Once seen as the last resort of desperate writers, today self-publishing is seen as a high growth sector in the publishing circles. In the last five years, there has been a 287% growth in the books turned out by self-publication industry– a growth catalyzed by the explosion of digital books and introduction of publishing tools like iBooks and KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing).
The rise of e-books: A decade ago, e-books comprised a measly 1% of the book market but today account for 25% of dollar sales. The rapid growth of e-books has been fuelled by the convenience afforded by e-books when it comes to both affordability and accessibility. And while customers have enjoyed these benefits, e-books have given writers direct access to e-book retailers and readers, allowing them to circumvent traditional publishers and agents. And the icing on the cake is the access to international markets that e-books offer, with access to billions of potential customers. Every writer who uploads an e-book is just a click away from her target audience.
The rise of indie writers: Self-publishing as an industry has come of age, with writers increasingly taking control of their books with respect to pricing, promotion and marketing. In fact, the independent writers have revolutionized the publishing industry by gaining complete creative control of their work, even while gaining market share and pioneering new practices in the industry. The power center of the publishing industry has shifted irreversibly from the traditional publishers; their rejections no longer decide the fate of a book since the writers now have alternate means of publishing.
The success of self-publishing:, Self-publishing no longer has a stigma attached to it and one of the prime reasons is the continued success of independent writers. Self-published books are beginning to outsell and outcompete large publishers and are inspiring other writers to go down the same route. And each time an independent writer hits the bestseller list, the stigma attached to self-publishing fades away some more. In 2016, self-published author Adam Croft hit the jackpot with his ninth book Her Last Tomorrow. It sold well internationally, mainly through Kindle, and the author inked a huge publishing deal with Amazon imprint Thomas & Mercer thereafter.
Although there are many substandard self-publishing books out there, more and more self-publishing authors are setting the bar higher, both with respect to content and presentation. And the tide is turning – with retailers, reviewers and readers accepting independent writers who self-publish with pride and professionalism.