Erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey began life as a humble, self-published ebook, unable to satisfy the tastes of traditional publishers.
Within a few years it had achieved domination on a global scale, spawning a series that has sold more than 125 million copies.
E. L. James’s personal story has become a tantalizing fantasy for aspiring authors. But one that technology and social media are making increasingly realizable.
“There was a time when self-publishing was equated with vanity,” explains John Bond, co-founder of Whitefox, one of several new companies helping “amateur” authors publish professionally on platforms like Amazon Kindle, Google Play, Apple’s iBook Store or Kobo.
“Because of the digital revolution, democratization has happened. It’s almost as if the writer has become his own entrepreneur around the publication process.”
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What Does Author Earnings Say to the Industry? (Pub Perspectives)
In the new February Author Earnings report, released Monday, things continue to look rosy for self-publishing authors and dire for the trade. But there are also announcements of changes in the approach—not entirely clear changes, mind you, but in some ways promising. We’ll look at a bit of that later in this article. To grasp the industry-political context here, we must remember that many who are skeptical of the efficacy of the Author Earnings effort point to the fact that it is an agenda-driven exercise.
Nielsen Launches Ebook Tracker in UK (Bookseller)
Nielsen has launched an ebook sales reporting service for “top tier publishers” through all channels. PubTrack Digital UK will report volume ebook sales monthly but three months in arrears. The UK tracker follows the US PubTrack service, which has been running for five years. Ebook sales data will be reported by ISBN, title, authors and Nielsen BookScan product class.
Marketing a New Book Release That’s Part of a Long Series (BookBub)
Marketing a new release that comes late in a series is often different from marketing a standalone or early series book, yet the goals are similar: catch readers’ attention and build a loyal fan base. To provide our readers with insights on the challenges (and opportunities!) of marketing a new series release, we interviewed Julianne MacLean about how she marketed The Color of the Season, the seventh book in her The Color of Heaven series.
Amazon to Compete with UPS, Fedex (Bloomberg)
A 2013 report to Amazon’s senior management team proposed an aggressive global expansion of the company’s Fulfillment By Amazon service, which provides storage, packing and shipping for independent merchants selling products on the company’s website. The report envisioned a global delivery network that controls the flow of goods from factories in China and India to customer doorsteps in Atlanta, New York and London. The project, called Dragon Boat, is proceeding, according to a person familiar with the initiative, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.
Kindle Previewer 3 — Beta (EPUB Secrets)
Amazon has released a new version of Kindle Previewer, the tool many developers use to convert EPUBs to MOBIs. It’s available for Windows and Mac OS. One highlight is the list of devices supporting Bookerly and Enhanced Typesetting. In fact, it mentions that you should keep version 2.941 on hand to compare Enhanced Typesetting results with non-Enhanced when viewing in Kindle Previewer.
Writers’ Consortiums and Co-ops (Jane Friedman)
The combination of independent publishing and the broad use of social media has provided many ways for writers to produce books and engage with readers, but it has also forced writers to do more than just write.
Paul Aiken, Leader of Authors Guild, Dies at 56 (NY Times)
Paul Aiken, who as executive director of the Authors Guild began parrying digital-era challenges to copyrights and royalties nearly two decades ago, died on January 29th at his home in Manhattan. He would have been 57 two days later.
How to Earn Repeat, Large-Volume Book Orders (Book Business)
Negotiating a large, non-returnable sale of your books to a corporate buyer can be a euphoric event. As you leave the premises you may celebrate with large smiles and high-fives. But unforeseen by many publishers are the various post-sale emotions experienced by the buyers, especially if this is their first time dealing with you. Their feelings may range from comfort and positive expectation to uneasiness, wariness, disappointment or regret.
Russia’s Book Market Fell 5.37% in 2015 (Pub Perspectives)
According to data reported by Pro-Books.ru from Moscow’s National Book Chamber, the Russian book market fell from the previous year by 5.37 percent in terms of volume. Established in 1917, the Book Chamber is charged with registering and tracking Russia’s literary titles, providing international identifiers (ISBN), library distribution and other services.