authors, book marketing, book selling, Ebooks, Indie book publishing, Kindle, self publishing, writing

Hey, wait a minute. Print books may not be dead.

WSJ logoThis past weekend, the Wall Street Journal, ran an article titled, Don’t Burn Your Books—Print Is Here to Stay, with the subtitle, The e-book had its moment, but sales are slowing. Readers still want to turn those crisp, bound pages.

I was fascinated to see such a claim because a year ago I did an interview and predicted that e-book growth would slow and print would still be a significant part of book purchases. The reporter was actually quite surprised and even said he disagreed with me. Now I admit my claim was not based on exhaustive research or statistics, but rather observing my habits and other readers who I know. Yes I do read e-books, but for me, certain books were best experienced in print. So while I have downloaded a number of books, I have also continued to purchase print books.

The author of this essay, Nicholas Carr, was basing his claims on more substantial evidence than his own reading habits, but offer some compelling arguments. Here is a quick summary.

  1. A Pew Research Center survey released last month showed that the percentage of adults who have read an e-book rose modestly over the past year, from 16% to 23%. But it also revealed that fully 89% of regular book readers said that they had read at least one printed book during the preceding 12 months. Only 30% reported reading even a single e-book in the past year.
  2. The Association of American Publishers reported that the annual growth rate for e-book sales fell abruptly during 2012, to about 34%. That’s still a healthy clip, but it is a sharp decline from the triple-digit growth rates of the preceding four years.
  3. A 2012 survey by Bowker Market Research revealed that just 16% of Americans have actually purchased an e-book and that a whopping 59% say they have “no interest” in buying one.
  4. From the start, e-book purchases have skewed disproportionately toward fiction, with novels representing close to two-thirds of sales. Digital best-seller lists are dominated in particular by genre novels, like thrillers and romances.
  5. E-books, may turn out to be just another format—an even lighter-weight, more disposable paperback. That would fit with the discovery that once people start buying digital books, they don’t necessarily stop buying printed ones. In fact, according to Pew, nearly 90% of e-book readers continue to read physical volumes. The two forms seem to serve different purposes.

    Print books seem to be holding their own in many genre.

    Print books seem to be holding their own in many genre.

Only time will tell what formats will dominate, but if you read the full article and read the comments, you will see this topic creates some spirited debate. The most important implication for me is that authors should not abandon print as they think about going to market unless they are publishing very specific genre fiction books. Print should still be part of your go-to-market strategy.

Author Solutions, authors, book marketing, book selling, Ebooks, helpful hints, Indie book publishing, Kindle, Publishing, self publishing, writing

Six tips from wicked good book cover designers

Even with the growth of ebooks, book covers are still an important issue for authors to consider.  So I asked some book designers I respect to offer some keys to creating a great cover for print and digital formats. Here are six simple things you can do to make sure your cover stands out from the rest.

Pick something to be the focal point. On the cover to the right, type and image are too similar in size.

Pick something to be the focal point. On the cover to the right, type and image are too similar in size.

  1. Do your research. Sounds simple, but it is the important first step. Go to a local bookstore. Observe the customers. See what books stand out on the shelves. Do thesame thing online and on e-readers.  Also, pay attention to the thumbnails. Some designs work well on a bookshelf, but don’t work as a thumbnail.
  2. Pay attention to your genre. You don’t have to do a cookie-cutter cover, but you should look at the best covers in your genre. Notice any common elements and trends. Pay attention to the images being used.
  3. Pick a focal point. Everything can’t be important. So you need to decide whether the typography or the image is going to be the focal point. When they are similar in size or the amount of visual space they occupy, it can hinder the eye from being drawing to the cover.
  4. Image matters. Make sure you choose an image that is relevant for your genre but that is also eye-catching. Avoid cliche or what I call, computer desktop imagery. Also, one striking image is almost always better than a collection of images. Collections typically violate point three.
  5. Check the thumbnail. Once you have a cover you like, make sure you reduce it down in size and see what it will look like as a thumbnail. The rise of e-books has made the thumbnail more important as you think about designing your cover
  6. Choose your colors carefully. If you are publishing in the US, colors convey a message in themselves. Here is a general guideline as to what colors communicate.
  • Red – High Energy, powerful, passionate, excited, strong, sexy, fast, dangerous.
  • Blue – Male, Cool, conservative, trustful, reliable, safe.
  • Yellow — Warm, bright, cheerful, sunny, cheerful, happy
  • Orange – Warm, playful, vibrant, bold.
  • Green — Natural, fresh, cool, organic, abundant.
  • Purple — Royal, spiritual, dignified
  • Pink – Feminine, soft, sweet, nurturing, secure, gentle.
  • White — Pure, clean, bright, virginal, youthful, mild.
  • Black — Sophisticated, elegant, seductive, mysterious
  • Gold – Expensive, prestigious, affluent
  • Silver – Cold, prestigious, scientific, clinical

