8 Facts About Traditional Publishing & Self-Publishing

MCS BLOG 13By looking at the developments in publishing, authors can move forward based on what’s working and what’s not working. It’s important to study industry trends so that you can make key decisions with your writing career.

What problems are traditional publishing facing and how are they solving those problems?

~ “With (traditional) publishers nervous about the growing power of Amazon as their largest customer for both physical and digital books, publishers are looking for new ways to generate revenue.” (Source: George Lossius, CEO at Publishing Technology)

Lesson: You might be wondering what “new ways” traditional publishing will generate revenue. I listed it below. Read on…

~ “(Traditional) publishers are not going to be able to rely on endless streams of cheap digital downloads (eBooks) to replace lost print revenue.” (Source: Richard Nash, Publishing Entrepreneur)

Lesson: Over the last 100 years, traditional publishing has depended on hardback print for their primary source of income. eBooks are not the future for traditional publishing. Read on…

~ A major trend for (traditional) publishing will be shorter version of books and short stories. This will be a form of serialization that was used to originally market and sell books. It will allow customers greater control over what they want to read. (Source: George Lossius, CEO at Publishing Technology)

Lesson: People want “samples” of things before they buy. The idea to sell books in smaller chunks is based on the iTunes plan that gives the option to purchase one song, or the entire album. Publishing is heading in that direction.

Are authors still submitting their books to traditional publishers?

~ Large traditional publishers receive 5,000 submissions a year. 90% will be rejected based on the first paragraph. 8% of the remaining submissions will be rejected based on the first chapter, leaving only 2% that are considered based on the entire manuscript.

Lesson: If you are doing great with self-publishing, then let the traditional publisher make you an offer. Otherwise, keep on doing what you’re doing.

~ Traditional publishers that are having an economic good year will publish about 10 books. If the publishers are having a bad economic bad year, they will publish 5 books.

Lesson: The point here is traditional publishing has a budget to market books. They stick to that budget.

~ Most authors that are published traditionally will not be given a chance to publish a 2nd book.

Lesson: If you can’t market your own books, then you won’t get a 2nd book deal with traditional publishing. Even James Patterson had to market his own books. It gives you more control over your career.

Is self-publishing still on the rise?

~ In 2010, there were 3,844,278 self-published books. In 2012, self-publishing dropped to 2,042,840 titles. In 2013, self-publishing dropped to 1,108,183. (Source: Han Huang, Director of Product Management for Data Licensing at Bowker)

Lesson: Back in 2010, every yahoo with a computer was publishing a book. It’s good to see that only “authors” are publishing books these days.

~ Traditional publishing has taken only a small dip…1.6%. (Source: Han Huang, Director of Product Management for Data Licensing at Bowker)

Lesson: Traditional publishing controls 90% of the industry. However for the first time, self-publishing is dipping into the market share.

Know everything you can about traditional publishing and self-publishing while making our own unique plans for the near future.

Ron Knight

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