According to Kelly Gallagher, Vice President of Bowker Market Research: “What was once relegated to the outskirts of our industry—and even took on demeaning names like ‘vanity press’ — is now not only a viable alternative but what is driving the title growth of our industry today.” (source)
The landscape has changed, but rumors still abound about self-publishing. Here’s the truth about this rapidly evolving market.
Self-publishing isn’t mainstream. Estimates are that more than 400,000 titles are being self-published this year. If that isn’t mainstream enough, what would be? However accurate it may once have been to accuse indie publishing of being a fringe market, it just isn’t true anymore.
My product will be second class. If an author takes the time to work with competent editors, designers, etc., they can create a quality product—and publishing companies no longer have a corner on book design professionals. Beyond that, the writing is what matters: A well-written book can be successful, no matter how it is published.
An intriguing cover sells a book the first time, but quality writing and editing will sell it again and again.
I can’t get traditionally published if I self-publish. Quite the opposite, in fact: self-publishing can prove to traditional publishers that an author has what it takes to create a platform and sell books. As Jane Freidman, the former publisher of Writer’s Digest, says: “no agent, and no publisher, is going to turn away a project where they see potential to make money.”
Self-publishing, instead of being the nail in your career’s coffin, might actually boost it.
Did the book make an impact? Did it increase your tribe? Did it sell well, or gain the attention of other opinion leaders? If the author can quantify these questions, then so can publishers and marketers at the traditional publishing houses.
I can’t get my books into bookstores if I self-publish. National distribution is available for those who want it and can create the demand it takes for books to move through traditional retail stores. The bigger question is whether or not national distribution is right for you.
Self-publishing is too expensive. Compared to what you might give up with traditional publishing, self-publishing is not expensive or hard. It does have a learning curve, but there are resources available in abundance — and many are free.
For more information about how BelieversPress helps authors navigate the self-publishing world, visit www.BelieversPress.com.
Dave Sheets is the president of Christian Writers Guild, BelieversPress and BookPrintOnDemand, all services dedicated to helping authors. We believe at the core of every person is the need to tell a story, teach a lesson, make a difference. Our purpose is to teach authors how to write well, craft a book, and get their message in front of people.