Today I’m on my way to give a seminar on self-publishing at the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference. I gave a similar talk last June to a smaller group, but the publishing world is in constant change, so I’m scrambling to gather new information.
I do know that self-published authors are now also called Indie Publishers or Author-publishers. Only about 32% of Indie authors were rejected by traditional publishers, and now even authors like Jackie Collins have self-published e-books. Authors who self-publish and traditionally publish are called Hybrid Authors. Hybrids are the most successful, earning four times as much as the self-published.
There used to be six big publishers, now there are five. Self-published used to mean doing it all, but now there are middle-men companies, like Booktrope and AuthorHouse. With them, authors retain copyrights but have help with professional editing, design and book packaging. Even PR groups like Smith Publicity, provide self-published book promotion options.
Once considered lame, self-published is now considered cool. We’re like Indie film-makers. While publishers mass-produce books their distributors want to sell, we create what readers want to buy and read. More of us are paying for professional editors and book covers now, too.
What hasn’t changed is very simple. Those authors (self or otherwise) who earn the most spend more of their time writing. They spend almost 70% more time writing, write 1/3 more, and do the least amount of marketing. They write books for readers. They don’t sell to them.
How has self-publishing changed for you?