Last Saturday, Writer Abroad attended TIPE, The Independent Publishing Event in Zurich. Here are some of the things she learned:
- Independent publishing is great for niche books or books with smaller markets that may not (at least initially) interest a large publisher.
- To make a living as an independent author, you probably need not just one, but several books for sale on amazon. Series seem to work best in this case.
- To make $2 a book, you can sell an ebook on amazon yourself for $2.99 OR a publisher can sell it for you for $12.99.
- The ebook market is almost non-existent in the German-speaking world (about 1% of book sales). But ebooks outsell regular books in the U.S.
- There is a lot of potential for ebook growth in Asian markets. Who cares if no one knows your book in the U.S. if you’re a bestselling author in China!
- You can self-publish your e-book and still get an agent to sell other rights, i.e. print, audio, foreign language, film, etc.
- The Kindle is the leading eReader. The Nook is dying.
- Amazon is where you will probably sell the most ebooks. But you shouldn’t ignore other platforms like Kobo (Canada/Asia) and there are websites like smashwords and bookbaby that will format your manuscripts accordingly for all of these platforms.
- Beware of agents who want to help you self-publish as this is easy to do yourself (and keep the 15%).
- Getting an agent will be easy if you are a successful independent author. But by then, you may not want one. Or you may just want one for certain projects or to sell certain rights.
- The three main people you need to hire as an independent author are editors, proofreaders, and cover designers.
- Reviews are critical to selling books in an online platform.
- The right keywords are also critical to selling books in an online platform. Use them in the book title whenever possible.
- Printing on demand makes it possible to sell printed books without having to invest a lot up front. You should consider a printed book if your book would do well in European markets since print still outsells digital formats in Europe (especially in Switzerland).
Anyone else have things they find interesting about independent publishing?