In the world of self-publishing, one critical component that's been missing has been reliable data about how self-published books are selling. Last week, the self-published author Hugh Howey released some data on 7,000 ebooks on the Amazon bestseller list, from the mystery/thriller, romance, and science fiction genres. He posts his report here:
The other eye-popper here is that indie authors are outselling the Big Five. That’s the entire Big Five. Combined. Indie and small-press books account for half of the e-book sales in the most popular and bestselling genres on Amazon.
Philip Jones, editor of The Bookseller's Futurebook blog, provides the following caution here:
Publishers Weekly just ran a piece surveying the self-publishing landscape for 2014, in which they note that authors are seeing that writing is only the beginning of the publishing process.
"It’s almost been a giddy feeling about all the new opportunities, but I think we’ve reached a slightly more mature period,” says Beat Barblan, director of identifier services for Bowker. “We are seeing more authors who say they want to be an author beyond just a hobby, and recognize that they have to be much more entrepreneurial.”
A new analysis of U.S. ISBN data by ProQuest affiliate Bowker reveals that the number of self-published titles in 2012 jumped to more than 391,000, up 59 percent over 2011 and 422 percent over 2007. Ebooks continue to gain on print, comprising 40 percent of the ISBNs that were self-published in 2012, up from just 11 percent in 2007.
“The most successful self-publishers don’t view themselves as writers only, but as business owners,” said Beat Barblan, Bowker Director of Identifier Services. “They invest in their businesses, hiring experts to fill skill gaps and that’s building a thriving new service infrastructure in publishing.”
Paul Aiken, who has long helmed the Authors Guild, announced today that he has ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. Through treatment of allergies, he discovered his ALS symptoms lessened with steroid injections. He is embarking on that experimental treatment and posting updates about it at n=2.com.
Aiken said he expects skepticism about the remission of his symptoms and will begin posting pertinent medical records...on Monday to help answer questions. He admits he has no way of knowing whether his remission will continue or whether he has some odd strain of ALS, so his treatment might not apply to others. He's hoping to use the blog to help find out.
The Guardian profiles self-published author Tasha Harrison in their Self-Publishing Showcase series:
I'm in control – well, more than I was, at any rate. My books are selling and people are contacting me to say how much they've enjoyed reading them. I've waited a long time to have that satisfaction! I have instant access to my sales figures, can change my cover image, price and content whenever I want and work to my own deadlines. I'm not worrying too much about what genre I fall under, either. Overall, self-publishing has been liberating.
She offers thoughts on pricing, marketing, building an audience, as well as a brief excerpt of her book Pearls.
Nielsen - which tracks media and information consumption around the world - has just purchased Bowker's PubTrack business intelligence unit, as well as the commerce solutions PubEasy and PubNet.
Bowker remains the US ISBN Agency, one of two registration agencies for ISNI, and the source of the Books in Print database. Library solutions Summon and Syndetics also remain at Bowker.
From the press release:
Bowker will focus on facilitating and enhancing book discovery through technology solutions, such as Syndetic Solutions™ and Summon®, and through identifier services (including ISBNs and ISNIs).
Our self-publishing efforts continue apace!