Big Doings in Self-Publishing

The first week of May 2011 saw several major developments in the world of self-publishing.

Pick your choice of metaphors: The “revolution” is picking up steam; critical mass has been achieved; the new day has dawned….

First the News:

1) Another Imprint: Amazon announced it is about to launch new imprints in several niche fields starting with romance before moving on to thrillers, mysteries and sci fi. Each book will be published in digital, audio and physical formats. This decision reflects the battle going on mainly in the digital space. By publishing its own niche imprints, Amazon will try to serve those readers who are buying low priced digital editions by the kindle-full. Self-publishers take note. This represents another new outlet for your works.

2) In Beta: If you are a writer there are two ways you can profit from Book Country, a website created by Penguin Group. You can submit your works to be read and critiqued by other writers and you can critique other offers. I find I learn a lot from reading early drafts by aspiring writers and by submitting my drafts for constructive criticism. I’ve been using for this purpose for a short while, but will be trying Book Country as well.

Summing It All Up

In the Arts Section of the Sunday May 8 Washington Post, the lead story is titled “Your novel got rejected? Join the e-book gold rush!” The point of the story is that you can make a bundle self-publishing. Of course, not everyone will; in fact Mark Coker of Smashwords reports that the vast majority of self-published books on his list sell very few books while a few knock the ball out of the court.

The big take-away is what Seth Godin, author of 13 books on marketing, said: “You have to earn an audience.” The options for self-publishing are growing so fast that it’s not more possible than ever before to do so.

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