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II. Publishing & Marketing Tips > Self-Publishing Bubble About To Burst?

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message 1: by Michael (new)

Michael Coorlim (MCoorlim) | 22 comments The difference here is that we're marketing an infinite commodity. The market won't "pop" until everyone gets tired of reading.

message 2: by Cleveland (new)

Cleveland | 47 comments Robert wrote: "I read an interesting article in The Guardian that likened developments in self-publishing to financial bubbles. See the article here:"

When people ask who published the book before hey ask what is it about: that's when all things will stop on their own.

message 3: by Jenn (new)

Jenn Thorson (JennThorson) | 65 comments I read that article yesterday, and it crossed my mind that it's much like the early "get rich quick by blogging" phase. I never monetized my blogs, I concentrated on just simply communicating with people. Those folks who focused only on money-making and not on craft or passion for writing/communicating are no longer blogging, because they realized that blogging is hard friggin' work.

I imagine the only thing that will change with self-publishing is it will weed out the folks who get discouraged when they see the effort required (along with a splash of luck) to become successful. The rest will remain standing.

message 4: by A.j. (new)

A.j. Moses (captNaj) | 4 comments If you're self-publishing purely for profit, I feel that your money could be better invested anyway. Maybe in lottery tickets or Amway. I feel as long as traditional publishers move slowly at great expense and there are people who want to have their work out quickly and cheaply, the self-pub market will thrive.

message 5: by Michael (new)

Michael Coorlim (MCoorlim) | 22 comments JA Konrath says:

Ebooks are going to follow the examples set by the music, movie, and TV industries. The future is digital, and anyone who disagrees with that is seriously out of touch with reality.

So all you ebook self-pubbers out there: ignore the alarmists. There are always doomsayers and Luddites and nostalgia whores who bitch and moan when new technologies take over. But they don't matter. Because new technologies don't care if some folks resist them--they take over anyway.

message 6: by L.E. (new)

L.E. Fitzpatrick (L_E_Fitzpatrick) | 60 comments Every financial market is a bubble based on want and availability. But self-publishing, like the music industry isn't something that is going to stop. People will always want to read like Michael (above) has pointed out, just like people will always want to hear music. It's the way in which they will source this hobby that will change.

At the minute ebooks have a huge potential and have opened a door to indie authors that has previously been very exclusive. In theory this flood of books should cripple the ebook market, but instead it is evolving into a totally new market. The more books available on the web the better it will be for the reader. They cost almost nothing to produce and the books are usually cheap to buy. Where in the financial market has this ever been the case?

We're not here for a get rich quick scheme and most of us will have holes in our pockets for years to come, but what we are doing is creating something totally unique to our century which could potentially change everything about manufactured art and leave a lot of publishing houses licking their wounds.

Self-publishing will always be a good thing as long as it's free to do.

message 7: by Marcia (last edited Feb 01, 2012 09:20AM) (new)

Marcia Noren (MarciaQuinnNoren) | 50 comments The option to publish independently is a revolution that I believe, has just begun to show its clout.

During 2011, interacting with authors on LinkedIn forums, I encountered many who are moving away from working with traditional publishing houses to embrace the Indie route, instead. Most of them emphasize the importance of working with professionals for the cover design, interior layout, and of course, editing services.

Self-publishing no longer carries the stigma once identified with "vanity presses", thanks to the increase in news articles (in national magazines and high profile newspapers) featuring successful Indie authors and their books.

As has always been true, potential readers will continue to rely on reviews, word-of-mouth, and access to sample chapters, before purchasing a book.

message 8: by Michael (new)

Michael Coorlim (MCoorlim) | 22 comments If they bring me all the audience they can have exclusivity. As long as Amazon insists upon using a proprietary file format that's not the case.

