Tuesday, September 18, 2012

25 Reasons to Self-publish, Part II

By:  Kimberly Hitchens is the founder and owner of Booknook.biz, an ebook production company that has produced books for over 750 authors and imprints.

Today, we continue, "25 Reasons to Self-Publish, Part II," continued from the first post, "25 Reasons to Self-Publish, Part I." 

Last time, we wrapped with #13 (25 inconveniently being an odd number).  Read, rejoice, and be merry!

14. EBooks on the rise. "Since April 1 2011, Amazon sold 105 books for its Kindle e-reader for every 100 hardcover and paperback books, including books without Kindle versions and excluding free e-books. (after less than 4 years of selling ebooks) " http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/20/technology/20amazon.html NYTimes. Printed May 2011.

15. More ebooks on the rise while print falls. "According to the Association of American Publishers (AAP), in 2011 e-book sales rose 117%, generating revenue of $969.9 million, while sales in all trade print segments fell, with mass-market paperbacks plunging by nearly 36%." http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/financial-reporting/article/50805-aap-estimates-e-book-sales-rose-117-in-2011-as-print-fell.html Publishers Weekly. February 2012.

16. Interest in and loyalty to authors over publishers. (Yes, L.J, Drew, I'm talkin' to you!) "A 2006 survey (conducted by Spier New York) found that book readers were visiting publisher and author websites; half have purchased books as gifts. 18% of readers have visited a publisher’s website. 23% of readers have been to an author’s website." http://www.barbaradoyen.com/author-promotion/do-you-have-a-website via Publishers Weekly (expired, can't find original source)

17. The rise of the Kindle Millionaires. "Hocking says she’s sold 900,000 copies (mostly electronic) of nine different books since April 2010. If you give her the highest price point and royalty for each book, that would mean she’s made close to $2 million." http://www.forbes.com/sites/kiriblakeley/2011/03/06/who-wants-to-be-a-kindle-millionaire/ Forbes. March 2011.

18. And for paper....Those of you who are old-fashioned types can cheaply self-publish paperback copies through Amazon's CreateSpace. "For $25, the on-demand book publisher will list a book on Ingram and Baker & Taylor, two of the national distribution catalogs from which bookstores order new copies." How to Use CreateSpace: http://mashable.com/2011/07/19/self-publish-amazon-createspace/

19. Genre fiction sells well as ebooks. "Crime, sci-fi, Christian fiction, and other genres drive e-book sales. Deborah Reed wrote "A Small Fortune" while waiting for her literary novel to take off. The success of her thriller drove up sales of her first book." http://www.csmonitor.com/Innovation/Tech/2012/0504/How-to-self-publish-an-e-book Christian Science Monitor May 2012 (For all my buds here at CFC!)

20. You retain all rights to your manuscript. "It’s typical for publishers to take 50% of the advance on rights deals they make themselves, and if your agent brokered the original then she’ll take her 15% commission out of your 50% share; whereas if your agent sells those rights for you directly, you’ll get all your advance minus your agent’s cut." http://howpublishingreallyworks.com/?p=4045 June 2011. More details on author rights in traditional publishing contracts: http://www.fonerbooks.com/contract.htm Morris Rosenthal. 2011. (Hitch note: for those of us who are control freaks, this one is hard to resist.)

21. The Tide! "Since 2008, there have been more self-published titles than traditionally published ones. In 2009 there were 764,448 self-published books." A list of the most successful self-published Sci Fi and Fantasy Authors: http://io9.com/5911634/the-most-successful-self+published-sci+fi-and-fantasy-authors i09 Books. May 2012.

22. Publish Internationally. "In a move that could cut some agents out, Amazon now allows those authors to distribute their print books through European Amazon sites for free." Paid Content. http://paidcontent.org/2012/05/17/amazon-createspace-europe/ May 2012.

23. Ebooks in Translation: Romance author Barbara Freethy "sold 1.6 million copies total and is taking an unusual step: Self-publishing foreign-language editions of those e-books ... Freethy’s The Sweetest Thing, which costs $2.99 and was originally published by Avon in 1999, is now #35 on the New York Times (NYSE: NYT) combined print + e-book bestseller list and #22 on the e-book-only list." Paid Content. http://paidcontent.org/2012/03/22/419-the-next-self-publishing-frontier-foreign-language-editions/ March 2012.

24. The Write Stuff: "In 2006 there were around 51,000 authors who self published books. By the end of 2010 that number had exploded to more than 133 thousand." Self Publishing Gives Budding Authors The Write Stuff. http://miami.cbslocal.com/2012/05/14/self-publishing-gives-budding-authors-the-write-stuff/ CBS. May 2012.

25. Editors, Editors, Editors: (Jodie, my friend, this one's for YOU!): You can employ an editor yourself. "In the past, self-published books lacked one thing that traditionally published books had - a good editing and revision process. I think that greatly affected the opinions of the bookstores, reviewers and even readers. I have witnessed a great turn in traditionally published writers choosing the self-publishing route." http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/article/20120506/LIFESTYLE/205060315/Self-published-books-getting-into-mainstream-local-shelves Hattiesburg American. May 2012.


And that's all, folks! Go forth and conquer the authoring world.


  1. We've been eagerly awaiting the second half of this invaluable list, Hitch! Thanks for the excellent advice and inspiration for all writers who are considering the indie publishing route! I just published my second craft of fiction e-book on Amazon yesterday, and it's selling well already! And best of all, I can go in any time and check on my sales, and get paid often! And 70% of the list price, not the 10-15% publishers offer writers.

  2. Most excellent!

    And I'd to add, if you really want a traditional publisher, self-publish anyway and sell a bunch of books to prove yourself, then query Amazon Publishing and go with the best.

  3. Great post, Hitch,

    The reasons for self-publishing seems to be increasing rapidly over time, and the ones against, falling away even faster. It's great to see, and a reassuring change from the days when I first started and we were called "Vanity Publishers". No vanity here anymore, just one success story after another.

  4. Thanks, guys! The list certainly seems to be popular, given the hits it's received, so I intend to incorporate it into our FAQ at the new site, as well as the infamous "Damn-phlet" that I claim (ahem) to have been working on forever...something of an "eBook 101" for noobs. The problem with that approach is that it's not very holistic; much of what I'm asked daily has nothing whatsoever to do with e-publishing, but, rather publishing, period. I still believe, as I posted some months back, that a large number of authors find it hard to embrace the business side of publishing, but once they do--get out of their WAY! Heavens know, I'm certainly delighted that self-publishing is going so well. I've met many fine authors. I've read many very good books that would never have seen the light of day--like those of the (sadly and suddenly) late Jeff Sherratt, who was a great guy and a very good and underappreciated author, whose books I thoroughly enjoyed. I would never have had the privilege of reading Jeff, much less meeting him, were it not for the surge in self-publishing. I'd say, we all have much to be grateful for, when you think about what Jeff Bezos has done to change our worlds.

  5. OH, I almost forgot--Jodie, thank you, thank you, thank you for putting the link to the first article in for me! DUH. I can be such a dolt sometimes.

  6. Great post. I tried to leave a comment earlier and my i-net access failed me. I'm so glad for all the wonderful books I've read that would never have seen the light of day if we still had to rely solely on publishers for our reading choices.

  7. All I can say is that I love being an independent author. Thanks to the encouragement from LJ and Drew and others, I took the risk and stepped out. With the help of other professionals, and Amazon's amazing reach, I can see that one day I'll be able to actually make a living doing what I love.

  8. You've certainly got the talent, Peg! And obviously the drive, too!


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