Crafting a well written manuscript is the most important task of an author, but making sure the cover is inviting, eye-catching and relevant is an equally important job. Using these tips will help you make sure you have a cover that is as good as your book deserves. What other tips do you have for creating a great cover? Use the comments features to share your ideas.

authors, book marketing, book selling, Indie book publishing, Kindle, Publishing, self publishing, writing

4 key things Time magazine said about self publishing

time-magazine-logoIn the December 10th issue of Time magazine, reporter Andrew Rice wrote a lengthy article on self publishing under the title, The 99 cent Best Seller. The full article is only available to subscribers, but I thought there were some very interesting points made in the article that support many of the things I have been saying for years. 

So if you don’t subscribe and didn’t see the article, I thought I would highlight four key things I took away from the article.

  1. Self publishing is no longer the last option.  Rice makes the statement that, “In the book business self publishing used to be considered an act of desperation” Then he goes on to say how that is no longer the case. In fact, some of the most savvy authors are looking at self publishing as their first option, not their last.
  2. Self published titles are no longer excluded from the review lists. According to Rice, “Self published titles now regularly appear on the New York Times ebook best seller lists. Four were in the top 25 on Thanksgiving weekend, the beginning of the holiday book shopping season.”
  3. Seeing the first copy of your published book is an emotional high. I have been saying for years, one of the greatest thrills of being an author is holding or downloading a copy of your book for the first time. Rice supports that point in the article when he relates how he asked author Sheryl Hoyt what went through her mind when she downloaded her first self published book, Dangerous Heart. She choked up and told him, “It was a euphoric feeling.”
  4. There is no reason to die with a manuscript in your drawer. Again I like the way Rice summarizes this point. In his words, “Publishing can be humbling, but it is better than keeping the stories to yourself.”  Self publishing doesn’t mean everyone will be successful, but everyone has the opportunity to be successful.

I know I say it over and over again, but it truly is the best time in history to be an author.

…some of the most savvy authors are looking at self publishing as their first option, not their last.

Author Solutions, authors, book marketing, book selling, book signings, Ebooks, Kindle, Publishing, self publishing

Free e-books. Meet the authors. Online booksigning event. Tuesday, October 9th.

Readers and authors both love book signings.  Readers get free books and get to meet the authors who wrote the books. Authors get to connect with potential readers and put faces and voices to those who are interested in their writing.

But how do you do a book signing with authors from all over the countryi who have an e-book . The answer is the Behind the Story online book signing event. It is free to register and attend and gives readers a chance to meet four different authors via a go-to-webinar environment.  During the 45 to 60 minutes allotted for the event, you will learn:

  • what inspired the authors to write their books
  • what they hope readers will gain by reading the books
  • advice they have for  aspiring authors.

You will also get a chance to ask the authors questions via a chat window through a moderator. Best of all,  after the event, you’ll get an email with four free Bookstubs which allow you to download a free e-book version of each of the books to a Kindle or iPad.

The next online book signing is this Tuesday, October 9th at 5:00 pm EST and you can register here The authors and books are very diverse, but even if you are only interested in one of the titles, I think you will enjoy the experience. Also, feel free to share this opportunity with friends who you think might be interested in any of these titles.

