Recently, I was asked what I believed to be the next big trends or issues around self publishing. As I thought about it and shared my ideas, I thought it might also make a good blog post. See if you agree with my thinking and share your ideas in the comment section.
Editing is finally being recognized as essential by self-published authors.
This seems like a “duh” statement, but early on many self-published authors didn’t understand how critical editing was and so many books were not that good. All that has changed and most authors now work hard to find the right editor for their work.
Subscription models are cropping up everywhere. Authors have to figure out how to play.
It seems like every week, there is an announcement about someone offering a subscription model for e-books. (See Scribd) It really isn’t that surprising when you see what happened in music. Books are simply following in the same path as the previous indie revolutions. The difference between music and books is you can sell individual songs from an album. Not sure anyone would pay for individual chapters so how will authors participate?
Local independent bookstores are finally embracing and welcoming authors because they can create store traffic.
It wasn’t that long ago that bookstores would turn away any author who self published, but now bookstores are recognizing that a local author with a good book can drive traffic to the store. So instead of rejecting them, they are welcoming them. That is unless you publish with Createspace. Most stores won’t accept those books because they believe Amazon has greatly undermined the retail market.
Hollywood is looking at self-published books more than ever for source material.
A few years ago, I could not get any one in Hollywood to talk to me, if they were on fire and I had a bucket of water. But now the whole entertainment industry is looking for new ideas to feed the multitude of cable and subscription channels. And self-published books are a great source of new material. That is why we created The Hollywood Pitch database and the Book-to-Screen Pitchfest.
99 cents used to be a way to differentiate, but now every one is doing it so authors have to find new ways to use price.
Low price is always a purchase incentive and early on, many authors used a 99 cent price to build readership. Now it is a strategy that many authors employ so what will the next creative pricing strategy be to stand out from the crowd? Time will tell.