9 SIGNS SELF-PUBLISHING IS OUT OF CONTROL
In a world of 6.8 billion people, 700,000 trying to make it big by self-publishing may not seem very significant. But compare it to the number of books traditionally published in America each year: 80,000. Of those, one author says, “most of them [are] not needed, not wanted, not in any way remotely necessary.” Assuming the U.S. makes up just one-tenth of the market (almost certainly a low estimate), AND assuming each author has the decency to self-publish only one title, that means self-publishers stand to nearly double the number of books published in the world every year.
Lulu is a self-publishing company that has been in business since 2002 and is generally regarded as the leader in the field. One need look no further for proof that self-publishing is getting out of hand than the Lulu web site that reveals the company publishes 20,000 titles for unpublished authors every single month. The site shows no signs of slowing, as 12,000 new “creators” sign up every week, and the number of titles is growing about 10% each month. But as the founder of the company says, the average run is “less than two.”
Basically, an economic bubble is created when a good is bought and sold at a much higher price than it is really worth. For example, the dot-com bubble burst when traders realized Internet companies had no way to justify the hundreds of millions of dollars at which their worth was being valued.Pundits are now looking hard at the massive popularity of self-publishing and asking: How long until self-publishers realize tens of thousands of them have grossly overvalued their products and the market crashes?
The dilemma of finding a publisher is no more; say hello to the dilemma of choosing which publisher is right for you. FromAuthor Solutions to Author House, from Booktango toBookSurge, there is a plenitude of publishers from which to choose to help you produce your book. But there’s also an entire sub-industry that has sprung into being from the self-publishing movement: the “how to self-publish” manual industry. Like any “get-rich-quick“-style book, these books will always sell better than the vast majority of the books they encourage people to self-publish.
Millions of titles are available for free download in various formats. The average price of a self-published Kindle ebook for titles in the Top 100 on Amazon was $1.40, and this price is trending downward. Although many of the free titles hosted by companies like Amazon are books in the public domain, a huge mass of them are self-published titles that first-time authors are giving away for free in the hopes of receiving exposure. This means that deserving works are buried in the pile, and there is just too much for customers to sort through.
As if self-publishers needed any more encouragement, many visible commentators are using their platforms to breathlessly urge everyone who considers themselves a writer (which is basically everyone) to self-publish. On Dec. 13, 2011, USA Todayfeatured a story about self-publishing success story Michael Prescott, who is “threatening to change the face of publishing” with his enormous success. “It’s a gold rush out there,” Prescott proclaims in the article. Over at Techcrunch.com six weeks later, traditionally-published and self-published author, blogger, and investment guru James Altucher was advising every entrepreneur to self-publish a book, basically anointing books the new business cards in the process.
As one of the first comers to the new self-publisher industry, Smashwords alone has published more than 80,000 books since being created in 2008. It took one company less than four years to match the annual total of traditionally-published books in the U.S. To date, authors have smashed a whopping 4,242,989,557 words into their self-published books.
On average, authors who self-publish sell 100-150 copies of their book. Considering the average Facebook user has 130 friends, this is right in the wheelhouse for explaining who is buying most self-published books: friends and family of the author. Of course, as this is an average, there are a handful of breakout self-publishing authors who are keeping the number elevated and making up for the thousands of writers who sell 50 or 25 copies, or worse.
If there’s any doubt self-publishing is already out of control, millions of books could potentially be in the pipeline for self-publishing in the near future. The New York Times has reported that 81% of Americans think they have the makings of a book in their brains, and that they should publish that book. An estimated 25 million novels and how-to books have already been written by Internet users in the U.S. but have yet to be published. If just 1% of those authors self-publish, the country’s annual book publishing by traditional means would be instantly tripled.
***I was given the idea (from a few people) that self-publishing is a good way to go. Well let’s consider what I have read on this page. This damaged my hope of being a writer. Am I good enough? Will I make it anywhere past this poor provincial town? (Why, yes. That WAS a Disney reference) Each sign that I get, when I stumble upon sites like these, my ego is shot lower and lower. Maybe my future is stuck working at a diner; if I could even get a job there. And there goes the good mood. I’ll turn to music, which as we recall, is not my life. What is my life? I have friends, a family, an education…but what’s next? Is anything to be expected? The response I will get, of course, are encouraging comments that I do appreciate, but are not going to make my mood better. At least for tonight. *****
Humans love. We love Love, and we hate Love. I have a very common relationship with Love. I love AND hate Love. Most people love Love when Love is in their favour. She isn’t always there. When I’m with my family…I fight and argue…things get intense. But then there are the moments.
Where we break down because no one sees inside. We hide in our rooms, not talking. And when we do we are questioned. Then we go back to not talking. Then we cry inside.
Where we break down in silence because we love our family too much to let anything out.
Where we break down because we have to take care of everything and no one turns around and asks if you are okay, where we have to take care of the people we love, and have trouble finding our own happiness.
Where we break down because we feel unloved, like no one wants us. Where being alone means dying inside. Where every bit of us is crumbling, shrinking, until it is no longer there.
Where we break down because our family doesn’t speak. We are drifting apart. And once we’re gone…we are gone.
Take time for your loved ones. That doesn’t just mean family. Look to your friends, the ones who have been there for you through every step, who have never turned around and threw it back in your face. I appreciate those who do, though I don’t always say it.
Go to someone right now and tell them how much they mean. How long until they’re gone?
Chase; Dad; Zach; Mom. You mean the world to me. In the morning I’m going to shake my head and wonder why I posted this…but I hope I don’t delete it.
Once again I am here to make a new blog. If this one fails, then I am done with blogs. Things have been rough so far…so now I am going to re-upload what I had on my old site, in hopes I can share it with those few who follow me.
Here are some suggestions for your first post.
- You can find new ideas for what to blog about by reading the Daily Post.
- Add PressThis to your browser. It creates a new blog post for you about any interesting page you read on the web.
- Make some changes to this page, and then hit preview on the right. You can always preview any post or edit it before you share it to the world.