And the 30% Amazon claims... hey, until someone offers me a better platform for discovery I'm apparently stuck with it.

message 9: by Steph (last edited Jun 07, 2012 02:30PM) (new)

Steph Bennion (stephbennion) | 172 comments Interesting article. Isn't it more that the only 'bubble' that can burst is the market for how-to-get-rich-selling-ebooks books? I suspect most writers know they're never going to get rich self-publishing but do it anyway because they're writers, not entrepeneurs. Not to mention that selling a few copies of an ebook is better than having a manuscript unloved by publishers festering unread in the bottom of a drawer. Maybe a lot of self-published authors will only try it once before deciding the time spent crafting a masterpiece is better spent elsewhere, but many more will persevere and continue to find readers.

message 10: by Lana (new)

Lana Bradstream (lanabradstream) | 145 comments Jenn wrote: "I read that article yesterday, and it crossed my mind that it's much like the early "get rich quick by blogging" phase. I never monetized my blogs, I concentrated on just simply communicating with ..."

I think you're right, Jenn. I think the "authors" who are just trying to make a quick, easy book will fall by the wayside, which will leave much more room for serious writers.

message 11: by Magda (new)

Magda Allani | 32 comments The platform is never the issue where art is concerned, the content always is. From this point of view, even mainstream publishing has followed the route of politics by using hype and lots of marketing money to deliver goods that disappoint more often than not.

The wonderful thing about digital platforms is that in the current celebrity and TV tie-in driven market (in the UK this is the case) it allows stories to reach an audience, and the human race has never been able to resist a good story. - If the story is good, word of mouth should eventually do the rest!

message 12: by B.J. (new)

B.J. Robinson (goodreadscombjrobinson) | 19 comments I didn't self publish, and I spent three years on Last Resort. It wasn't thrown together to get a book out there to make money. I know many good authors who are going to self publishing now though. B. J. Robinson

message 13: by R. Scott (new)

R. Scott VanKirk (svankirk) | 4 comments Ther were so many fallacies in that post that I resolved to write a point by point refutation. Of course then I had a couple inspired days of writing and decided that was a better use of my time. This, ofcourse a great example of why he was wrong. A lot of writers write for the joy of creation. Getting fame and glory for it is great, but there has to be an underlying need to write if you're going to go through all the brain damage.

message 14: by M.R. (new)

M.R. Jordan (mrjordan) | 1 comments The whole argument is built on the idea that nobody is making any money (and that is the only measure of success) and that the amateurs are just fading away. Putting books aside, it totally ignores the fact that while the "I wanna make a quick buck" crowd jumped ship, that lots of people are out their just doing their thing. And getting really good at it. It also doesn't take into account that while only a small number of artists became household names(Or that only a handful of artists ever become household names regardless of path they took to reach the top.) In the meantime lots have still been moderately successful. Further more, just because the standouts in this indie revelation, opted for a steady paycheck, doesn't mean they failed or the opportunities the internet provided for them failed. If your actions open a doors that were previously closed, it's not failure. It's just not. Today's amateurs are tomorrow's professionals. Not all. But enough.

message 15: by John (last edited Mar 10, 2012 08:32AM) (new)

John Ford | 14 comments Yes, it's definitely a bubble that will burst. I mean, just look at what happened with music. Used to be you needed a record company. Then technology made it so anybody and their brother could record and distribute. So everybody and their brother did, which flooded the market with lots of great music you might never have heard before, plus lots of crap you wish you had never heard of. And everybody was mostly happy. But then the bands found out they still weren't making money, and everybody stopped making records, except for the few successful and good bands, who went back to the record companies.

Wait...that last bit isn't what happened at all...


message 16: by B.J. (new)

B.J. Robinson (goodreadscombjrobinson) | 19 comments I write because I love it. Reading and writing are both passions for me, and I'm an avid reader and complete book reviews of the novels I read on my blog.

message 17: by William (new)

William | 46 comments The bubble will never burst, it's supply and demand. The question is how will people sort through a pile of books in order to choose the books they want? That's a great question.

I think more and different ways to find books (like goodreads) are going to become more prevalent. Different ways, different medias, different types. Social media is going to grow. Why isn't there a page where people can put books they like with millions of followers?