The Medicine Wheel for Step Parents
By Mary Jane Grange, R.N.
With The Medicine Wheel for Step Parents, the author hopes to give some understanding and relief to blended families. Step families have common threads of dysfunction due to issues caused by the power structure changing in a home after a divorce or death in a family. Step parents and step children feel that they must protect their territory, ego, and family with secrets, isolation, intimidation, manipulation, and stonewalling behavior. This book helps you analyze and carry the opposition to your efforts for your blended family.
Vibrational Harmony
By Beverly Nadler
This amazing book leads you out of the old paradigm of The Material Model that makes change so difficult, into the revolutionary new paradigm for the 21st century. VIBRATIONAL HARMONY clarifies the little-understood relationship between what you want, the Universal Laws, your mind, your subconscious programming, and what you actually get. Discover tools and techniques, plus step-by-step processes to release your negative beliefs, and “reprogram” yourself to create and attract more success, health, happiness, peace of mind…whatever YOU want!
Canadian Charter Rights and Freedoms
By Joseph W. Jacob B.A., M.P.A.
Canada currently has the most comprehensive charter of rights and freedoms in the world, and it overrides all other Canadian laws. With this charter, truthful, proven and demonstrable harm must occur before punishment may be legally imposed. This is similar to the charter’s guaranteed right of liberty. A law that has the potential of convicting a person who has not really done anything wrong offends the principles of fundamental justice.
Medical Uses of Marijuana
By Joseph W. Jacob B.A., M.P.A.
Throughout history, more than 150 successful medical uses of marijuana plants have been identified, effectively tested, publicly used, and reliably trusted. In Medical Uses of Marijuana, author Joseph W. Jacob provides an extensive chronological history of marijuana and its medical uses throughout the world in the last 10,000 years. Medical Uses of Marijuana seeks to provide the truth about the loss of the legal use of this beneficial plant.
Author Solutions, authors, book selling, Editing, Indie book publishing, Kindle, Publishing, self publishing, writing

Is this a golden age for self-publishing? Listen to this podcast to find out.

Recently I was interview for a podcast called, Beyond the Book. This series is hosted by Chris Kenneally of the Copyright Clearance Center and focuses on the business of writing and publishing. It is available on iTunes, but you can also listen to the interview by clicking here. The title of the segment was, “A Golden Age for Self Publishing? Listen and let me know if you agree with my conclusions.

Here’s what Chris wrote on the web site to introduce the segment.

The wild growth in e-books and self-publishing has spurred a fiery debate over the future direction of the industry. While some argue that the growing mountain of books makes it harder than ever for any single title to succeed, people like Keith Ogorek, author of 7 Secrets of Successful Self-Published Authors, say that this time, our time, is the best time ever to be an author.

“This is the best time to be an author because if you have a manuscript, you do not need to die with that manuscript in your drawer. You have more opportunity than ever before to get your manuscript into the hands of readers,” says Ogorek, who is Sr. Vice President, Global Marketing, for Author Solutions and BookTango, its e-book publishing venture. “As an author you really have three different opportunities, depending on your goals, your budget, and your talents,” he tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “You can choose a DIY option, and do it only as an e-book. You can choose an assisted self-publishing option. Or, you can still pursue the route of finding an agent and pursuing a traditional contract. And the beauty of this is they’re not mutually exclusive.”

Ogorek’s sunny outlook for authors is confirmed by industry statistics released for BookExpo America in June. In 2011, “traditional” print book production climbed to over 347,000 titles, a rise of 6% over 2010. For the first time, the numbers from Bowker – the official ISBN Agency for the United States and a leading provider of bibliographic information– included self-published titles. By their count, ISBNs were issued to 124,700 such titles — 36% of the total “traditional” output. When self-published e-books are added, the total climbs to more than 211,000.

Author Solutions, authors, book marketing, book selling, Ebooks, Editing, Indie book publishing, Kindle, Publishing, self publishing, writing

New study declares: The Self-Published Book: A Major Force in the Publishing World

Self publishing is not a new phenomenon, but while I have read much from journalists and bloggers on the topic, I have not seen academics weigh in on the topic. That is until now. Researchers at the University of Arizona are in the midst of a study on the shifts taking place in publishing.
This week, La Monica Everett-Haynes, from the University of Arizona Communications office wrote an article detailing some of the early results and conclusions of the research team. Her article bore the following headline:

A UA-led research team has spent years investigating the emergence of non-traditional book publishing and is predicting major shifts in the industry.

What follows is the text of her article. I think you will find it reaffirming and helpful as you wrestle with the dramatic shifts taking place in publishing today.


Which books have gripped you, challenged your mind and evoked your emotions? Maybe it was The Little Prince? Beloved? The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? Perhaps The Iliad or Lord of the Rings? Seemingly, it was once easier to find a good book. But a UA team has found that with shifts in social media and the publishing industry, readers are relying on new methods to find good reads.

Self-publishing not only is changing the traditional publishing industry and the relationship between authors and editors, but also the ways readers are connecting with books.

This affirmation is based on a major, multi-year investigation into the alternative publishing industry led by a research team at the University of Arizona’s School of Information Resources and Library Science, SIRLS.

The emergent self-publishing model poses itself as a hybrid in the world of publishing. And, in effect, self-publishing is disrupting the traditional industry while also creating shifts in how readers connect with books.

