There’s a great article at Publishers Weekly about self-publishing predictions for the coming year, and perhaps beyond, and while I know there have been many predictions of late (some which have materialized and some that have not), this article provides some very useful numbers and statistics that are worth mulling over. Here’s the link:
One important prediction to mull over is that some services such as Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited will make it harder for indie authors to sell their books in 2015. This prediction comes from Russell Blake at his website:
At the heart of some of these challenges are the subscription services, including Kindle Unlimited, Oyster, Scribd, and the requirement for authors to sign exclusive deals thus blocking them from selling via other and often competing self-publishing platforms which is having the affect of limiting the amount of income authors can generate on the sale of their books.
One thing that is fueling the rise and popularity of these subscriber services is that readers are eager to get the best bang for their buck and who can blame them! I understand this as a reader because I am a big fan of checking out e-books from my local library since I’m already paying to support it. Of course, the libraries have been greatly challenged with dwindling budgets and given what publishers tend to charge for e-books library staffs have difficult choices to make when spending those dwindling tax dollars.
Caught in the middle of the pressure from readers to pay less and subscription services quests for subscribers are the authors themselves, especially indie authors. To illustrate at least part of this dilemma is an article posted at the New York Times on author dissatisfaction with Amazon Kindle Unlimited:
Now part of the Publishers Weekly article is a bit of a David and Goliath story in that it’s clear that the publishing industry that historically has looked down on self-published authors is now actually learning some lessons from those same authors. In fact, there are numerous examples of authors who were once established with traditional publishers that are now setting up their own publishing labels and “going it alone.” Of course, I question the reality of “going it alone” because I suspect the more established authors use services for things such as cover design, websites, promotion, etc.
Some additional and interesting tidbits from the Publishers Weekly article and Russell Blake’s blog is that all authors (not just indies) need to pay attention to the spreading use of mobile devices – and not just e-books – and how branding still impacts on any author’s ability to sell more books and grow their reader base.
In the end, writing is still very hard work and becoming a published author will always be fraught with challenges.