The introduction of high speed internet and the globalization of publishing by digital means is a dream come true for self published authors; or should I say, it is a dream come true for some self published authors. The truth of the matter is no matter what market opens up, the early bird may get noticed first, but eventually the market becomes crowed and glutted with products so that it once again becomes difficult for a lone author to get noticed. My my, how things have changed.
In an article posted in The New York Review of books (link below), how much things have changed is very well presented:
The digital marketplace is displacing the power once held solely by the big ‘brick and mortar’ publishing houses. I checked my Twitter account the other day and found several of the big publishing houses are offering new eBook editions free as a promotional endeavor. Wonder where that idea came from? I would not be surprised if the door even opens up for ‘indie’ (Independent) authors in some form soon, that is, officially.
In 1995, I began my long and arduous writing career as an idealistic new author who thought that all you had to do was write a good book and send it to a publisher and they would go oooh and ahh and send you a contract pronto! I hear all of you veterans of the trade out there laughing. Yep. I not only believed that, I did like many anxious new parents of a great book did and sent out query letters to agents-hundreds of them at once. I waited and soon the mail started coming in. Rejection after rejection came in on form letter head, with not so much as a consideration.
By the year 2004, I had self published my first book (the old edition is still out there) and it was during that year that I emailed three thousand libraries, thousand of domestic violence programs (Torn From the Inside Out has a domestic violence theme) and countless other possible leads only to find out just how difficult it was to ‘break into’ a closed market with no professional backing.
Then Amazon launched the Kindle- the angels in literary heaven began to sing and applaud-the great door was opening to non celebrity authors and new talent the world over. By 2010, The Kindle was in full operation and the Barnes and Noble Nook was trying to keep pace; iphones and reading applications made it possible to read a book on your phone! Can you imagine that? Steve Jobs led the way with the ibook store and heaven opened another door-my god, what an El Dorado of opportunities lay ahead.
And then it happened. The first big success stories began: Joe Konrath, John Locke, Amanda Hocking, Darcie Chan and many others hot on their heels, for example, Kerry Wilkinson just wrote his first book less than one full year ago-as an experiment and now look at him:
I am certain more will continue to follow because readers know what readers want. If you put the material out there so that readers can find it, if they like it, they will come. So what is the key to success in this market?
A great product
A product that is in demand
When it comes to books, a great product can be defined by the market itself such as in the case of Amanda Hocking’s books and The Meyer Twilight series, those were the products in demand by the readers who wanted them. The market for Young Adult Paranormal romance demands more and until the market is glutted, there is room to get noticed.
In the case of Joe Konrath, the man is a super marketer and has been for a long time-I give him full credit that his success was no accident, it was bound to happen.
So what about the rest of us who write in a genre that is more common and has been popular forever such as general nonfiction and fiction?
I am not the expert but I would suggest to create the best product you can and market like demon.
The Torn Trilogy and I were honored with a guest spot on Ebooks4all.blogspot.com and I will take the liberty to quote my suggestion:
“What advice would I give for new authors and what should they expect?
The publishing industry has changed dramatically over the last few years and is changing so rapidly that the new independent author must keep up with those changes and innovate, keep up with what is going on in the market and meet the needs of the market. If the author is committed to writing, then he or she must commit to marketing as well.
I have noticed a trend in self publishing that I would avoid: much of what is self published is not refined, the plots are thrown together and the characters are under developed, the writing is choppy and repetitive; although the gems in self publishing are out there too. There is a lot of impressive talent among the self published new works if you can find it.
Readers are intelligent people, I would advise new authors to remember that fact and challenge themselves more. Create the best work in your field, refine it and find the best market for it, then market it like a madman or woman”
Author of the Month Josephine Thompson (Sara Niles pen name); Ebooks4all.blogspot.com