Convened and led by Jana Bradley, a SIRLS professor, the team since 2007 has studied how the recent emergence of digital self-publishing has resulted in major shifts in the industry.

Mainstream trade publishing still dominates print sales. But self-published, print-on-demand for private, local or niche audiences is faster, said Bradley, founder of the Research Group on Non-Traditional Publishing Practices, RG-NTPP.

That growth was propelled by a number of things.

Since about 2010, “the stigma of self-publishing was quickly diminishing,” Bradley said, adding that the cheaper, growth market is the self-published e-book.

Amazon, in launching Kindle Direct Publishing, was at the forefront in disrupting traditional models of publishing, Bradley said. The company allows authors to post their digital files to an automated publishing system, which then made them available as Kindle products on Amazon. Other companies followed.

“The major disruption, however, was that they allowed the authors to set the price,” Bradley said, noting that the most popular prices were between 99 cents and $2.99. Companies also offered authors royalties ranging between 35 and 70 percent, depending on a range of factors.

Since about 2010, “the stigma of self-publishing was quickly diminishing,”

RG-NTPP research also shows that the reading public is, indeed, embracing self-published titles at the low price points. About one-third of the top 100 paid titles on Kindle are by self-publishing authors.

RG-NTPP members have published a series of articles, including “Non-traditional Book Publishing,” published by First Monday, about the shifting industry and digital self-publishing. That article was co-authored by Bradley, Bruce Fulton, the digital projects librarian at SIRLS, Marlene Helm, an associate librarian at the Arizona State Museum, and Katherine A. Pittner, a SIRLS doctoral student who teaches history at Pima Community College. Other studies are ongoing.

All told, RG-NTPP’s investigations and subsequent findings indicate an industry on the cusp: The traditional publishing mode by which publishers fronting authors a cut of money then handle publishing and marketing, all the while hoping for the best on the buyer’s market, is in transition.

The team noted that the contemporary world of self-publishing can be understood as consisting of two major and different segments.

The first, print-on-demand self-publishing, produces books in print and came of age around 2007. The second segment, digital self-publishing, is the faster growing of the two, and often indistinguishable from digital mainstream publishing.

The team’s results of a multi-year study of print-on-demand self-published books were published in April by The Library Quarterly. The article, “Self-published Books: An Empirical ‘Snapshot’,” was co-authored by Bradley, Fulton and Helm.

RG-NTPP members studied a random sample of 348 books from the nearly 390,000 self-published titles available in 2008 through fee-based services, like Lulu, AuthorHouse and iUniverse.

The team found that self-published authors enjoy more freedom in making decisions about editing, design and marketing.

“This freedom, in the hands of inexperienced authors, can lead to inconsistent writing and grammatical errors, enforcing the view of self-publishing as inferior publishing,” Bradley said.

Yet the team also found a greater variety in self-published books.

“Self-help books on subjects from exercise to grieving were written by people with considerable experience. Authors wrote convincingly about local events, stories and history that would probably never interest mainstream publishers,” Bradley said.

Also, the “private” tribute book surged as ordinary people began writing and publishing about family histories, life events, vacations and wildlife, among other things. Also, established mainstream authors also republished their out-of-print books.

This has resulted in a “blurring of the boundaries” between the traditional and digital publishing, Bradley said, adding that one major difference emerging is who makes the publishing decisions, pays the bills and gets most of the profits.

“Self-help books on subjects from exercise to grieving were written by people with considerable experience. Authors wrote convincingly about local events, stories and history that would probably never interest mainstream publishers”

“Such trends not only are changing what is happening at the publishing level, but also how readers connect with books.

“I don’t know if readers realize it, but they are part of this market shift that is happening,” said Fulton, also a doctoral candidate at SIRLS whose minor is in communication.

Another trend is that readers increasingly turn to social media and social networks for information about books.

Increasingly, mainstream authors are expected to handle their own marketing, which they tend to do through their on Webs and through social media, like Facebook, Fulton said.

For self-published authors, this is essential.

Fulton, whose dissertation work involves the study of publishing and reading given the influential nature of social media, said the same appears to be true for readers.

Another trend is that readers increasingly turn to social media and social networks for information about books.

“Changes in traditional media, like magazines and newspapers, indicate a downward slide where there are fewer reviews in those publications,” he said. Simultaneously, there is an emergence of sites dedicated to amateur editorials and reviews of books, including those that are self-published.

“People are beginning to pay more attention to those,” Fulton said, adding that with the emergence of self-publishing, readers also have a much more diverse range of titles to select.

