mass market books

Have E-Books Replaced Mass Market Books?

mass market booksYou probably remember the term “mass market books” or “mass market paperbacks.” But you also probably haven’t heard it in quite a while. There’s a reason for that. And that reason sits primarily in the e-book space.

What Is a Mass Market Book, Anyway?

People often used to confuse the term “mass market book” with “trade book.” So let’s start by defining what each term means.

Both of these types of books are designed for the general consumer. Most could be categorized as romance or mystery. But trade books were intended to be sold primarily through bookstores. Mass market books, on the other hand, were intended to be sold predominantly through “mass” channels beyond traditional bookstores. They often would be available by the register at a drug store, supermarket, etc…

Mass market books were also generally printed on less expensive paper than trade books, making them cheap to produce and cheap to sell.

What Happened to Mass Market Books?

Well, e-books happened. If mass market books were originally intended to be cheap and easy reads … well, what’s cheaper and easier than paying 99 cents to download the book on your Kindle? As more books became available in e-book form, people’s desires to read the same book in paperback (and pay a lot more for it) dwindled.

Now, note that not all genres were sacrificed by e-books. There are still plenty of topics in which people prefer to read a hardcover book — like autobiographies and self-help books. But “light reading” — the types of books that had always been mass market — has not been shown to be one of them.

Experts also say that there’s been a reduction in shelf space on the retail side. But that’s a chicken/egg thing … did that happen because of reduced mass market success? Or vice versa?

So Is Mass Market Dead?

It’s not quite dead, but it’s on life support. Here are a few stats from Publishers Weekly:

  • According to NPD BookScan, which tracks roughly 80% of print sales, mass market titles accounted for 13% of total print units sold in 2013; that figure dropped to 9% last year.
  • The Association of American Publishers reported that dollar sales of mass market titles fell 30% in 2015 compared to 2012.

So What’s an Aspiring Mass Market Author to Do?

You might have spent many years aspiring to be the next Michael Crichton or John Grisham. And you might be wondering if that’s still a possibility.

Rest assured, there are still new mass market books being printed all the time. In fact, according to PW: “Bricks-and-mortar mass merchants continue to be the outlets where these books are most popular, with Walmart being one of the most important retailers among that group. (Depending on the publisher and the book, though, Costco, Sam’s Club, and Target can be just as, if not more, important.) With exceptions, women remain the top customer group for mass market titles because, in genre fiction, romance is one of the biggest drivers of sales. Mass market books also remain, publishers believe, impulse buys. (All the publishers interviewed for this story said that Amazon is not a significant outlet for mass market books.)”

So there’s hope.

But here’s the rub. Given the changing industry, publishers aren’t actively looking for the next mass market author the same way they are looking for the next great historical fiction writer. Because there’s not a lot of money to be made there. Instead, they are opting to publish books by already-successful authors as mass market.

So here’s what that means for you…

You need to become a successful author BEFORE you find success in mass market. The cheapest and easiest way to do that is by breaking in via e-books. Build an audience through a success author marketing campaign (including an author website, of course). Gain readers and followers. Then approach a publisher as a proven success story and pitch yourself as a mass market author that’s worth the small investment.

Times are a-changin’.

An Author Website Book Publishers Will Love

I work with authors at all different stages of publication. Some who are self publishing. Others who reach out to me when their books are only a few months away from release through a major publishing house. The saddest of all are the authors whose books came out six months ago, and only now are they realizing how little publicity their book publishers are doing for them.

But some authors actually reach out to me way sooner than that. In fact, many of them haven’t even finished their manuscript yet.

How Soon Is Too Soon to Build an Author Website?

I’ve written about this before. It’s honestly never too soon. But be aware that the website you build prior to finishing your book is going to be drastically different from what it will be a year later. Once you have a finished book (and cover), book reviews, testimonials, links to buy it, etc… the site will look different because your goals will be different. At that point, you will be aiming to get readers to buy your book. But now, you have nothing to buy.

That doesn’t mean, however, that you shouldn’t have a site this early in the process. Building an online presence is an important piece of being a successful author today, and that’s something that takes time.

So What’s the Site for If It’s Not Selling Books?

Well, some of that depends on if you’re self publishing or reaching out to book publishers. In the case of traditional publishing, you want to make sure that when the person who receives your book pitch takes a look at your site, they are impressed and think, “Now, that’s an author I want to get behind.” More on that below.

