Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Cruel Paradox of Self-Publishing - Atlantic's Take on Changes in the Industry

Ouch. What a title. It certainly got my attention as I was searching for something else. After reading the article, I had to agree with some of the author's points, but not all.

The story is worth reading but I believe is written from the viewpoint of traditional publishing that is only beginning to realize self-publishing could potentially become a major competitor to the traditional publishing houses.

The story, I believe, was probably written due to the fact Penguin Group has purchased Author Solutions Inc, for $100 million dollars. Somebody at the Atlantic took notice. When that amount of money changes hands, it does generate some attention.

Yes, most self-publishing authors sell fewer than 150 copies of their books. I have several that certainly fall into that category. I also have several that have sold thousands of copies and for a niche non-fiction market, I think that speaks well for those books.

Digital publishing has changed the game. Print-on-demand, Amazon's Kindle, the Nook, Google Books and ebooks in general have leveled the playing field a bit for authors.

No longer is the question "how do you get published?" Now the question is "how do your self-publish?" The advantages can be considerable.

The challenges are also considerable and perhaps that is the value in reading the Atlantic's article if you are considering self-publishing.

For those of you who are up to the challenge, the real question to ask is not "how do you self-publish" but rather, I believe, "how do you market a book?!" 

Just as important a question to consider is print-on-demand versus ebooks and Kindle versus Nook. Which digital format to use?

Self-publishing is a business. Books need to be sold in order for them to be read.