Since self publishing has become more and more popular over the past few years, it’s interesting to discover what are the possible factors influencing this. As noted by Publishers Weekly, out of all book releases in 2009, 76% were self-published which is a significant milestone in publishing history. Looking at a few examples, we’ll analyze what could be the significant factors in this change in the industry.
A key selling point for anyone wanting to publish their own material is the amount of control and input that authors have on their own material, choosing the design for covers and the format of the book, as well as deciding the price charged, marketing and the distribution of the text.
Compared to working with third parties or publishing houses where often publishers have a greater level of control over this side, which can often be a negative factor for authors as this can be an exciting part of publishing getting involvement with all aspects.
Change in Print Technology
The classic days of publishing meant printing books in bulk, which involved a relatively heavy amount of investment followed by finding a location or store for the books. This was a factor or risk barrier for a lot of publishers when investing in the talents of individual authors. In recent years, the changes in the print industry have allowed print on demand (POD) services to be a lot more affordable for authors and publishers. This system allows for a relatively low cost per unit to produce a book, whereas previous systems were only really cost effective on bulk orders and printing. This development in POD technology means that this is an excellent option for self-publishers, if relatively small levels of books are sold. This system works very well in conjunction with distribution channels and marketing.
The Sales Process
The increase of digital methods of purchasing and marketing has stoked the self-publishing due to the relative ease and flexibility of the internet. Traditional booksellers are competing with online stores and brands, although there is still a large amount of people who like to purchase a physical copy of a book in store, online book shops and retailers such as Amazon can save costs by not stocking books on selves, but rather being shipped from the distribution centre.
This method of selling is benefiting consumers as the additional cost of storing and distribution can often impact the consumer, technologies like POD can be used to only print books that have been ordered, which in turn benefits the consumer.
E-books are also a great medium for selling books, due to the relatively affordable cost for a device, with many items like the Kindle and many more products on the market being competitively prices. This too removes any further barriers for consumers as the consumer has an option to purchase almost immediately. Using these methods of technology can also bring the cost down greatly for consumers as there have been no costs associated with printing, storing or distributing.
The attitude of the self-publishing industry is changing, it’s great that technology has aided in the removal of barriers for lots of authors and potentially this could bring out a lot of good talent that may have initially shied away from traditional channels. Self-publishing companies such as New Generation Publishing can aid in all aspects of publishing, and are understanding of authors as creative individuals, that the ideal of being published is very desirable and it’s great for a number of writers knowing that their material is being read, but now it’s about differentiating yourself to the other great talent out there, as these easier entries to self-publishing will also result in more competition.