Obviously, if you’re planning to self publish, you will be less focused on appealing to book publishers. But in many ways, the goals of the site would still be the same.

This early in the journey, the goal of your author website should be to build a following. That can be done in a few different ways, including:

  • Blogging regularly
  • Driving traffic to the site through Facebook/Twitter
  • Collecting email addresses and building fans/followers
  • Optimizing your site for search terms that readers might be looking for

So What Type of Site Would Appeal to Book Publishers?

Author websites for book publishers

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Put yourself in the shoes of someone who is receiving your manuscript. Let’s call her Jane.

Picture this scenario….

Jane comes across your book pitch. She sees your name and does a Google search for you.

Does your site show up right at the top of search results for your name?

Jane is now clicking around your site. The first thing she wants to know is if this site looks clean and professional.

Did you have it designed by a professional? Is it mobile-friendly?

Jane now wants to know what you look like. After all, she likes to attach a face to a name and is curious whether you’re 25 or 65.

Do you have a professional photo of yourself on the site?

Now, Jane is going to take a look at your blog. She wants to know what you write about, how dedicated you seem to be to it, and if people seem to be visiting it regularly.

Do you post entries on your blog on a regular basis? Are people commenting, and are you replying?

While she’s at it, Jane wants to get an idea of if you’ve already built a list of followers/subscribers. The more people you already have following you the easier it will be to sell the book to a larger audience once it’s published.

Do you prominently collect email addresses on the site? Do you have a social widget that shows how many followers/fans you already have?

Now, let’s not forget your writing. Jane knows that your book pitch is good, but how does she know that you did that yourself and didn’t hire someone? She wants to know what writing you’ve done in the past and where you might have been published.

Do you have a page on your site dedicated to previous writings (articles, book chapters, etc…) and a place where they can be read? Do you highlight any writing awards you’ve received?

 

If you answered yes to most of the questions above, a book publisher like Jane is more likely to take you seriously. Now, that doesn’t mean she’s going to publish your book. That’s still a ways away. But if, at the end of the day, she’s deciding between two promising authors and you’ve checked more boxes above than the other author she’s considering, you have a serious advantage.

Happy site building!

Should I Self Publish? The Answer Seems to Be …

should i self publishBy pure coincidence, I came across three articles today that all, in different ways, conveyed the same message. Self-publishing is the way to go.

Why? Well, let’s go over what we can learn from each of these pieces…

1. In this infographic, we learn that self-published authors are now selling more books than the big five publishers, at least in the e-book universe. This is quite a change from even a few years ago.

2. Here’s a whole article explaining why traditional publishing will fail (and is, in fact, failing). Here’s my favorite segment from the piece.

A lot of traditional publishing companies are stuck in some pre-internet era purgatory. They spend an enormous amount of resources sifting through the sludge pile and investing all their time and money in a couple authors they hope will sell big. And sometimes they choose wrong.

The internet has changed things. Crowdsourcing quality work and letting audiences decide who succeeds is where publishing is headed.

And as the article points out, self-publishing companies have the opportunity to make 30% of a book’s profits, with little-to-no upfront cost in publishing the book. Why wouldn’t more entrepreneurs be jumping on that bandwagon?

3. Last by not least is this piece on book marketing. One of the takeaways? Being published doesn’t necessarily help an author.

In the article, the author, of book marketing firm Publishing Push, tells the story of meeting an author who went through a traditional publishing house … and ended up having to do all his own marketing after the fact. He compares that story to one of self-published authors he’s worked with who have had highly successful marketing efforts right off the bat.

In the latter cases, the self-published author got to choose his own marketing firm (and choose well), and the results were apparent. Less so when trusting the marketing department of a publishing house.

So for you self published authors … congratulations. Recent data is showing that you made a good choice. And if you are wondering, “Should I self publish?” The answer certainly seems to be “YES!”

Writers Speak Up: “My Biggest Author Mistake Was…”

linkedin-groupsThere’s a new conversation going on in an author group I belong to on LinkedIn. And boy is it a doozy!

