Self-publishing has been around for longer than most of us realise, but since it first came to prominence around five years ago, the rise of self-publishing as an accepted method of book publishing has become more and more widespread.
Originally declared a writers’ last-ditch attempt to get their books out there, self-publishing has fast become the first choice for many authors who have previously, and successfully, gone down the path of traditional publishing. The stereotype of self-published authors has gone from niche, ‘indie’ writers to everybody with the conviction and the desire to get their work out there. What’s more, no longer does self-publishing mean that your work will only be available as an eBook, countless self-published authors have professionally designed, printed and bound copies of their works available at book stores near you.
So what was once thought of as a phase or a market for niche writers has developed into an industry that looks as if it is here to stay, and judging by the figures published earlier this year, it’s not doing too badly. eBook figures alone show that 31 percent of all eBook sales on Amazon are attributed to self-published authors, and another report published showed that the market as a whole is up by 79%.
As avid readers, we can’t see why we would pick a traditionally published novel over a self-published one simply for the reason that we recognise the name of the publisher. Despite publishers having a huge hold over the book industry, they are not the reason that we choose to read books, and from a personal point of view, I don’t even pay attention to the publisher of a book unless I am citing it in an academic essay.
No, while traditional publishers are by no means going to be out of a job, the different between self-published authors are traditionally published authors has become minute of late, and thanks to the provision of self-publishing platforms such as Blurb, Lulu, iBook Author and many more, the difference is only going to get smaller.
This of course, however, does not mean that every self-published book is of the same high quality that is guaranteed when you purchase a book that is traditionally published. And that is why it is so important for us as a community to continue to strive for high quality amongst self-published authors, no matter the subject, genre or book type.
To continue the rise of self-publishing and the readership appreciation of a more varied choice of novels, market research, professional editing, distribution, marketing, production and printing should all be considered before your book can be made available. Using a self-publishing service is an excellent choice for writers who want their book out there, but they want it out there in the best possible quality and the best possible way.
The self-publishing train is not due for a stop anytime soon, so you better jump on board quickly!