“There is this notion of traditional and mainstream publishers having been viewed as gatekeepers,” Fulton said. “But people can now choose who they want to be the gatekeepers, so the reader has gotten a lot more power to drive the industry.”

Also, self-publishing titles tend to include books that are locally focused, narrate family histories, are niche and at times more risque – around religion, politics, sex and sexuality – than what a traditional publisher might wish to handle, Fulton and Bradley said.

“There is a real value in self-publishing. There are stories self-publishing offers that simply wouldn’t be told any other way,” Fulton said. “So what we’re seeing is something we didn’t have a mechanism for before.”

But self-publishing authors still struggle to make a big break. So one question remains evasive: What does it take to produce a blockbuster bookshelf whit?

“The industry still isn’t very good about predicting what will sell,” Fulton said about both the traditional and self-publishing sectors. “It is still very much an art, not a science.”

Et Cetera

    • Extra Info Books that have been or are self-published:
      • “The Elements of Style” by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White
      • “A Time to Kill” by John Grisham
      • “The Joy of Cooking” by Irma Rombauer
      • “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron
      • “Tiger’s Curse” by Colleen Houck
      • “Caribbean Moon” by Rick Murcer
      • “Lethal Experiment” by John Locke
      • “Last Breath” by Michael Prescott
      • “The Abbey” by Chris Culver
      • “My Blood Approves” by Amanda Hocking

      Sources:, Kindle Store,


Author Solutions, authors, book selling, Ebooks, Indie book publishing, Kindle, self publishing

Booktango and the Future of DIY E-book Publishing

A few weeks ago I was interviewed by Dena Croog for Publishing Perspectives. This respected online journal covers international publishing news and opinion and has been called “the BBC of the book world.”  They focus on the cutting edge of digital, global, and self-publishing all around the world. Here’s the article she wrote based on the interview. Hopefully, you will find it helpful.

There are a lot of options out there for self-publishers, but representatives of Booktango, a major player in DIY e-book publishing, truly believe their online formatting and

Authors can earn the most money on the sale of their books on Booktango

editing tools are best-in-class and easiest to use. The service, which is owned by Author Solutions, Inc. (ASI), currently offers a “Freetango” promotion wherein authors who publish by July 4, 2012 will receive the maximum possible royalties from their e-book sales. Authors receive all royalties for e-books sold through the Booktango bookstore, and, as Chris Bass, Director of Marketing for Booktango, explains in a press release: “If it’s sold through another outlet, the e-books retailer takes their standard fee, and the author gets the rest. Booktango takes nothing — no other publishing company is offering anything this beneficial to authors.”

Booktango prides itself in its superiority over other multiple-channel distribution competitors in three different ways: an easy-to-use interface, the widest distribution to every e-reader and e-retailer, and the highest royalties.

In addition to its free DIY features, Booktango offers fee-based add-ons, among them book formatting, correction and editing, and promotional services such as virtual book signings and multiple-author webinars.

“Because while everyone won’t be successful, everyone will have the opportunity to be successful.

“At the end of the book signing, every person who attends the event is e-mailed a PDF of a book stub, which allows them to download one free copy of each of the authors’ books,” says Keith Ogorek, Senior VP of Marketing at ASI, in an interview with Publishing Perspectives.

“I think it’s really going to be something authors will use to promote their books,” he adds. “Because you have the opportunity to get your books into the hands of readers in such a way that they’ll start to talk about it—which is one of the keys to helping books spread.”

The Future of Pricing

In response to a question posed recently by Digital Book World, “In three words, what is the future of e-book pricing?,” Ogorek stresses “word of mouth” in conjunction with promotional efforts such as those offered by Booktango. He suggests that when DIY authors must decide on an appropriate e-book price, they should “take price out of the equation” for a short time. He maintains that, as many authors strategize, the first concern is to get the book into the marketplace, even if that means selling it at a lower price. Then, if the book is good, readers will act as a “promotional team” of sorts. Once word of mouth leads to greater demand for the book, the price can be raised.

Ogorek also offers advice for authors who are deciding between using the e-book platform or going the traditional publishing route:

“Traditional publishers right now have cut down their title selections significantly. So if you’ve got a long time to wait and tough skin, then I think traditional publishing’s a good option for you. If you want to have your book available in all formats — hardcover, paperback and digital — you want someone to help you go through the process, which is assisted self-publishing. If you really know what you’re doing and you’re not concerned about limited distribution in terms of just being a digital book, Booktango is the best option out there.”