The group is called “Authors, Writers, Publishers, Editors, & Writing Professionals.” The question? “What is the worst mistake you made in the history of your career as an author, which you will not want a fellow author to make?” Here are some of the responses you won’t want to miss…

——-

On Writing a Manuscript

“I think my biggest mistake was starting and stopping. Several times now. If I had just perservered and pushed through the mental and creative blocks and the ‘I don’t want to do this anymore’ stuff, I’d be a lot further ahead.”
Patricia A. Guthrie

“I sent a children’s book manuscript to a publisher. Six months later, Hasbro was advertising toys named like characters in my book. Coincidence? Maybe, but that’s the reason for my decision to copyright everything–first and foremost.”
M.H. Johnson

“One of the worst things I ever did was to accept terms on contracts which I could have challenged and made infinitely better. I did learn more about all of this with time, but, looking back, I let too much get away from me and whenever I teach a class on how to negotiate contracts, I urge writers and illustrators to dig into contract negotiations in every way they can, do research, ask questions BEFORE you sign.”

Deborah Nourse Lattimore

——-

On Getting Published/Self-Publishing

“I self published those first two books that should have been left in the drawer.”
Adrian Collins

“My biggest mistake? Self-publishing my first novel. I had what seemed good reasons at the time, and I’m not really ashamed of the book now; although it could certainly have used an editor, it’s not full of typos, grammar and punctuation errors, etc. But I had NO idea how to market anything, and consequently almost no one has bought or read the book.”
Mary Patterson Thornburg

“My biggest mistake in my career as an author came shortly after selling my first book to Macmillan for a big advance. I thought I could do it all myself, so I turned down an offer from a top-tier NYC literary agent who offered to represent me. Why should I give someone else a percentage for what I could do myself?

“Sure wish I had signed, because once I started writing fiction, I learned what an agent does to earn that percentage.”
Larry Constantine

“For me, it has been choosing publishers. I seem to have a run of back luck with them. I’m not bragging here, but with my third novel I had five publisher’s offer me a contract, and in the end, I ended up choosing the wrong one. Wish I could have that one back. The publisher has an awful editing and formatting team, and they don’t like to pay their authors. I’m finding more and more that you need an agent to make it anywhere in this business. Even though all three of my publisher’s have been traditional, they are small presses, and like the rest of the world they want more money…”
david brown

——-

On Post-Publication Marketing/Outreach

“Being an ass in public to fellow authors, publishing professionals, or even fans can be a career killer. There are still stories circulating about things authors have said during panel discussions at conventions. Rule #1: don’t be a dick.”
Chris Jackson

“My biggest mistake was not educating myself on the norms of traditional publishing. I was fortunate to publish with one of the big six (and some really great things have come from that) but I relied on them to do the marketing, not realising I would have that support for only the month of publication and then it was up to me. I was totally unprepared. I should have had a website, social media presence, my own press releases, marketing plan etc etc. Big learning curve!”
Elly Taylor

 

So what has been your biggest author mistake so far? What would you want to warn other authors not to do? Share your stories in the comments box below!

Is An Author’s Platform Now A Prerequisite?

I chimed in to a discussion on LinkedIn last week with this very same title: Is An Author’s Platform Now A Prerequisite?

Little did I know just how much commentary there was going to end up being.

A few people had commented before I found the post, saying that they felt an author platform was important. One of my favorite responses was from Ian Miller, who said, “You don’t need a platform to, write, but you need one to attract readers.”

I then chimed in with the following:

I agree with most of the comments here. That doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to get published without an author platform, but it means that you’re starting with a great disadvantage if you don’t have one. Put yourself in the position of a publisher: if you’re deciding between two or three authors, which one would you choose to publish? The one who has shown that he or she knows how to market books and has already built a following, or the one who hasn’t?

There have probably been 20 responses to my comment, mostly in agreement. But I thought I would give you some of the excerpts so that you can decide for yourself:

Beverly Bistransky • @Karen, Yes and No. I think the connection between the writer/author and editing publisher have quite a bit to do with who they choose to deal. At least the better publishers etiquette if you will, know that this is just as important as the author already having a current following especially if the author is changing their subject demeanor.

Elly Taylor • And, as I’m just finding now, there is a lot of platform building to be done between being published and achieving commercial success. In hindsight, I could have done more while waiting for the book to be published, especially as far as social media is concerned.

Nancy Root Miller • Karin sums it up nicely. I am in the process of researching agents and publishers for my cookbook. Nearly every one asks for details on your platform: what social media do you use, do you have a blog and/or website, do you teach, are you a regular guest on television or radio. If you’re a terrific writer without a “platform” and you’re lucky, you may be able to find a publisher or editor who will take a risk on you anyway. You’ll increase your chances if you participate in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (!), Pinterest, and so on.

