How Far We’ve Come From ‘Vanity Publishing’

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It used to be called “vanity publishing” and derided as something you’d do when your book wasn’t good enough. How times have changed.
 
This year saw multiple titles acquired by major publishing houses after they had become ebook hits as self-published works. And just look at the top-selling books of the year from Amazon and iTunes: Three books at the top started out as Twilight fan fiction on a blog and two others were more traditionally self-published.
 
More people have decided that they should bring their books to market without the help of a publisher and readers are buying these titles.
 
And this week, another first for the self-publishing world: respected book reviewer for the New York Times, Michiko Kakutani, named a self-published title to her best-of list for the year.
 
It’s a new future for the publishing industry. One wonders, though, how many “best” books were missed a decade ago when they were “vanity published” and nobody knew they existed?


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The rest of the day’s top news:
 
Macmillan Allowing Ebook Dishttp://www.digitalbookworld.com/2012/macmillan-allowing-limited-ebook-discounting/
counting (DBW)
Despite fighting a lawsuit that, at its center, is about ebook discount, Macmillan has started to allow some of its titles to be discounted slightly be retailers. The company has not yet confirmed the situation or elaborated to Digital Book World.

Simon & Schuster: Will Sell Ebooks to Libraries Under Certain Circumstances (DBW)
Simon & Schuster now has two ebooks for sale to libraries: Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury would only allow an ebook edition if it was made available to libraries); and The Year We Left Home by Jean Thompson, which was chosen to be 2013’s All Iowa Reads books. It could only be chosen if the ebook were made available to libraries. 
 
Obama’s Digital Strategy (DBW)
Superior digital strategy was seen as one of the factors in President Barack Obama’s victory on Election Day this year. His secret weapon? Teddy Goff. Now he can be your secret weapon. Read more here.

Korea, Indonesia and Turkey (Pub Perspectives)
Jeopardy answer: What are three international markets publishers should watch next year. Learn more about how to take advantage of those rising opportunities here

All About Ebook Bundling (DBW)
Three reasons why authors and publishers should try ebook bundling. 


Best Practices in Children’s Digital (DBW)
There are some tablet commands that kids just get: the swipe, the tap and the drag, for instance. And there are some they don’t get. Sesame Workshop has put together a helpful primer on what works and what doesn’t. Learn more about the future of children’s digital publishing here.

 
Amazon’s Secrets (LinkedIn)
A slideshow that reveals the secrets to Amazon’s retail success. 


An Erotic 2012 (DBW)
ITunes has released its top-selling books of the year list and it closely resembles that of Amazon. Both are heavily populated by erotic romance titles.
 
Erotic Fiction Driving Ebook Sales in Japan (Rocket News)
Sound familiar?

 
Best Gifts for the E-Reader in Your Home? (Mediashift)
If you don’t want to buy that avid reader of ebooks on your holiday shopping list an ebook because an email isn’t your idea of a dramatic gift presentation, then why not get some e-reader accessories? Or, you could just go with that ebook gift idea.

Senior Self-Publishing Surge (Sun-Sentinal)
Senior citizens in Florida are discovering the joys of self-publishing. Our favorite from this gem, a joke from an 87-year-old man interviewed for the story: “You can be a big shot for a few hundred dollars.” Indeed.

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Image Credit: top ten image via Shutterstock

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