Independent Publishing

It’s time to dump the term “self-publishing.”  Lets call it what it really is, independent publishing.

A decade ago, the only legitimate way to get your book to the masses was through the traditional publishing houses.  Sure, there were some print-on-demand options available, but the quality of those books suffered in comparison.  The marketplace also did not support or encourage print-on-demand as a valid, legitimate publishing option.  It was for people who couldn’t get a real publishing deal.

booksAmazon changed all that.

With the advent of the Kindle, the acquisition or CreateSpace and Audible, and the growth of the Amazon online store as the number one seller of books, Amazon has both cornered and exploded the market on publishing.

Their approach has been brilliant and free market at its core.  They provide book lovers three popular ways to digest the material, ebooks (Kindle), paperback (CreateSpace) or through audio books (Audible).

They allow anyone and everyone to upload their latest and greatest novel or non-fiction book.  They don’t screen for quality or marketing or value.  They let the free market do that.  They let authors control their pricing and allow authors to control their marketing.  They let them change the covers on demand or update the book to fix errors without issue.  They give the control to the artists, not intermediaries.  For providing this marketplace, Amazon takes 30% and authors are glad to give it and pocket the remaining 70%.

Like movies, where there are studio made films and independent films, publishing should be looked at the same way.  If your book is not published from one of the top traditional publishers (the studios), then it is independently published.  Readers aren’t going to care whether its small press, self financed or made on a shoe-string.  Readers are only going to care about the quality of the product, the same way film lovers care about film.

So, let’s finally bury the “self-publishing” term, one often used as an insult by traditional publishing supporters.

We’re independent publishers.  And we’re not going anywhere.

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4 thoughts on “Independent Publishing

  1. sjoycarlson says:

    Great perspective! Thanks for sharing. Been rejected a lot on 2 previous novels and about to try on a third. I’ll keep this in mind.

  2. says:

    Sarah, independent publishing is a great option today. More now than ever, actually. If you’re really interested, I would check out these links: (sometimes they use strong language)

    And this is a great book (Write. Publish. Repeat) by the people about their experiences…

    Whether published traditionally or independently, there are basics that never change: great story, professional editing, great book cover. All of these can be outsourced in independent publishing.

    Looking forward to following your publishing journey 🙂

  3. Paul Bauer says:

    Pete, I would suggest you add to your marketing-research list. Jennifer has just released her first book, which is published by Ignatius Press, and has encouraged a grass-roots marketing campaign by encouraging other bloggers to mention her book in their blogs. She is not just relying on Ignatius to be responsible for the marketing but has come up with her own method. Check out her blog posts for the last month or so to see her take on marketing.

  4. says:

    I’ve been watching how she’s handled her rollout. Very clever. We took notes. 🙂

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