Monday, August 11, 2014

The Trend in Indie Publishing - It’s Taking Over the Industry

A recent article from Digital Thinking covered 10 trends that are driving the book publishing industry. This list comes from Smashwords founder, Mark Coker, and given as a talk at the Edinburgh Publishing Conference this summer.

Many of the trends had to do with eBooks and self-publishing. The last one really caught my eye though:

"Indie authors are beginning to outsell traditionally published authors
The New York Times bestseller list now has self-published authors on that it every single week. One year ago, that was very rare. Mark believes that within the next three years you will see a tipping point where more authors are self-published than take the traditional route. Indeed, if you look at iBookstore in the US today, six of the top ten today are self-published. Today’s top-selling ebook in the world is a Smashwords book."

Seeing a self-published book on those lists used to be a novelty. Now the self-publishers and taking over.

Publishers Weekly recently opened BookLife, a site geared toward self-publishing and with an open invitation to self-published authors to send in their books for review by Publishers Weekly. (This is itself a big step since none of the big reviewers accepted self-published titles until now.)

The site also had an article about the sales of self-published books, Surprising Self-Publishing Statistics:

"The Author Earnings report takes its data from 7,000 top selling digital genre titles on Amazon's category bestseller lists. It found that:
• The Big Five traditional publishers now account for only 16% of the e-books on Amazon’s bestseller lists.
• DRM (digital rights management) “harms e-book sales at any price point.”
• Self-published books now represent 31% of e-book sales on Amazon’s Kindle Store.
• Indie authors are earning nearly 40% of the e-book dollars going to authors.
• Self-published authors are “dominating traditionally published authors” in sci-fi/fantasy, mystery/thriller, and romance genres but -- and here is the surprise -- they are also taking “significant market share in all genres.”

What does this tell us? Indie publishing is not only here to stay - it’s taking over!

30 comments:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Diane - it's fascinating to watch the changes that are happening .. and how there are markets for all kinds of genre of books - with the internet opening even more digital doors.

Cheers Hilary

Pat Hatt said...

Finally gaining lots of traction, the old ways just aren't going to work anymore. The more the merrier I say.

Elsie Amata said...

It made me smile to know that Publisher's Weekly is now offering a place for self-published authors to submit their work.

Christine Rains said...

Fantastic post. It's wonderful to hear indie authors are doing so well.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's great news for indie authors!

E. M. LaBonte said...

That's fabulous news for indie authors. It's amazing what the internet has done for 'the little guy'

Karen Walker said...

Wow!.

Southpaw HR Sinclair said...

That's pretty cool!

Linda Kay said...

At least with indie publishing, authors have a chance to put their work out there. I have just published my first book on Smashwords, but am now about to publish a novel through an indie/print self-publishing house. It is invigorating to "just do it"!

Linda Kay said...

At least with indie publishing, authors have a chance to put their work out there. I have just published my first book on Smashwords, but am now about to publish a novel through an indie/print self-publishing house. It is invigorating to "just do it"!

Heather McCubbin said...

I knew it was becoming very popular and I am seeing more books that are being self published, but didn't know they were consistently on the Bestseller List. With everything that is going on between Amazon and Hatchette, it will probably become even more popular.

Jennifer Chandler said...

This is great news! I'll admit when the indie-publishing first took hold, I was hesitant to cheer it on. Like most writers, I wanted a trad publisher, my name in lights, and the "way it used to be". BUT, I now see that things are shifting and it's for the GOOD of the author.

Great post!
Jen

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

So much has changed so fast. When I self-published my 1st novel in 2008, I was told to my face that my work would never be taken seriously until I was published traditionally. Sadly, I believed that at the time and did find a publisher. But, I couldn't see into the future.

Great post, Diane.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Elsie, they're the only pre-publication reviewer to do so.

Heather, I'm sure they will.

Jennifer, the good of the author and the reader, because now there is more material to choose from.

Joylene, or see how fast that future would change.

Nicole said...

Fascinating numbers! Thanks for sharing. It's been really interesting to watch this shift overthe last several years.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

This makes me smile. So many entrepreneurial authors who are working so hard on their books...and getting good results.

cleemckenzie said...

My head spinneth! Hard to keep up with the changes I've seen since I started writing for publication in the fiction market. Good grief and hurray!

Michelle Wallace said...

Wow!
I always say, the one guarantee in life is that things DO NOT forever stay the same. Change is inevitable...

PK Hrezo said...

Nice! We can't be stopped that's for sure. :)

Theresa Milstein said...

These articles often don't answer most of my questions about these changes.

I get that some self published authors are making good $. Many are making almost nothing. But I wonder if bestseller lists count the giveaways. If so, it's not really "selling" to me. Of course, it's easier to sell even 99-cent books over traditionally published because the costs of producing a traditional book cost more for a variety of reasons.

Without some gatekeeper, I wonder if self-published books will make all the inroads their authors want them to.

I also wonder with children's books. My kids aren't reading self published books. Libraries aren't stocking them. Schools don't have them. The audience seems narrow.

J.L. Campbell said...

Diane,

Interesting data for sure. The industry sure has turned around since I was first published.

Lynda R Young said...

It's pretty exciting to see the changes.

Jemi Fraser said...

Wow! Those are impressive numbers!!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Thanks for sharing those stats. I know that self published books dominate my Kindle at the moment. I didn't know about Publisher's Weekly. That seems like a big step.

Lori L MacLaughlin said...

Yay for the little guy! It's so cool to be part of what feels like a revolution.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Yay, I like that!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Ok, I admit I like those numbers. However, I hope (even as an indie author), that all books published in all ways, start to do a little better business. We need readers.

Jeff Chapman said...

It's getting to the point where you have to ask what, other than free editing and a book cover, a traditional publisher can do for you. It will be interesting to see how the big publishers respond. So far, considering the Hachette-Amazon dispute, they're just whining a lot. As Tyrean notes in a previous comment, the problem for everyone will continue to be getting exposure and finding readers. I know they're out there somewhere.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Theresa, the New York Times and others don't count free books. (I agree - that's not really selling.) YA and children's books are still dominated by the big presses, but as kids grow up using electronic reading devices, that will change.

Susan, it is! I didn't even know. I just happened upon their news release about the site.

Jeff, there are still things a trad. publisher can do for an author that he or she can't do alone, but the playing field is growing more even.

Lady Lilith said...

I guess change is good. We will have to put our own american twist to it.