Sean Concannon • A unique proposal, and demonstrated ability to write are just as important in getting published as having a platform. With a high quality project, and a strong platform, you are almost certain to get published. If you have a high quality project to sell, and no platform or very little in the way of a platform, it’s worth getting started. A strategy for nurturing your platform will make your project more attractive to potential agents, who will know that they can use the quality of your project in combination with the potential of your platform to sell your proposal to a publisher.

Tannera Kane • I recommend authors develop a platform before publication. ONe can always adjust the platform after publication if one aspect of marketing doesn’t work.

Brad Windhauser • Today, I think a writer needs a platform more importantly, an author needs to figure out how to construct a sensible platform. How can you attract an audience that compliments your work? I have a traditional website where people can find samples of my work, etc. I plug away on Twitter. I have FB. along with four other writer friends, I started a group blog (5writers.com), a blog site we use to discuss writing. Since it’s a group blog, the burden of posting is spread out–and we all benefit from the attention each writer brings. I also started my own blog project (BibleProjectBlog.com) where, as a gay author, I chronicle my reading of the Bible for the first time. Since I don’t openly court “Christian” readers, I’m using this blog to develop my voice and expose my style to a new audience (hopefully).

Allison Bruning • I think its especially important nowadays for authors to build a platform. There are so many books in the market it’s easy for a new author to get lost in the sea. But if they can work on making their presence known throughout the social networks and various writing oppurtunities out there then they may be able to drive traffic towards the fans they have acquired.

James Hockey • I think we are falling into the error of comparing apples with pears. Elly’s case above demonstrates the classic route forward for non-fiction where there is a manifest social need whether it be parenting or home electrics.
Fiction on the other hand is very different and without building a platform the author is likely to die the death of total invisibility.

Beverly Bistransky • The subject also in itself can end up being the platform. For example: a disorder that is rarely ever talked about. If it is well written and touches the audience in a tangible way, it will be its own platform, the subject disease that is.

Reynold Conger • In spite of all the articles about platforms, I still do not understand what a platform is. Obviously a good publicity campaign helps the sales of a book, but does this need a platform?

Gaurav Bhatnagar • Coming to the answer on the original post from @Gemma, yes, indeed, it’s required. Problem is not with book discovery or authors discovery… Today’s book lovers are much aware on what they want to read than ever. A platform can give an author a boost to their books, an enhancement to their knowledge, increased fan base, new friends helping each other and so on.

—-

There are about 20 more comments in the conversation, but I’m going to stop there. The general consensus? “Yes, authors do need a platform to sell books.” That platform can manifest itself in various ways — an author website, a blog, a presence on social media, etc.. — but every author needs to be doing something. Just writing isn’t enough to be a professional writer any more.

If you’re interested in discussing your needs for an author website, contact us today for a free consultation. Good luck!

Apple Offers Authors a New Self-Publishing Option

We know that self-publishing is the fastest-growing segment of the publishing industry. We also know that the Apple iStore is one of the most common places for purchasing self-published e-books. Well, we shouldn’t be surprised that the two are now meeting … and turning an industry upside-down to boot.

At their most recent presentation, Apple introduced iBooks 2, a new multimedia textbook platform, and iBooks Author, which is being promoted as “a shockingly easy authoring tool to create them.”

And yes, even though the tool seems to focus on textbooks, this incredibly easy system will allow authors to create any type of book and easily transform it into an ebook and put it up for sale on the iBookstore. It’s really that simple.

According to Publishers Weekly, “any author can follow the template or make up a new one and drag-and-drop prepared materials like text and video right into the new book. Once complete, a push of the button places it in the iBookstore in a digital marketplace holding hundreds of millions of credit card numbers.”

And if that’s not enough, here’s another piece of news: both the new iBooks 2 app and iBooks Author app are free. That’s unlike any other self-publishing tool or e-book conversion tool out there.

Wow.

On a side note, I’m curious to see how this change is going to impact other self-publishing big-wigs, like CreateSpace. Nor do we have any information yet on whether these books created for iPads can easily be transformed into Kindle or NOOK versions. All of that is to come, I’m sure. So stay tuned.

No matter what, though, we have to hand it to Apple. They continue to lead the pack in just about everything.

Penguin Group Snags Author Off Online Pool

According to the NY Times, “Penguin Group USA has plucked its first author from its new electronic slush pile.” Slush pile? Really? Do they have to be so snobby in referring to it?

