As an aspiring author of an educational book on Blended Learning, I was interested to read “Authors Writing Off Publishers” in today’s Los Angeles Times- Sunday, December 26th.
With the growth of online digital books, authors are finding that self-publishing is both possible and lucrative. “Digital book sales compose 9% of the overall market” and grew by 171% over the last 10 months. Compare this with the 23% drop in print books over the same time period. This shift in popularity from print to digital has made self-publishing a realistic option for many authors.
Traditionally, publishers were the “gatekeepers” deciding who entered the world of publishing and who did not. They offered services, but these services came with a price. “Authors typically get 10% to 25% of digital sales if they go through a publisher…compared with 40%-70% if they self-publish.”
Many established authors, like Stephen King and Stephen Covey, are electing to self-publish because the profit margin is so much higher.
Despite this shift taking place in the world of publishing, publishers still offer a ranges of benefits including “editing, cover design, market support, accounting and advances on royalties.” An internet savvy writer, however, can use the endless resources available to them online to accomplish many of these tasks. Contracting with an independent graphic artist or marketing on an established blog are ways a motivated writer can save money and self-publish.
This fall companies like Amazon and Google Inc. will be launching “online tools that can turn any website into a bookstore.” They will join Sony Corporation’s online ReaderStore in allowing authors to “sell their works directly to buyers, giving writers 70%-85% of the sale price.”
For an aspiring author, like myself, this is exciting news! I have always found the red tape surrounding publication a daunting obstacle. The expanding options available to writers make publishing a more attainable goal and writing a more realistic career choice.