Authors & Self-Publishing

Research findings, commentary and analysis about how authors publish and the latest developments in the evolving self-publishing arena.

Authors Playing the Long Game in a Tough Book Market

In the 2014 Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest Author Survey, we noticed low satisfaction scores for sales, marketing and earnings among the authors in our sample, leading us to speculate that there was a gap between authors’ expectations and the realities of the book market, where it is very difficult to sell a large number of books....

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Lessons and Expectations as the Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest Author Survey Evolves

This year marks the third year that Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest are surveying authors on their publishing experiences and income. When I came on board last year, I began by revisiting the numbers from the inaugural Author Survey published in early 2013. While Digital Book World’s then–editorial director Jeremy Greenfield had already...

Self-Publishing Reaches the Summit

I recently took part in New Generation Publishing’s annual Self-Publishing Summit in London, now in its third year. It is always a good opportunity to stop and consider how the self-publishing sector has evolved. The is no doubt that self-publishing, often derided in its former forms, has made a huge mark in the last three...

Wattpad: Digital Storytelling With a Social Twist

The digital marketplace has changed the rules for both readers and writers. Authors no longer need to be separated from their readers. Readers no longer have to wait for books to be complete before getting a peek at authors’ work. The landscape for storytelling is changing and one of the leading innovations in this...

Empowering Writers with Data

A close writer friend called last week with a dilemma. She needs some extra money in her pocket within the next year and has a book project ready to go: Should she sign with a traditional publisher or go indie? What’s the better choice given her money situation right now? What’s the better choice...

Should Self-Publishing Authors Hire Editors, Producers and Cover Designers? Team Publishing vs. DIY

Related: Author Report 2013-2014 Self-publishing is something of a misnomer, given the various ways that authors can publish books outside of a traditional publishing relationship. In particular, we might consider two modes of indie publishing, do-it-yourself and team publishing. DIY is for authors who go it entirely alone. Authors who seek to make their...

Are Literary Agents Really Worth Their Commission?

Do I need an agent? The longstanding advice to new writers was that if they had any hope of a successful career in publishing they absolutely needed an agent. Myriad books and blogs have been devoted to the topics of how to pitch agents and how to find the right agent. Unfortunately for most...

Authors’ Views on the Value of Agents

Do I need an agent? The longstanding advice to new writers was that if they had any hope of a successful career in publishing, they absolutely needed an agent. Myriad books and blogs have been devoted to the topics of how to pitch agents and how to find the right agent. Unfortunately for most...

Analyzing the Author Earnings Data Using Basic Analytics

Last week, when I was interviewed on the Self-Publishing Roundtable about the Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest 2014 Author Survey, I was surprised to learn of the deep animosity many indie authors felt toward this survey and its reporting. For Phil Sexton, who was also with me on the panel, and for myself,...