Why did self-publishing drop 46%?

file000532567424Over the years, people have claimed that traditional publishing is a dinosaur, eBooks are the future, and self-publishing is taking over. However, the facts don’t support those theories.

Before moving on, the purpose of any blog on UP Authors is to help you make decisions and move forward productively. We don’t guess at UP Authors, nor do we give you our opinion. We stick with reality and leave the fiction to the writing of stories.

Traditional Publishing Update

Traditional publishing has taken a small dip…1.6%. In terms of business, that’s “Holding steady.”

Traditional publishing isn’t growing. It’s not failing. It’s holding steady.

Han Huang, Director of Product Management for Data Licensing at Bowker said, “Traditional print production is holding up relatively well…industry reports that eBook sales growth has been slowing.”

eBook Update

Remember that traditional publishing doesn’t put a lot of funding into eBooks. This is why they can raise the prices to $14.99. If they sell eBooks, it’s a bonus.

Traditional publishers use statistics to make business and marketing choices. It’s a fact that 6% of readers prefer only eBooks and 46% of readers prefer only printed books. (Wall Street Journal) There are some readers that purchase both eBooks and printed books, but the numbers are low.

Yes, there are 200% more published eBooks than last year, but only 6% of readers are interested in buying those eBooks. Do you see the difference?

Self-Publishing Update

In 2010, there were 3,844,278 self-published books. It was a time when people started going on their own to find other sources of income. They put up their own website, uploaded a book to Amazon, signed up for Facebook, and realized that publishing and marketing was cheap.

That turned out to be the problem with self-publishing…cheap.

Books were rushed and poorly written.

Publishing was rushed, which flooded the markets with first-time authors.

Marketing was rushed, producing low results.

In 2012, self-publishing dropped to 2,042,840 titles and in 2013, self-publishing dropped to 1,108,183.

I’m not great at math, but that’s about a 50% drop each year, which means by 2016, there may only be 130,000 self-published books.

What’s the main reason self-publishing is fading away?

Huang, an expert in product management said that self-published books are, “Marketed almost exclusively online.”

Traditional publishing uses multiple ways to market, along with focusing on specific areas to market which is based on the author’s genre, storyline, and characters.

Self-published authors attempt to market books to the entire world via Amazon, social media, and their website.

Here’s the good news!

Every self-published author that continues on this trend will fade away. It’s not my opinion…it’s a fact.

For those of you that want to succeed at self-publishing, then you can succeed by following traditional marketing methods.

Here’s a list of traditional ways to market. Remember that you don’t have to do all of this at once. Mix and match, invest what you can, but this is your only way to survive and eventually sell millions of books.

~ Target Market Research (Knowing which cities would purchase your book. Also, which cities have the highest income and education rates.)

~ Book Conferences

~ Events

~ Book Signings

~ Book Clubs

~ Media Coverage

~ Advertisements (Billboards, Newspapers, Commercials, Movie Theatres)

~ Press Kits

~ Book Reviews

~ Reading Samples/Serialization

~ Speaking Engagements

The next stage should be…

~ Placement of books in big box stores

~ Placement in bookstores, both chain and local (Especially bookstores that report numbers to the Bestsellers List)

~ Placement of books on the end-caps of bookstores and big box stores

~ Film Adaptation (There are resources for film adaptation. See below.)

Some authors feel it’s great news that self-publishing is fading away. This opens the door for authors that are going to stick it out and adjust their marketing. Meanwhile, the authors that rush a book on Amazon will soon fade away.

Start a budget for marketing, even if it’s only $50 a month. This simple adjustment will propel your career, while other authors find a different career…

“There’s a big gap between you and the all-time bestselling authors in the world. Inside that gap are billions of potential readers.” ~ Ron Knight

Do you need 100 ideas to sell books? Check out 12 Month Author Marketing Plan!


Ron Knight

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