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Wednesday, July 6, 2016
A Primer On Self-Publishing
do writers turn when they want guidance on their book publishing options,
especially, if they are seeking to explore the self-publishing world? One source would be the recently released
sixth edition of The Fine Print of
Self-Publishing: A Primer on Contracts,
Printing Costs, Royalties, Distribution, Ebooks, and Marketing.
author, Mark Levine, is the CEO and founder of Hillcrest Media Group, a company
celebrating its 10-year anniversary.
Under his organization, he has published over 6,000 titles (Mill City
Press). He has another imprint, North
Loop, which features up and coming authors as well as a handful of established
the uninitiated, the book provided a good overview of the self-publishing
landscape. I especially found his quoting of statistics to be of interest. He noted the following:
of the first quarter of 2015, self-published books made up 18 percent of the
entire US book market. Ebook sales now account for 30 percent of all books sold
in the United Sates. Less than 10
percent of all books are now sold through independent bookstores.
2013, there were approximately 5,000 fewer titles traditionally published than
of the best reports chronicling the reality of book sales was done in 2004 by
Nielsen BookScan, which tracked the sales of 1,200,000 books through retail
locations (including online retailers) in the United States. Of all books sold, 79 percent sold fewer than
ninety-nine copies. Another 200,000, or
16.67 percent, sold fewer than 1,000 copies. Only 25,000 books, or 2.1 percent,
sold more than 5,000 copies. Fewer than
500 books, or 0.04 percent, sold more than 100,000 copies, and only ten books,
or 0.0008 percent, sold more than a million copies each.
number of self-published print titles in the US alone has exploded by 437
percent between 2008 and 2013 with 458,564 titles published in 2013 alone (up
17 percent over 2012).
2013, Amazon’s CreateSpace published 62 percent of all self-published print
books that have ISBNs, a 42 percent increase over 2012. Lulu increased the number of titles it
published by 48 percent in 2013 over 2012.
independent publishing companies published 71 percent more titles in 2013 than
they collectively did in 2012.
are many, many self-publishing options out there, including:
America/America Star Books
has evolved from being seen as a vanity press scheme to a self-empowering,
democratized way of being a writer-entrepreneur. No longer is self-publishing a last and
desperate option; for some, it’s a desired choice. Even big-name authors, for a
variety of reasons, have opted to self-publish.
conclude by quoting the author’s four lessons for a self-published book to
first is that a book needs to fill a void or create a market that didn’t exist
second lesson is that your book needs to read and look like it came out of a
New York publishing house. That means
spending the money to have it properly edited and designed…
third lesson is that you need to spend time and money marketing the book…
fourth lesson is that, above all, you need to get lucky – or else the first
three lessons might not even matter.”