively stable; the big decline is in children’s/YA ebook sales due to the lack of a big franchise hit in 2015. (I hope it gives you pause to learn that the absence of a Harry Potter book or a new YA series can directly affect how well the industry does in a given year.)”

“Nielsen reports that about 12 million coloring books were sold in 2015. Compare that to just 1 million in 2014.”

“Carry a big dose of skepticism, and look at possible underlying agendas, when you hear celebrations about print’s comeback. While I’m not at all proclaiming the death of print or traditional publishers, few media outlets have an understanding of the big picture.”

Also for the folks who never take links out of blog posts—if you really want to get trustworthy news about the BookWorld, you may want to try a 30-day Free Trial of this publication
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Clearing Our Heads About Amazon


First, even though I cover Reading, Writing, and Publishing, Amazon does not carry only books.

Amazon Hachette

Image Courtesy of mantis wong ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/mantiswong

That may be quite obvious but, in the raging battles over the company, there are many folk who, for various reasons, forget the obvious…

If you haven’t been up to speed on the Amazon-Hachette battle, the best I can do to catch you up is have you read my past post, Almost Against My Will ~ Yet Another Look At The Amazon–Hachette Dispute…

And, to catch you up on other important issues in the book and publishing world, check out these articles by Joe Konrath:

For the Authors Guild & Other Legacy Publishing Pundits

Death and the Self-Pubbed Writer

Konrath’s Advice to Publishers

I thought my post up there, with Almost Against My Will in the title, would be my last about Amazon, for awhile—the hoopla and grizzly name-calling is just too much…

But…

When Joe Konrath weighs-in, reason lights up the alleys of conflict, so, I’m sharing this article:

The great Amazon debate: A leading Amazon critic and a self-publishing rock star try to find common ground

This is a communication between Konrath and Rob Spillman, editor of Tin House magazine and editorial advisor of Tin House Books.

At the beginning of the piece, Spillman refers to Konrath as an author who “…has self-published 24 novels (three of them No. 1 Amazon sellers), hundreds of stories, and has sold over 3 million copies of his books.”

Then comes Rob’s letter to Joe, then Joe’s answer, then Rob’s attempt at rapprochement…

For those of you who don’t follow links and read what they point to, I’ll give you just one excerpt of what Joe says concerning his experience with the “Big” publishers and, then, his experience with Amazon:

“I was a Roman prisoner in the Coliseum, being feasted on by lions. Those lions were big publishers. After 20 years, a million written words, and nine rejected novels, I finally landed a book contract. And I worked my ass off and published eight novels with legacy publishers, dozens of short stories with respected magazines, and went above and beyond everything that was required of me, in order to succeed.

“And I got eaten. One-sided contracts, broken promises, lousy money. But it was the only game in town. If I wanted to make a living as a writer, I had no choice.

“Then Amazon invented the Kindle.

“I first self-pubbed in May of 2009. That first month I made $1,500, publishing books that New York rejected.”

Joe went on to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars from those “rejected” books…

So, if you’ve been confused about whether Amazon is an evil giant and Hachette is the aggrieved party, read that article…
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How Is Digital Self-Publishing Affecting Traditional Publishers?


The importance of relying on a few people at massive companies to judge whether a book should be published seems to be evaporating… 

Publishing

Image courtesy of Zsuzsanna Kilian ~ http://www.sxc.hu/profile/nkzs

Plus, self-publishing isn’t really new.

Many famous authors of the past self-published.

The difference (and, what’s causing concern for traditional publishers) is Freely-Available Digital Tools.

I’m going to share part of an article by Jack W Perry, owner of a consulting firm helping publishing transition to digital.

First, though, I’ll list a few of my past posts that could help you get up to speed on what’s been happening:

The Various Flavors of Publishing . . . (interesting comments on that one)

Will Traditional Publishers Survive? (two authoritative comments there)

Indie Authors Are Learning How To Act Like Publishers

So, are you familiar with a company called Harlequin—billed as “the world’s leading romance book publisher”?