Regardless, this is yet more encouraging news for authors who are trying to get themselves known as respected authors without following the traditional route. See my post from last week about Darcie Chan as another example.

Anyway, according to the report, “Ace Books, an imprint of Penguin, has signed the debut novelist Kerry Schafer to a two-book deal, only weeks after Ms. Schafer posted writing samples on Bookcountry.com, a Web site Penguin introduced in April that invites writers of genre fiction to share their work.”

Bookcountry is described as “a place where readers and writers of genre fiction come together to read original fiction, post work or comments, and make a name for themselves.” But, really, it’s just as much a self-serving tool for Penguin as it is for authors. The creators are hoping that some of the authors who post their work on the site might be good enough for Penguin to snap up. Apparently, that has finally come to fruition.

Kerry Schafer, a resident of rural Washington State, posted chapters of her latest attempt, “Between,” a fantasy novel about a woman named Vivian who must destroy a powerful sorceress on BookCountry.com. Within weeks, her work was discovered by Deidre Knight, a literary agent, who happened to be browsing submissions.

It all happened pretty quickly after that. Shortly after their first conversation, Deirdre Knight had taken on Ms. Schafer as a client and negotiated a deal with Ace Books. The deal even included a second book, “Wakeworld,” a novel that Ms. Schafer is only in the early stages of writing now.

Is this a wild and crazy story that’s unlikely to happen again … like winning the lottery? Or is it something that all authors should aim for? Well, probably somewhere in the middle.

You always hope,” Kerry said. “You always have in the back of your mind that maybe something like this will happen. It was an act of faith on my part.”

We offer her our sincerest congratulations on a job well done!

The End of Borders and What It Means for Authors

We all heard the news earlier this week: Border is shutting down all its stores. So how does that impact the average author? Here are some quotes, collected from various sources (with varying opinions), that should help to shine a light on things.

——————-

“Borders was known as a retailer that took special care in selling paperbacks, and its promotion of certain titles could propel them to best-seller status.” Independent booksellers, counterintuitively, could also be harmed by Borders’ closing: In the Providence Journal, one independent bookseller feared that publishers, squeezed for cash, will be less able to extend discounts to indies.”

–Laura Hazard Owen, Former Editor of Publishing Trends

——————-

The passing of Borders, and the likely passing of more bookstores in the future, is part of a technological evolution that allows writers like me to put content in front of people like you without adding all kinds of costs to the process for both of us.

The only reason we ever had bookstores in the first place is that it wasn’t possible for people to get books any other way. That is no longer true, and the result is a positive one for authors and readers. It’s obviously not so good for bookstore employees, but businesses that perform a function that’s no longer necessary don’t serve their customers – or the economy at large – by hanging around. Things evolve. They always do and they always will.

We simply don’t need Borders anymore. And most of us will be just fine – if not better off – without it.

–Author Dan Calabrese

——————-

“Borders was particularly open to African-American writers. Many of my own signings were at Borders, as were signings of a lot of my authors,” she said. “We’re going to have to find alternative ways to market books.”

–Author Kristina Laferne Roberts, who uses the pseudonym Zane and also operates Stebor Books
——————-
“One thing that is practically assured is publishers will be taking on fewer and fewer new writers, and more than likely will continue the recent trend of dropping mid-list authors. Basically, unless you are a major seller and/or have enough luck that your very first book is a major hit, the book publishers are not likely to be interested.”
— J. Harmon, Writer and Journalist
——————-

Add to this the ailing economy, and the confluence of these events means that the third and fourth quarters are likely to be disastrous for traditional publishers and their authors. They rely heavily on chain bookstores as their main public showcases. But a huge portion of the shelf space for books in those stores will vanish, almost overnight — right in the middle of the economy’s non-recovery.”
–Author, editor and speaker Robert James Bidinotto
——————-

“Aside from Barnes and Noble (BKS), which analysts predict would pick up 18% of the Borders market, most retail book chains carry a fraction of Borders’ titles. To put it in numbers, a robust independent bookstore might stock as many as 10,000 titles, while the average Walmart (WMT) typically carries 1,400 to 1,700 titles. By contrast, a Borders’ superstore has well over 100,000.

“Many of those tens of thousands of titles stocked by Borders are written by midlist authors, the writers who are most reliant on browsing book buyers. Not yet elevated into the the rarefied ranks of authors with instant name recognition, members of the midlist may have a single title in print, or dozens. While their books may be selling briskly to a solid core of devoted fans, most midlisters haven’t yet cracked a national bestseller list, which means their names aren’t sufficiently recognizable to generate a sale.

