How to self-publish

I want to publish my book!

Once an author decides to become an “indie”, the question is how to self-publish.
Why do writers end up there? Indeed, one can say that for the great majority of aspiring writers the traditional publishing houses don’t work (again, read David Caughran). They rarely accept your manuscript and if they do, they take away most control over both your writing, the pricing and your net income. The other way is to be an “indie writer”, basically doing self-publishing.

What to avoid

There are a number of companies that claim to assist indie writers. They offer several “plans” to help the authors to publish their book, most often promising a lot and doing much less than what the author expected. The plans can be pretty expensive (easily over US$10,000). Some of those companies are real mafia-type and use deceptive tactics. The most infamous and biggest is the group of Author Solutions, coming on the market with different company names to give the author the false impression there is a “choice”. Unfortunately they are all the same with a different name. My first book, “Toxic Capitalism” was published through AuthorHouse, a member of the group Author Solutions.
My experience was pretty negative. The publishing of the book in print and in e-book were in itself OK. Marketing and payment of royalties were a total disaster.

Author Solutions

Author Solutions was acquired by Penguin parent company Pearson in 2012 and became part of Penguin Random House following the 2013 merger of Random House and Penguin. PRH has sold its Author Solutions division to an affiliate of the Najafi Companies, a private investment firm, in December 2016.
All those member companies of Author Solutions are to be avoided at all cost. For more, see the books and blog of David Gaughran who unmasks their shady tactics. See among others: https://davidgaughran.com/2014/06/03/the-case-against-author-solutions-part-1-the-numbers/

Those companies are also called “vanity press”, a publishing house in which authors pay to have their books published; vanity publishers have no selection criteria to accept a manuscript as opposed to the traditional publishing companies.

What to do?

The obvious choice for self-publishing: Amazon. More about that in other posts.

 

Print is not dead and making a comeback

See the interesting article:
22 September 2015 – The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, and Print Is Far From Dead
Media New York Times
By ALEXANDRA ALTER
New York Times

Some of the interesting facts, read the full article for all details:

E-book sales soared, up 1,260% between 2008 and 2010, alarming booksellers; print sales dwindled, bookstores struggled to stay open. Analysts once predicted that e-books would overtake print by 2015 but digital sales have instead slowed sharply. E-book sales fell by 10% in the first five months of 2015. Digital books accounted in 2014 for around 20% of the market, roughly the same as they did a few years ago.
Sales of dedicated e-reading devices have plunged as consumers migrated to tablets and smartphones. And according to some surveys, young readers who are digital natives still prefer reading on paper.

Independent bookstores are showing strong signs of resurgence. The American Booksellers Association counted 1,712 member stores in 2,227 locations in 2015, up from 1,410 in 1,660 locations five years ago.
The big publishing houses are pouring money into their print infrastructures and distribution. Most booksellers agree that they are witnessing a reverse migration to print.

Some 12 million e-readers were sold in 2014, a steep drop from the nearly 20 million sold in 2011, according to Forrester Research. The portion of people who read books primarily on e-readers fell to 32% in the first quarter of 2015, from 50% in 2012, a Nielsen survey showed.
Higher e-book prices may also be driving readers back to paper. With little difference in price between a US$13 e-book and a paperback, some consumers may be opting for the print version.
It is also possible that a growing number of people are still buying and reading e-books, just not from traditional publishers. The declining e-book sales reported by publishers do not account for the millions of readers who have migrated to cheap and plentiful self-published e-books, which often cost less than a dollar.

At Amazon, digital book sales have maintained their upward trajectory. In 2014 Amazon, which controls some 65% of the e-book market, introduced an e-book subscription service that allows readers to pay a flat monthly fee of US$10 for unlimited digital reading. It offers more than a million titles, many of them from self-published authors.