9 January 2013

Self Publishing - State of Play

Let's start 2013 with a list of five thoughts I have running round my head regarding the general market environment for indie authors in the upcoming year:

1. I am finding the zeitgeist in my "Self Publishing" news stream has avoided the redundant "the bubble has burst" phase. This is probably because there was no real bubble in self publishing to speak of. The zeitgeist has now turned to "don't bother self publishing unless you're a masochist because it's a waste of time and nobody cares". Also "marketing is hard".

2. Marketing is hard.

3. The populace of the Western world really has too much expectation of their ambitions toward authorship. More than was even suspected prior to the advent of the electronic book.

4. The average quality of work bounced out of slush piles must be higher than slush pile readers report OR far more good writers were discouraged by the existence of the slush pile and hoopla surrounding them than was ever suspected.

5. You need far fewer avid fans to get by than you used to (due to higher royalty returns) BUT finding your fans is a hellish business.

BONUS THOUGHT: The Kilimanjaro-like peak of "building a platform" for the nascent indie author seems daunting. Tackling the long climb to "niche market base camp" appears a foolhardy endeavour. In fact, I believe, digital media just makes this forbidding, awe-inspiring mountain visible, and it is - de facto - more challenging to climb an invisible mountain than a visible one.

Take heart everyone and have a cracking 2013 won't you. (Now where are my crampons?)

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