Further thoughts on self-publishing
and data to back them up.
A couple of months back, my friend Adam Fenner, who had been a guest blogger on here before, did a series of blogs on his website about the publishing industry and self-publishing. I was going to extract his blogs and repost them here, but I recently learned that this is a bad idea. I found this out when I asked permission from a blogger to repost an excellent blog on publishing and vanity presses here. He informed me that “If you reprint it, you’ll trash search engine visibility for both of us. Search engines hate duplicate content.”
So, in the future, I will link to blogs of interest instead of asking to repost them.
But since it’s relevant to self-publishing, here’s the link to Dave Bricker’s wonderful and cautionary post:
Now, back to Adam’s blogs and thoughts…
Rather than blather on, I’ll let you read Adam Fenner’s three posts yourself on his website. Please read these in order then come back here for further discussion.
#1– Adam Fenner: ARE READERS BETTER OFF BECAUSE OF EASY SELF-PUBLISHING
#2– Adam Fenner: ARE AUTHORS BETTER OFF BECAUSE OF EASY SELF-PUBLISHING?
#3– Adam Fenner: THE ILLOGICAL INDUSTRY OF BOOK PUBLISHING
You did read Adam’s blogs, right? Good. He presents some interesting and compelling data and draws some interesting conclusions. He clearly put a lot of time and energy into his research. If you’re interested in seeing his data in more depth, click on word “link” at the bottom of each of his blogs to look at the raw data. I recommend looking only at his PowerPoint presentation and avoiding the Excel spreadsheets. The Excel data is a bit overwhelming.
What are we to get from all this? Well, Adam summed it up nicely with his closing statement in his third blog post:
“I suppose the message I am trying to send is that each author needs to perform a critical analysis of why they write. If it is for vanity, but you enjoy it, go for it. If you are writing to make a profit be an informed producer, look at the industry, perfect your craft and develop your readership. Do not just be another consumer.”
This obviously is not what self-published authors want to hear, and I’m sure many will choose to disregard or disbelieve it, but look at one point Adam made in his third post: readers are not reading more because there are more books out there. This makes sense because the availability of more books doesn’t mean we have more time to read, only that we have more choices to pick from.
Yes, we are competing more than ever, but the good news is that, as self-publishers, we have the power to compete that we did not have before. We were stopped at the publishing stage and never had a chance to try. Look at it this way: As long as there are readers looking for good books, we have a chance that we previously lacked to rise to the top and push out the competition. We no longer have those endless “Sorry, not for us” rejection letters from agents and editors. We can bypass them and let the readers decide.