Traditionally, authors who wanted their books to be read on a wide scale would need to have their work published by a publishing house.
Those days are gone. With sales of paper books on the decline thanks to audiobooks and eBooks, publishers are agreeing to print fewer and fewer books. Authors who have been discouraged by publishers rejecting their manuscripts are seeking alternative courses of action.
And increasingly, self-publishing is thought of as a legitimate solution for authors struggling to give their work the exposure it needs.
In 2013, the number of self-published titles jumped 16.5% — and that’s just the number of self-published books with ISBN numbers, which a growing number of authors choose not to get, Tech Cocktail reports. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing doesn’t require its titles to have an ISBN number, for example.
That’s because authors who go the traditional publishing route can usually expect to see about 15% of their books’ royalties come back to them. With self-publishing, however, the author takes home as much as 70% of the book’s royalties, according to PBS. These numbers alone have authors turning to self-publishing.
“Many of my author friends have found self-publishing to be a excellent option since it’s so hard to get a publishing deal in today’s competitive market,” says ‘Quest of the Keys’ author Scotty Sanders. “It opens a door for aspiring authors that could even lead to a deal with a traditional publisher later if marketed well.”
All the advantages that come with self-publishing come at a cost. To succeed with self-publishing, authors must become full-fledged entrepreneurs, promoting and marketing their book without the marketing expertise that a traditional publisher would have. Radio and podcast interviews, featured book reviews and endorsements from well-known critics are all a must.
Because of the fact that many authors don’t have the skills to be a successful marketer of their books, a growing number of publishers will be offering marketing solutions to self-published authors throughout 2015, Tech Cocktail reports.
But above all, success in the self-publishing world boils down to one thing — an author’s ability to write content that keeps audiences coming back for more.