January 29th, 2009


No bailout needed, thank you

It seems that one segment of the economy that's doing well is the self-publishing industry. A New York Times article starts with the statement, "The point may soon come when there are more people who want to write books than there are people who want to read them."

It does seem that way when you go to a writer's conference! In addition to novels, though, people are taking advantage of the new, low-cost technology to publish everything from family histories to collections of poetry. In an interesting contrast to the rise of ebooks, people seem to want the sense of validation that holding a copy of their book brings.

Some authors manage to use self-publishing as way to generate enough sales to then get into the regular publication route, allowing them access to what the article calls "the vast bookstore distribution pipeline." But on average, self-published books sell about 150 copies; their pipeline is growing but it's not nearly so vast.

Self-publishing has always been out there, but it's no longer such an expensive proposition. And really, what it does is to provide a direct channel from author to reader. If you're willing to do your own promotion and marketing, there is now a chance for your book to find readers whether an editor likes it or not.

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