Thursday, November 09, 2017
When I first started publishing back in 2008, there were few options for indies. I did all the research. Well, let me back up a bit. Before that, I first spent years trying to go the traditional route, querying literary agents and submitting manuscripts to publishers (many of which did not accept unsolicited work...hence the need for an agent), only to be met by rejection. Enough rejections and any person (me) will get the message. Still wishing to become published, I eventually turned to self-publishing (sound familiar?) and found a serviceable and user-friendly Print-On-Demand platform in Lulu Press. Imagine the excitement of holding a physical copy of your debut novel. Yeah, sure you can.
Now, fast-forward to the present and things have certainly changed. The industry has changed. The mediums have changed. Back then, many had skepticism about self-publishing. Writers had always been taught to strive for that big fish in trad publishing. It was validation of all the hard work and hours and blood, sweat, and tears put into your craft, honing it. If you were picked by a Big 5 or Big 6, it meant that you were good enough. If you were not, it meant that you were not...at least that was the presumption. We now know differently having witnessed several indie writers who were dismissed by traditional publishers go on to become bestsellers and make gazillions of dollars (hooray for the indie writer). Back then, too, print was still the way to go with the slow emergence of digital format (ebook).
Today, the ebook has now hit its stride and the market has flourished with indie publishers. While this is great that authors and writers have taken matters into their own hands to share their stories with the world, this also means that with such growth comes saturation and visibility issues. How do you get yourself noticed when you are but a small fish in a big ol' pond full of tens of millions of other fish, some much larger? This is especially a concern now that methods used to promote and market some four or five years ago are becoming less effective. Does this mean that indie writers and publishers will constantly have to reinvent themselves to keep up?
What will be the state of indie publishing in the next five years? Will people begin to drop out of the race because the disappointment is too great? Will there be a continuous churn of indie publishers as a result of these less favorable trends?
When I first started publishing back in 2008, there were few options for indies. I did all the research. Well, let me back up a bit. Before ...