Sunday, 11 November 2012

And then there was Amazon...

... Self Publishing is Publishing (Part 2) 

To recap - 2 weeks ago, I was lucky enough to win a place at the Writers & Artists Yearbook Conference, Self Publishing in the Digital Age. I won it with a piece of Twitter flash fiction.. It was a day in London, and a day which gave me lots to think about. Read Part One Here

This is part 2 - …and then there was Amazon. 

Although there are other service providers out there, there is no doubt that in the UK at the moment Amazon is the busiest and biggest marketplace for your books. Createspace Director, Jon Fine talked not only about how to publish a book on Amazon, but also the benefits of independent publishing solutions in general. The thing which really got me excited was that thing he said about control…

As a self-publisher you control:
  • the rights to your work
  • the content of your work
  • the cover design
  • the price
  • the distribution
  • the speed at which you move
And for someone who has had more near misses with mainstream publishers than hot dinners (well, almost) and who is terminally fed-up of waiting for emails, phone calls, contracts, and even signs of life, the notion of ‘control’ was very appealing.

Who do you trust in the driving seat?

I’m not knocking anyone here. I understand I am in competition with thousands of other wannabes. I understand that agents need to earn a living, have other clients to support and cannot devote all their time to me. I understand that editors have lots of books to read and cannot drop everything to read mine. I understand that these same editors and their bosses and their acquisitions teams all have to be 100% committed to my work in order to get behind it in a very competitive market in which they also need to make a living...  I understand all that and more. It’s just that whereas a few months ago I thought I had to endure this process, to grin and bear it, I now realise that I don’t have to.

A friend of mine has just been signed with a publisher, and I couldn't be happier for her.
Another friend of mine has just published two books on Kindle, and I couldn't be happier for her. 
But which one am I jealous of?  I’m jealous of the second one. She is in control, she is happy, she is involved with the process and has been from start to finish. Her books are out there now, getting read and earning money. And while we’re on the subject, she’ll be getting higher royalties than my other friend...

Instead of an 8% – 15% royalty from a traditional publisher, (payable only after your advance has been paid back by sales) Amazon, for example, will give you 35%, 70% or 80% depending on your publishing package. (Kindle, Kindle Direct Publishing or Createspace Publishing on Demand.  )

I don’t need to sell Amazon to you because plenty of other people are doing it. I’m just telling you how all this made me feel; which was, in a word, EMPOWERED.

Jon showed us an impressive graph which proved how Kindle sales have surpassed printed book sales in the last year, proving that more people are reading more. So if there has ever been a good time to self publish, it’s now. And personally I can’t see this changing.

All this, and we still hadn’t had lunch. Read part three here; How to get noticed…


  1. Absolutely loving this, Wendy. Go girl! I might even get a kindle if you self-publish!

    1. :0) Thank you. It's very affirming to write it actually!


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