Who hasn’t felt that awkward moment between laughing and crying when the question, “do writers make money?” pops up? Unlike movie-makers and musicians, exact figures for authors’ earnings have always been notoriously difficult to retrieve. However, with the advent of Amazon’s publishing arm, interesting figures determining just how much authors can make from self-publishing versus traditional publishing arise....more
Posts Tagged: self publishing
Self-publishing has never been easier, and that means plagiarism has never been easier. Thieves are using self-publishing services like Amazon to republish back catalog or out-of-print books to sell for a profit. In some case these “authors” change minor things like character names, but not always....more
Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited product offers readers an all-you-can-eat model for book subscriptions. The books are mainly self-published titles (and Amazon pays authors by the number of pages read). The model sounds great in theory—readers download books risk-free, encouraging discovery of new books....more
Traditional publishers provide many services for authors, including fact-checking and obtaining permission for intellectual property. Self-publishing platforms don’t provide these services, and because of a recent court ruling, aren’t responsible for mistakes made by authors. The National Law Review looks at the landmark case, and how it removes liability for the publishing platforms:
The ruling might also serve as a reminder for providers to reexamine user agreements and terms of service to ensure that certain author representations about the non-infringing nature of uploaded content are clearly worded and that electronic contracting best practices are followed to ensure enforceability.
At the Guardian, Ros Barber explains why she believes self-publishing is not a valid alternative to traditional routes:
Traditional publishing is the only way to go for someone who writes literary fiction. With genre fiction, self-publishing can turn you into a successful author (if you can build a platform, if you enjoy marketing and are good at it, if you are lucky).
Meredith Wild is a self-published author, a success story of Amazon’s DIY digital publishing revolution. Wild has been so successful, in fact, that she has since launched her own independent publishing house to handle her books and those from other authors....more
Amazon’s self-publishing tools mean its never been easier to publish a book—and scammers have figured out how to churn out low-quality content to earn large amounts of money. The Washington Post (a company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos) takes the time to explore one such entrepreneur who has “written” more than eighty books....more
Athens, Georgia is home to a new radical bookstore, Bombs Away Books. The anarchist bookshop not only sells books, but is a DIY music venue featuring punk shows.
A specialty bookstore dedicated to self-published authors is ready to open in Florida....more
Wired is launching a book review section—of absurd self-published titles. Jason Kehe will in fact be judging books by their cover, selecting the books he reviews for the regular column by browsing the blog Kindle Cover Disasters. The first title in the series is Moira, The Zorzen War, The Divided Worlds Book 3:
If you’re confused, Moira probably is too.
There were more than 458,000 self-published titles in 2013, an increase of more than 437% since 2008. And when it comes to DIY publishing, women seem to be the bigger beneficiaries, reports the Guardian. An analysis of self-published titles by FicShelf reveals that 67% of the top-ranked titles were written by women....more
Should writers retweet their own praise? Insofar as Twitter is a platform for self-promotion, sharing positive reviews seems logical—but when a publishing medium does double duty as a sphere of social interaction, this logic gets complicated:
Twitter, as a public platform, is intrinsically performative (to pretend otherwise is disingenuous), yet the performative nature of it is undercut and often ameliorated in ways that make Twitter tolerable and even enjoyable, by some level of honesty…In that way, Twitter and its ethics are not so different from, and no more thornier than, actual life.
During Amazon’s skirmish with Hachette, one group that rallied to Amazon’s defense were the self-published authors who claimed that the Kindle allowed their overlooked voices a platform. Now, those authors find themselves sinking as the online retailer has turned on them with the Kindle Unlimited service, undermining their book sales....more
Traditional publishers can’t do what Amazon does; Amazon can’t do what traditional publishers do (and no, the fact that bookstores don’t carry books published by Amazon is not the only reason why this is true, though that’s a subject for another post).
All for a novel? Eighth grade school teacher Patrick McLaw was placed on leave by the Dorchester County Board of Education and is currently being investigated by the County’s Sheriff, James Phillips, who explained—somewhat cryptically—that McLaw is at a “location known to law enforcement ....more
Some of the best self-published books end up with amateur covers. While professional publishers consider every detail of book’s cover, like whether a font should be sans-serif or not base on genre, independent authors lack the experience to do the same....more
Writers have been getting poorer, and it turns out publishers are partly to blame. The Guardian reports that while authors are expected to do more when it comes to marketing and promotion, and though electronic books have lowered costs for publishers, the beneficiaries of these savings tend to be the publishers rather than the authors:
Nicola Solomon, who heads the 9,000-member strong Society of Authors, said that publishers, retailers and agents are all now taking a larger slice of the profit when a book is sold, and that while “authors’ earnings are going down generally, those of publishers are increasing”
As authority disseminates across webs of increasingly smaller presses and publications, it becomes harder and harder for new authors to see their books on bookstore shelves, especially those of larger stores like Barnes & Noble’s.
Unless, of course, they put the books there themselves:
They haven’t yet asked me to stop desecrating their shelves with my book, or notice, for that matter.
The rise of self-publishing and smaller independent presses has left many writers questioning the value of literary agents and their fifteen percent commissions. The collaborative nature of publishing depends on these middlemen though, warns Bethanne Patrick at Beyond the Margins:
…agents today do more than simply harvest a commission (if indeed they ever did only that).
After two years of global roaming, Andrew Hyde funded his self-published travel book This Book Is About Travel through the website Kickstarter.
His funders indicated their overwhelming preference that his book be available on a Kindle, a sentiment understood and welcomed by the author himself, who is a self-identified Kindle reader....more
More fuel to add to the self-publishing discussion:
HTMLGIANT has posted a thorough guide on self-publishing books—how to print, distribute, get your very own ISBN, and a list of what has been proven not to work binding-wise. Because learning from the successes and failures of others is always helpful and saves time....more
To say that I’ve had a checkered history in publishing would be like saying Elizabeth Taylor had a checkered history in marriage....more