How Many Authors Actually Publish, and How?

shutterstock_10923688(1)Findings from the 2014 Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest Author survey caused a healthy debate among the author community, led in part by noted hybrid author Hugh Howey, who argued a fuller picture would include projects that never see the light of day in the traditional publishing system.

The prevalence of hybrid authorship, for one thing, makes it harder to count them. But the survey’s author Dana Beth Weinberg put together some numbers that offer a better picture.

The new publishing ecosystem presents authors with a wider array of possible routes to publication than ever before. As a result, authors now choose to continue—or not continue—with their projects in various forms for an expanding number reasons.

All of that leaves the old “traditional vs. indie” classification system rather outmoded.

Much more, including a chart putting author paths into perspective.

Related: Learn more about the changing face of author-publisher relations in our FREE webcast this Thursday, and read the full report here.

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The rest of the day’s top news:

Amazon Presses U.S. for Access to India (
Echoing controversial lobbying efforts by Walmart last year, the e-tailor’s request for easing foreign direct investment restrictions coincides with an e-commerce boom on the subcontinent.

European Ebook Platform Adds New Features to Compete (Good E Reader)
To keep up with the likes of Smashwords and Amazon, XinXii, a major ebook distributor in Europe, now offers free ISBNs, a formatting guide and the ability to sell directly through its own site.

Simon & Schuster Launches Community for Business Books (DBW)
The site, called 250 Words, is intended as a destination for reviews and commentary on business books — regardless of who publishes them.

Best-selling Authors Turn Publishers (PW)
Victoria Christopher Murray and ReShonda Tate Billingsley, both published by Simon & Schuster, have joined forces to launch Brown Girls Publishing, intending to publish fiction in multiple genres that the two will edit.

Education Publisher Cengage Restructures Debt (DBW)
The educational content and services company reached a settlement allowing it to emerge from Chapter 11 and clear more than $4 billion of its estimated $5.8 billion debt.

The Jim Henson Company Gets Into Publishing (PW)
Jim Henson Publishing will produce books that can dovetail with its TV, digital media and other narrative-driven products. Bloomsbury Children’s group will publish its first series, aimed at girls ages seven-to-nine.

Are Free Ebook Samples Too Meager to Make Sales? (Good E Reader)
Previews often comprise less than 10% of the ebook, and a lot of that is just front matter. But stroll into a bookstore, and you can read as much as you like. Should ebook publishers be more generous?

What’s in a Name? Are Publishing Brands Less Personal Now? (Pub Perspectives)
The book business used to be run by a roster of men, with imprints and presses named for their founders. Has the move toward more corporate branding taken the ego out of the industry?

Rethinking the Value of the Back-List (The Book Designer)
Publishers are looking more closely at their back-lists and finding new ways to market them. Here’s another take on that subject from a self-published author and blogger’s point of view.

Related: Digital Back-List Marketing: The Infinite Shelf Life of Ebooks

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