Seems they’re in a bit of trouble and some “experts” feel what’s happening to them might happen to the other legacy publishers

There’s an article on Digital Book World called, Lessons Publishers Can Learn From Harlequin’s Annual Results, by Jack W Perry, where he says:

“Harlequin’s annual revenues have dropped by almost $100-million over the past five years.”

It’s true that Harlequin is a single-genre publisher but Perry thinks their annual report has warnings for other traditionals.

Here’s some of what Harlequin said:

“The proliferation of less expensive, and free, self-published works could negatively impact Harlequin’s revenues in the future.”

“The low cost of digitization has also led to a proliferation in the number of digital titles available and increased competition.”

“The significant growth of the digital book market in recent years has resulted in a contraction of the retail print market.”

“Online retailers have also entered into the book publishing business creating additional competition.”

“The decrease in North American revenues was the result of declines in the retail print and direct-to-consumer channels.”

There are some apologists for legacy publishing who are still crying foul about these changes

It’s like some kid screaming that the lemonade stand next to his—the one with hand-squeezed lemons (not instant powder) and free refills—is cutting into his business

Of course it is!

Wise up, kid, and find your own competitive advantage.

Am I being callous?

Is there more to it?

Are self-published e-books automatically inferior?

What are your thoughts and feelings?
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FastPencil ~ Funny Name, Dynamite Publishing-Aid Company


FP

This is the 18th post I’ve written about FastPencil on this blogFastPencil is Software in the Cloud – so you don’t have to download anything to your computer. It’s the fastest and easiest way to write, publish and sell books and ebooks—anywhere!

In one past post, I summarized the FastPencil experience this way:

*Write a book on their site,
while inviting BetaReaders or editors to work with you
—> Free

*Revise, edit, check multiple proofs,
upload a cover, work-out front and back matter, etc.
—> Free

*Publish and have the book distributed to
Amazon, Barnes&Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and Ingram

(Print & E-book editions)
—> $300

As a matter of fact, if you want to sell your book only on the FastPencil Site (with a very cool sales widget you can use on your own WebSite or Blog) it costs just the printing price of one book, before you add your own royalty—In my case that would have been around $5

But, I went for the $300 package :-)

If you’ve decided to go the Indie route but want a company behind you that can help you distribute your book, FastPencil is, imho, the BEST!

Watch this video for a complete introduction to their services:

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A Bouquet of Links for Readers, Writers, and Publishers . . .


Every so often, I clean out my collection of links to possible sources for blog posts—rescue sites from the damp cellar of my browser’s bookmarks.

Two past occurrences of this were:

Cleaning Out The Drawer ~ A Bouquet of Posts

A Bouquet of Articles for Writers & Publishers

The first rescued link is to Copyscape, a place to check for plagiaristic copies of your writing—also possible by using quoted selections from your work with Google Alerts

And, here’s a wild article—the title is quite self-explanatory: Did You Know That Professional Writing Is Dying And Only Taxing The Public To Pay Writers Can Save It?

And, due to the recent death of this famous author: Remembering Gore Vidal: 10 Quotes on Writing.

For those who trust technology, a Free Grammar Checker.

Especially for Science Fiction Readers: Sci-fi dreams in reality: 10 writers’ fantasies that have come true.

And, for those writers who are their own publishers: 9 Ways to Market Your Book With No Money.

Back to grammar, for writers, readers, or publishers who love to correct others: The Curious Pleasure Of Peeving.

For those who like medical studies: Babies’ ability to detect complex rules in language outshines that of adults.

For Reader’s Eyes Only: First Page Writing – A Reader’s Perspective.

How about a writer who listened carefully to what her story wanted to say and had readers thinking her writing was non-fiction: The War of Narratives.

And last, for readers, writers, teachers, parents, publishers, and kids of all ages: Young author pens series of five books before 14th birthday.
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