Is the World Power Shifting to Digital Self-Publishing?

“Is the World Power Shifting to Digital Self-Publishing?” by Joan Y. Edwards

1. 2004  “POD (Print-on-Demand) Is Partnership Publishing” by Rolf Gompertz

2. December 16, 2010 “How the  iPad changed 2010” by Pete Cashmore in CNN

4. February 17, 2011 Associated Press article in The Charlotte Observer stated: “Borders Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection.” They are closing 200 stores.

5.  If you’ve read the above articles, you’ll have enough information to form an opinion.

I self-published Flip Flap Floodle (the Never Give Up Duck) in 2004. The number of books sold didn’t reach my dream number. High prices of self-published books and inability to place them in the bookstores, hindered it. Now seems to be the time you and I might need to re-word our dreams.

1. Self publishing doesn’t have the bad reputation it once had. Writers are editing their work and putting it in good format before publishing it.

2. Mainstream Publishers are overwhelmed with the number of submissions from 10,000 to 50,000 a year. They use agents to cut down on the number of submissions they handle. We have millions of writers. Then the fledgling writers submit to agents. Now agents and independent publishers 6,000 -50,000 submissions a year.

3. This is the age of communication. Cell phones, internet, websites, blogs, Facebook, and Twitter only scrape the edge. Enter the invention of Apple’s  iPad that makes looking at even the blandest text exciting,  Da-Dum!

4. You don’t need a book store. You don’t need a mainstream publisher. You don’t need an agent. All you need is a company that can make your book into the format that can be used on Kindle, Nook, iPad, iPhone, and other digital gadgets and a way to let people know about it – Here’s where your website, blog, Facebook, Twitter,  and other networking groups come to play. You could still reach a wider market with a mainstream publisher. You could reach a mainstream publisher if you had an agent. You might want one, but what I’m saying is that technically, you might not need one, especially if you’re well-known and have a great following.

5. Will there be book stores as we know them today ten years from now? Will there be libraries as we know them today ten years from now? Libraries are already changing with adding more and more computers. Funds from the low economy have collapsed forcing them to purchase licenses to download ebooks for distribution to their library patrons. The low economy has closed some libraries and forced others to limit the number of days they are open. Here’s an interesting recorded interview of Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary Agency The interview is with Alton Gansky on Daniel Benjamin’s blog: MacGregor thinks there will be smaller bookstores and big publishers will create small spinoffs to handle books more personally.

6. Although CreateSpace has set policies to lower the prices of their self-published, print-on-demand books – for instance, my book, Flip Flap Floodle went from paperback of $16.99 in 2004 with BookSurge to $10.00 with CreateSpace in 2010. However, we have millions of people . Even with lower prices, they can’t afford to support their favorite writer friends with paperback or hardback books with prices over $15.00. They have to put food on the table for their families. CreateSpace is not in service now (2019).

I am going to get an ebook of Flip Flap Floodle. Graphics do not turn out really well on Kindle and Nook. So picture books need a special application. I tried one creator of iPad applications for picture books. I wasn’t a well-known writer. He wouldn’t take a chance with me. Another wanted an outrageous price. I’m waiting for inexpensive software to create an iPad and iPhone application for me.

If you have a book with no graphics, you might want to check out ePublishing. Both Barnes and Noble and Amazon will create your ebook for free, but you may(not sure on this) have to purchase an ISBN for $75.00.  Anila Polat explains personal experience in  “How to Get Your ebooks on Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Nobles’  Nook:”

How to publish a book on Amazon

Amazon Customer Service
Phone toll-free in the US and Canada: 1(800) 201-7575
International, outside the US and Canada: (206) 346-2992 or (206)-266-2992
Another direct line: (206) 266-2335

How to Get Your eBook on Barnes & Noble:

Barnes & Noble Customer Service
United States  1-800-843-2665 or 1-877-886-5022
International  1-201-559-3882  or 1-201-438-1475

How to Create  and Distribute Your eBookwith Smashwords

Look at What I discovered in my Children’s Insider eNewsletter.

7. Will there still be the Mainstream Publishers in the future? Yes, most of them have instituted a digital division. Some are putting out the digital versions first, followed by a print version. Many people really like having a paper copy in their hands. Print will be around. Just not as prevalent, I believe. Enjoy watching the changes being made. Find your place in the new realm.

8. Perhaps professional writer’s organizations, like SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) will add a special membership group for epublished or self-published.  SCBWI allows and welcomes self-published authors and illustrators.  They just don’t have a special group for them like they do for the PAL – Published and Listed (publisher is listed as a bonified traditional publisher).

9. Things to remember if you’re going to self-publish an ebook of any kind. Your eyes are good hiding your typing and spelling errors. They make “childen” look like “children” to you. Another person will catch those sneaky errors.

A. Use the review for grammar and spelling mechanism included with Microsoft Word and other writing software. Even this won’t catch the wrong use of some words. Some errors take the human touch to find.

B. Get in a critique group either online or face to face. Ask them if they think your book is ready for publication.

C. Get a professional book editor, sometimes called a book doctor to edit your book. Use Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, and  Literary Agents to help you find a reputable one.

Thanks for reading my blog. It’s not too late to submit your work to a publisher or agent this month! Go for it.

Please share your thoughts and/or questions. Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.

Enjoy the Journey- Never Give Up

Joan Y. Edwards

All giveaways are complete for this post. 

Copyright © 2011-2019 Joan Y. Edwards and her licensors

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