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.
Amazon 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.