Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Is There a Future in Self Publishing?

The future of publishing is difficult to predict, as changes to book publishing is escalating all the time. My guess is that book sales on Kindle and paperback will become more difficult for the increasing numbers of books available. Both traditional publishers and the self published writer will experience the squeeze.

The Future of Traditional Publishing

Future of Self Publishing
But I believe self published books will continue to form a large chunk of the total book sales on Kindle, rivaling traditionally-published books. Customers will get fussier over what to read for the sheer choice, and the publishing industry will get more cut-throat, swamped with offers and freebies.

But the number of readers will also increase, as Amazon (as well as Apple, Kobo and Barnes & Noble) are expanding their ereaders into other countries and avenues. I do feel the self publishing industry is here to stay but the self pubbed writer had better not give up the day job!

Book Selling Strategy of Amazon

Amazon will continue to evolve, expanding the audiobook, developing new Kindle readers and moving the Kindle into other countries. The Kindle will continue to take the monopoly of ebook sales. But Googleplay, Smashwords, Apple and Kobo will always offer interesting avenues for the self published writer to explore, creating competition.

Future of Trad Publishing

This is not good news for the traditional publisher, as I had learned after attending the York Festival of Writing workshop. The so-called Big Five (Penguin, Random House, Harper Collins, Simon Schuster and Macmillan) see Amazon as a big player without democracy. With all fat cut in how books are sold, bookshops are closing and author advances are getting smaller, as costs are cut to keep businesses afloat. One day, the Big Five might become the Big Four, as more is consolidated. At this moment, the future looks bumpy for trad publishing.

Future of Self Publishing

Click to buy from Amazon
But self publishing will also become increasingly difficult. the fact is, many self published writers hardly sell a book. Most will sell a few per month. The-writer-makes-big story that we hear about applies to a small fraction of writers, yet gives the illusion that any wannabe self published writer can one day become a bestseller. This simply isn’t the case. It is extremely difficult to make decent book sales and is getting harder all the time.

Need for Stories

Despite all this, writers will continue to write stories and self publish. It is thrilling and satisfying. Yes, the number of books available will continue to grow on the Kindle store, but this will not stop entrepreneurial authors from self publishing. The lure of the trad publishing route is not what it was in the old days, and therefore, self publishing is here to stay.

Links to Articles on Self Publishing

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