Evolving Formats

According to Jane Friedman in the May/June issue of Writer’s Digest, the coming and going of multiple e-book formats across digital readers, devices and services is comparable to the “Wild West.” Ogorek says a better analogy is the evolution of film from 8mm reel, to Betamax versus VCRs, to DVDs, and now to streaming videos. He predicts that, in time, there will be one standard format that would allow a person to stream a book on any device—Kindle, iPad, Nook—but it would be housed somewhere “up in the clouds” and wouldn’t actually be downloaded into any particular device.

This is Ogorek’s prediction for future e-book formatting. As for content, he predicts that it will become “richer and more enthralling” as the ability to add video, audio and interactive features becomes more and more commonplace, much in the way Apps became increasingly sophisticated.

“People started doing e-books, if you will, in the caves, when they wrote pictures on the wall. You follow that through history and you see now there are 180 million people blogging. The desire to continue to write and communicate is something that isn’t driven by technology, but it’s just made available by technology.”

Ogorek also predicts that traditional publishing will run parallel to the film industry. Traditional movie studios continued to produce what he dubs “celebrity films” (eg, Spider Man, The Avengers), as they have the size in capital, resources and distribution to do as much. But they also developed partnerships with smaller independent production companies to develop other films that didn’t require a 9-figure investment but still had the opportunity to tell a great story and make money (e.g. The King’s Speech, The Help).

“We’re seeing the same thing happen in publishing right now. Traditional publishers are publishing what I would call ‘celebrity books.’ Simon & Schuster did the Steve Jobs book. I’m not sure a small independent would have the capital resources to meet the demand for that book. While it did sell a significant amount in e-books, it still sold a significant amount in print. And you need the resources of a traditional publisher to acquire the rights, package it up and distribute it.

“But, what you’re also going to see is a significant portion of the revenues are going to come from e-books. They already have started and will continue to do that in the future. The other thing you’re going to see is that in the same way publishers created a relationship with independent film companies and Sundance was born as a way to find new and upcoming talent and ideas, so too will you see traditional publishers doing that.”

Ogorek refers to ASI’s strategic alliance with Thomas Nelson and Hay House to create self-publishing imprints. The idea is to find new talent: self-published authors make the initial investment to produce a title, but eventually they might be picked up and put into the traditional publisher’s traditional publishing imprint.

Are Self-Published E-books a Bubble?

In response to a recent Guardian article arguing that the DIY e-book boom industry is over-hyped, over-leveraged and an e-book “bubble” likely to soon pop (Ewan Morrison, January 2012), Ogorek states that, instead of an e-book bubble, the current phenomenon is akin to what we saw in the cell phone industry. There’s no threat of a bubble bursting; rather, technology will continue to improve and we will see a consolidation.

“Right now there are a number of people entering the market. But just like you saw with the cell phone market, there were a number of providers—whether they were local, regional, national or even global—and when the business settled out there were only a few large players around the world. I think you’re going to see the same thing in the DIY e-book market.”

Ogorek further connects the e-book and cell phone industries as both stemming from the desire to communicate.

“People started doing e-books, if you will, in the caves, when they wrote pictures on the wall. You follow that through history and you see now there are 180 million people blogging. The desire to continue to write and communicate is something that isn’t driven by technology, but it’s just made available by technology.”

The Guardian article also charged that there’s a dangerous delusion that all self-e-publishers can achieve success, when in reality almost all self-published e-books receive very few readers due to lack of visibility. Ogorek counters that there are other reasons that an e-book may not sell, such as because the topic isn’t relevant, the author doesn’t have a clear picture of who the audience is, or the book simply isn’t well written. He cites Bronnie Ware’s The Top Five Regrets of the Dying as an example of a book that wouldn’t have bubbled up to the surface had there not been the electronic and self-publishing options that we have today. After writing an article in a local publication, Ware published a book through Balboa Press (Hay House’s self-publishing imprint). The book was an internet sensation and was eventually acquired by Hay House (March 2012).

“While not everyone’s going to be Bronnie Ware, I would suggest to you that without the publishing opportunities that exist today because of DIY, Bronnie Ware would never have happened. To me, that’s the story here. It’s not about the failures, but about those who actually succeed because of this opportunity. Who otherwise would not have had the opportunity because there weren’t the technologies like Booktango available.”

Ultimately, Ogorek maintains that this is the best time in history to be an author:

“Because while everyone won’t be successful, everyone will have the opportunity to be successful. And that in itself is something that I think is worth talking about.”