My solution

message 18: by B.J. (new)

B.J. Robinson (goodreadscombjrobinson) | 19 comments I have two you can check out: Southern Superstitions and Last Resort by B. J. Robinson, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Sony.

message 19: by Bob (new)

Bob | 11 comments It's evolution in action. And one thing you have to admit about evolution is that it's been going on, despite flood, fire, meteorites dropping on our heads etc. for millions of years. What will come of the digital revolution I don't know, but story-telling won't stop.

message 20: by Paul (new)

Paul Vincent (Astronomicon) | 113 comments I can't see it as a bubble - it's still changing too fast and has yet to stabilise. I find it easier to picture it as froth - a bubble or three might burst but the overall self-publishing foam will continue unabated.

message 21: by E. (new)

E. Milan (EMilan) | 34 comments I think when certain things start with a bit of a bang it's because there are so many people who want to be a part. Eventually, when those who aren't willing or capable to sustain it fall away it reaches the natural level, and it grows from there. I don't see it as a bubble, but I think it isn't at the natural level. The ones who belong will stay, those that don't will go, and the readers and bloggers, etc. will help the self-pub market survive. I think there is a strong enough desire to remove big industry's influence on what we read and technology now gives us that power. Though I will say I have been wrong enough in my past to know that I could easily be off. I am curious to see where it all goes.

message 22: by William (last edited Apr 25, 2012 04:39PM) (new)

William | 46 comments I think you are right E. Milan. If you aren't right it is sounds like good reasoning. I could see self-publishing companies popping up everywhere and other types of organizations of people as well. The future of it all will be very interesting.

message 23: by Chaeya (new)

Chaeya | 22 comments No, I don't think it will burst and those people who truly love writing books and being authors will stay and those who got in because of the squee of publishing a book or because they thought it would be easy money will bow out. Also, readers, while they're happy to try out independent authors, are becoming more scrupulous in choosing what and who they read. This means that authors will have to step up their game as to being more professional in their approach by producing quality work. But I do think that we will see larger publishers either merging with one another, like what happened in the music industry, or simply closing down.

I could be wrong also, but still, these are very exciting times.


message 24: by Steph (new)

Steph Bennion (stephbennion) | 172 comments Thinking about this more, what may happen is that as mainstream publishers start to feel the pinch and concentrate on dead certs, there will be fewer big-name fiction writers. However, there will be a lot more 'talented amateurs' who although well-known amongst their fans will remain unrecognised by the world at large. In a way, that's pretty much how it was before publishing became the big money-making industry it is today. The big difference is that authors nowadays no longer need money behind them if they choose the self-publishing route. Be prepared for a literary explosion...!

message 25: by William (new)

William | 46 comments I think the literary explosion isn't possible. There isn't more readers these days so supply is stuck. The self-published explosion is already happening and we are gonna see more and more readers self-published authors going main stream, but there is still going to be a huge gap between the amount of self-publishers and the amount that actually make it mainstream.

message 26: by Steph (new)

Steph Bennion (stephbennion) | 172 comments William wrote: "I think the literary explosion isn't possible..."

What I meant was an explosion in the amount of works available to readers, should they want to seek it out. I agree wholeheartedly that the number of people who regularly read probably will not change, although it could be argued that smartphones are bringing ebooks to a new audience. I do see more and more people on my daily commute reading books that way.

message 27: by Robert (new)

Robert Polevoi I have yet to meet a regular reader (not an author or someone in the business) who was generally aware of the publishers of the books they purchase. Readers think only of the author as the source of the product. Writers think a lot about publishers, but readers never do. They are perfectly prepared to accept the idea that an author has brought them a book directly. The only issues are quality and appeal.

When was the last time you heard someone say, "I really like those Hachette books!" Publishers decided to abandon brand identity to authors entirely, and that's why the transition to self-published (or shall we say "self-produced") books meets with little or no resistance from the public. A fan of, say, John Grisham, doesn't think that that author needs anyone's help to produce the product -- they give even less credit to editorial than most authors do.

The ONLY issue is marketing -- and that's a huge problem for the big publishers, too, with the collapse of bookstores, newspaper book reviews, public libraries, etc.

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