“For these authors, the bulk of their sales depend heavily on impulse purchases made in retail outlets. For this reason, authors frequently fret over whether or not their publishers have purchased “co-op,” or front-of-store placement for their titles. But the issue becomes moot if the bookstores themselves are no longer there.”

–Karen Dionne, internationally published author of the environmental thrillers Freezing Point and Boiling Point.

——————-
What impact do YOU think the closing of Borders will have on authors like yourself? Share your thoughts!

5 Ways to Market Yourself as An Author (Even If You Don’t Want to)

It used to be that an author could just be an author: sitting at home and doing what they love. That’s no longer the case.

Whether today’s authors are self-publishing or going through a publishing house, one thing is a given. They have to do their own promotion. Publishers will only put time and money into marketing some of their known quantities (i.e. people who have already been bestselling authors). Everyone else is pretty much on their own.

In fact, if you’re a new author, you have to do a fair amount of marketing even before you get published. A publishing house generally won’t even consider you unless you’ve already proven that you can build a fanbase, are well-spoken, etc…

Most authors today are aware of this fact … but that doesn’t mean they like it. I hear from authors all the time who say things like, “I’m a writer. Not a marketer,” or “I don’t want to be spending my time doing these things.”

With that in mind, here are five ways that you can get your name out there and build a fanbase with minimal time, effort, and discomfort.

1. Build an author website. By having a professional website designed and developed, you will create an online “home” for yourself. If you choose the right company to develop it, you’ll be guided through the process and you won’t be forced to make decisions about colors, layout, content, etc.. After all, that’s not your specialty, so you shouldn’t be having to do it. Click here to learn more about our web development services.

2. Start blogging. I’ve written many posts about the benefits of blogging. But here’s all you need to know: Write at least one post a week. Have a specific theme that your blog posts follow. Make sure your posts solicit responses. Don’t blog about your personal life — you don’t want to do that and nobody wants to read it. Instead, blog as a professional and start building a following of readers. And it’s not as tough as you may think: Get some ideas on how to make blogging easier.

3. Join conversations. Browse Facebook, LinkedIn, GoodReads, etc… and find groups that are relevant to your book’s subject matter or genre. Then create a professional profile on these sites, join these groups and start talking. Again, there’s no need to be overly promotional or share things that are personal. Instead, just share your two cents, ask questions of other authors and readers, and become a part of the community.

4. Reach out and contribute. There’s nothing as valuable to an author as links/references from other websites that speak to a similar audience. Find bloggers and webmasters who seem to touch on the same subject as your books, and reach out to them. Ask if they’re interested in cross-linking, reviewing your book, or having you write a guest post for their site.

5. Keep people updated. You can do all of the above, but there’s no point if you’re not going to keep things going. There’s nothing worse than a website that isn’t updated, a blog that doesn’t have new posts, or a social networking profile that never comments, “likes” or recommends other pieces. Dedicate a few minutes each day to updating your website and social networking profiles with news and events (book signings, publishing details, etc…) and commenting on other people’s posts.

At the end of the day, all of this relatively-painless work will help you to do what you love: write. Maybe someday, you’ll be successful enough to hire someone else to do your marketing. In the meantime, the ball is in your court.

Life’s Getting Better for Self-Published Authors

I came across two different articles in the last two days that are about completely separate things, but they both relate to self-publishing. And they’re both pretty encouraging for those who opt to self-publish.

First, I saw this piece about literary agents shifting careers to become self-publishing consultants. The article spotlights three different agents who, in different ways, are moving over to the field of self-publishing. It’s a must-read — covering topics like how these agents/consultants make their money, how they moved into self publishing (hint: they had great books that weren’t being picked up by publishers), and what kinds of services they offer to authors who opt to self-publish.

Then, earlier today, I came across this article, announcing that John Locke has become the first self-published author (eighth overall) to join the Kindle Million Club. Yes, this means that a self-published author sold one million kindle editions of his book. That’s pretty much every self-published author’s dream! I’d certainly love to find out what his marketing plan was. I’m sure you would, too.

So, in conclusion, the last few days have been pretty good for the self-publishing industry. Just like many of the other trends in our society (tablet computers, Hulu, etc…), self-publishing is definitely on the upswing. That’s good news to all of you authors who have opted to self-publish or are considering it for the future.