How does an author who has worked with a variety of publishers on 42 books over 20 years made the transition from traditionally published to self-published author?
In 2010, Bob Mayer and his agent were trying to sell his latest manuscript to a publisher. He had published dozens of books with traditional publishers and was looking to do it again. Then, he thought, what will publishing look like in 2013 when my next book – if we sell it – is likely to come out?
Around that time, he was approached by his current business partner, Jen Talty, who asked him what he was doing with his back-list (answer: “doing nothing”). So they worked together to bring it to market. In 2010, they made $26,000. In 2012, they made more than $1 million and don’t seem to be looking back.
Yesterday, Mayer announced that his small publishing concern, Cool Gus Publishing, has signed New York Times best-selling author Jennifer Probst to a three-book deal. It’s not “self-publishing” anymore; it’s not quite “traditional publishing” either, the way Mayer describes it. Regardless, the path Mayer took in 2010 and that Probst is taking now is becoming more well-worn by the day.
Learn more about what authors want from publishing and publishers in our new report: What Authors Want – Understanding Authors in the Era of Self-Publishing.
Related: Expanding Options for Publishing and the New Hybrid Author | Why Do Authors Choose Traditional Publishing or Self-Publishing? | Author Services Site Lulu Moves Toward DRM-Free, But Is It What Authors Want?
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The rest of the day’s top news:
Why Retailers Are Embracing Self-Published Books (Huffington Post)
Smashwords founder and CEO Mark Coker explains why publishers are embracing self-published ebooks. Admittedly, he’s a biased source. That said, he doesn’t point out one big reason: To build libraries of exclusive content to entice readers a la Amazon with KDP Select.
Freelancers for Indie Authors (DBW)
Net Minds has launched a marketplace where self-publishing authors (or anyone, we suppose) can find freelance talent to help them with their publishing projects.
Help for Bookstores (The Shatzkin Files)
There has been a lot of chatter lately about what Barnes & Noble and other bookstores should do to find success in a business environment where the deck seems increasingly stacked against them (including from us here and here). Many of the suggestions don’t seem all that promising and the ones that do offer many complications.
More Troubles for B&N (Pub Lunch)
In a press release yesterday, Barnes & Noble warned of softer results for its Nook Media business in fiscal year 2013 than it had originally projected. As losses for the division mount and revenues fail to grow quickly, what will the big bookseller and its investors (in Nook: Microsoft and Pearson) do? Related: White Knights Don’t Ride Backwards.
Amazon Shares Climb on Ebook Optimism (Fox Business)
Amazon shares were up this week after an analyst note estimates that Amazon owns 45% of the worldwide ebook market and that it sold 383 million ebooks last year. While it could be true, it’s always important to remember: Equities analysts probably don’t know any more than you do.
Netbooks Still No. 1 Computing Device Purchased by Schools (DBW)
This shouldn’t last for long as tablets are gaining fast and netbooks are fading.
Vook Partners With Bowker on Ebooks (DBW)
Vook has joined DCL as a partner on ebook creation and conversion for Bowker. Bowker will be directing its self-publisher and small press ISBN customers to these two firms for their ebook questions – and their ebook business.
Publishing Start-up Plympton Acquires Book Marketing Site DailyLit (paidContent)
Plympton, the publisher of Amazon’s first three Kindle Serials, hopes to use DailyLit’s email list to promote its own work and that of other publishers.
A Bookish For Academic Publishing? (Scholarly Kitchen)
Would a joint venture between university presses to promote the discovery and sales of academic literature work? If it could, here’s how it would be done.
Physical Book Lovers: They’re Just Like Us (Ottawa Citizen)
There are still people who say they will never read an ebook because they love the feel of physical books, apparently. Well, those people should take another look at ebooks and consider why. According to this editorial, ebooks are the new paperbacks.
Cory Doctorow on Piracy (Good E Reader)
Science fiction author and anti-DRM advocate Cory Doctorow offers platitudes on the evil of opposing ebook piracy and trying to fight it but doesn’t offer any remedy to content-creating businesses that want to survive on selling content to paying customers.
Ads in Books?! (DBW)
A survey from late 2012 contended that nearly half of readers would prefer to be exposed to advertising and pay nothing for ebooks than to pay for them. EbookPlus, a new start-up, aims to give them what they want with advertising in ebooks.
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