Best self Publishing Companies 2014The best self-publishers 2014
Self-publishing Plattforms are becoming an increasing test field for conventional publishing houses that pick up the work of winning independent writers and offer them progress in the millions. In addition, some writers are becoming more and more open to self-publications to complement or replace their publishing-career.
One year ago we forecast that the self-publishing sector would be ready in 2014, with the creators taking on their roles as creators and shopkeepers. This year' s forecast featured a number of sector experts discussing the latest state of self-publishing, the latest developments in the past year and the present challenge for independent editors in an ever more congested environment, as well as some of their forecasts for 2015.
Ashleigh Gardner, Wattpad's director of contents, noted as an example of sustained sector expansion that in 2014 the online publishing site won million subscribers sharing 15 million works of fictional fans alone - leading to break-out publishing celebrities like Anna Todd, whose One Direction franfic, After, brought her a four-book transaction with Gallery Books at Simon & Schuster.
In the past year, Lulu's self-publishing websites have also grown as a product of new campaigns such as Lulu Jr. a label that enables youngsters to become writers, said Dan Dillon, the company's vice president of sales. Aside from Lulu Jr., the firm has partnered with Crayola to create a range of co-branded bookmaking sets for schoolchildren.
There have been indications of further expansion and innovations across all self-publishing sectors - from Crayola, via Intelligent and Hybrids Publishing, to the emergence of seriesisation. With more and more writers doing it on their own, they are more and more considering their self-publishing projects as companies. That means their publishing activities must be part of a wider enterprise that covers everything from brand building and digital communication to editing collaborations - an important evolution, says Beat Barblan, Bowker's new Director of identifier service.
"In order to be a success, self-publishers must see themselves as entrepreneurs and realize that typing the contents is only the first of many steps," says Barblan. Noting that" is still royal content," he points out that even good media will have difficulty reaching an audiences unless the writers publish in a professional manner - and pay close heed to the service a conventional publishing house provides, such as publishing, advertising, e-book converting and coversign.
"When it comes to self-publication, the writers have recognised that they do not exclude the publishers' roles but take on the publisher's responsibility. "This means that independent writers do more work than their traditional peers, but may also have more power to take their songs and grow their game.
With the increasing establishment of self-publishing, it seems to have become a sustainable choice even for traditional publishers who have been reluctant in the past. In 2014, New York Times best-selling writer Eileen Goudge was able to publish Bones and Roses after not finding a publishing house for the novel.
Smashword's Coker forecasts that we will see more traditional writers this way - especially mid-list writers who receive less interest from their editors than front list writers and may be looking for a new one. Furthermore, the versatility of hybrids means that backlist writers with out-of-print content can get their copyrights back and release the songs themselves, perhaps opening up their work to a new family.
"I' m hearing from old-fashioned writers researching the self-publication issue and looking for a repertoire that switches to hybrids or goes straight to self-publication. "As an example, she finds that at uPublishU at the BEA in 2014 a number of participants were classic writers who wanted to test their possibilities and examine the advantages of different publishing plattforms and find out more about permissions and sourcing.
"We will see an increasing number of hybrids publishing houses opting to either go beyond conventional publishing or publishing alone, according to the nature of the contents and the market," he says. Given that contributors can find out more about their publication opportunities, whether through a BEA survey or through a network with other contributors and users, and can select exactly how they want to release each title as needed, it seems clear that hybrids publishing will draw new supporters next year as well.
They have also taken notice of the possibilities of seriesization. Publishing their work section by section, the writers can cast a spell over the reader and at the same token incorporate fan feedbacks - a success story for a number of independent writers this year. The publication of 30 sections at a cost of 99 allows writers to generate 30x the turnover of a given publication at the same cost.
"Serialisation is here to stay," Wattpads Gardner forecasts and refers to the more than 14 million serial histories released on the website in 2014. "In fact, the writers also write on the go - more than 20 billion words were released on Wattpad's iPhone and Android cell phone platform in 2014. As more and more independent tracks are released every year, writers face the permanent challange to discover their tracks in a vast ocean of apparently infinite possibilities.
"There is a flood of high-quality, inexpensive books," says Coker, and adds that one of the reasons for this is the "immortal" e-books of both independent and conventional writers, which will never be out of stock. Even more important, conventional publishing houses are beginning to strongly discounted their e-books and are offering some free contents to take advantage of the popularity that many independent writers have seen with this approach.
To underscore this point, Coker provides the stats and notes that a 2014 Smashwords poll found that free e-books were 39x as much downloads at the Apple iBooks Retail Store as expensive ones - a statistic that seems reassuring until it' s benchmarked against the year before, when free downloads were 91x as much.
"There are so many writers using free advertising campaigns and perma-free that free literature is subject to greater competition," he says. However, our sector specialists largely agree that 2015 will remain an interesting year for self-publishing.