The Internet Has Empowered Authors to Circumvent the Traditional Publishing Model & Self-Publish Their Own Books

Digital distribution enables authors and publishers to now efficiently reach a global market.

There used to be a stigma associated with "vanity" publishing, i.e., self-publishing. That stigma is gone. The Indie Author has become now like the Indie Musician and the Indie Producer, and among all of these are works that are popular and profitable. 

New publishing and distribution tools are empowering authors to become publishers as the monopolistic edge once held by the large publishers is being eroded.

How To Become An ebook SuperstarA growing number of ambitious authors are turning to self-publishing. But how do they translate their aspirations into success?

"Is it a coincidence that many successful self-published authors have had web-based careers? "The wonderful thing about self-publishing is that it is a level playing field," says Lewis. 'If there is a 'secret', it's only that being a self-publisher today means you are an online marketer.' Self-publishers should teach themselves online marketing.."

The traditional business model for publishing used to be that an author would get a literary agent, and that agent would sell the author's manuscript to a publisher. The publisher would edit, print and distribute the book to bookstores. The author and the agent would receive a percentage of the profits, and sometimes the author would receive an advance on royalties, which would be usually quite small, unless the author was a celebrity or someone who already had a large "platform". 

Few aspiring authors were even able to get an agent, and could spend years trying to do so. Then, if they got an agent, that agent could spend a long time trying to get a publisher. And then, if the agent got a publisher, it would usually take two years before the book would be published. And authors would more often than not, complain that the publisher did little to nothing to market their books.



Amanda Hocking, the writer who made millions by self-publishing online

Amanda Hocking is 27 years old and lives in Austin, a small Minnesota town south of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

(article from the Guardian, Jan. 12, 2012, click link to read more)

A couple of years ago, Amanda Hocking needed to raise a few hundred dollars so, in desperation, made her unpublished novel available on the Kindle. She has since sold over 1.5 million books and, in the process, changed publishing forever.

"When historians come to write about the digital transformation currently engulfing the book-publishing world, they will almost certainly refer to Amanda Hocking, writer of paranormal fiction who in the past 18 months has emerged from obscurity to bestselling status entirely under her own self-published steam."


So What Do You Do, Amanda Hocking, Author and Self-Publishing Powerhouse? How the Queen of eBooks Became A Bestseller

by Jeff Rivera, March 28, 2012 (click above link to read entire article)

"Unable to find a publisher, Amanda Hocking took the fate of her success as an author into her own hands and released her YA troll princess tales as eBooks through Amazon. Although price points varied from 99 cents to $2.99, the results were astounding: 1.5 million copies sold. That success didn't go unnoticed, as St. Martin's Press signed her to a deal reportedly worth over $2 million in 2011, and her bestselling Trylle series got optioned for two films. Call Hocking the darling of the DIY movement or the leader of the digital publishing revolution, but don't dare call her an overnight success.

'I worked really hard at this for my entire life. I was trying to get published for nine years before I started selling books, and I have been writing literally since I could write," Hocking told us. "And I think that a lot of people are missing that, because I think they see self-publishing as, 'Well, you could just click and upload it, and then that's it.' There's a lot of time, energy and your heart that you put into it.'"

Other Success Stories:

–Darcie Chan

–John Locke

–Chris Culver

–Barbara Freehy

Today, with self-publishing and e-books, an author can bypass the agent and the publisher and go directly to the readers and have a book published in as little as 48 hours.

COST OF SELF-PUBLISHING HAS COME DOWN–Self-publishing has become increasingly popular as authors have decided to bypass traditional publishers and sell directly to readers through a variety of online retailers and devices. With print on demand publishing and e-books, the cost of self-publishing has become much less expensive. There is no need to print and warehouse large quantities of books.

FOCUS ON ONLINE DISTRIBUTION AND MARKETING, NOT BOOKSTORES– has disintermediated physical bookstores. The large Border's bookstore chain is gone. The Barnes & Noble bookstores are carrying fewer titles and the focus is on popular authors and celebrities and news personalities who already have a platform.

OVER 2 MILLION SELF-PUBLISHED BOOKS IN 2011–Self publishing is exploding. Bowker's statistics show that while trade publishing grew only 5% over the last year, the nontraditional market, which includes ebooks and print on demand titles, grew 169%. There were over 2 million self-published books in 2011. (January 13, 2012–

By publishing on, using its Kindle app for computers, tablets and smartphones, an author can  format and publish his or her manuscript and make it available to a huge global audience. By using an additional service such as Smashwords, an author can increase the distribution through the Nook (Barnes & Noble's e-reading device), the Sony e-Reader, the Kobo and Apple's iBookstore.

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