Has self-publishing made a dent in the market for traditional publishing?
Publishing your book the traditional way has its own charm be it at any age. The title of an author with your name gives you a different level of dignity. Recently, the publishing process has taken a new way to express and that’s called self-publishing. It has given new wings to debut authors who can now self publish their talent. Now the big question arises ‘Has self-publishing made a dent in the market for traditional publishing?
Understanding self-publishing from different point of views
This is an interesting question in fact it’s debatable. That’s why before my opinion, I thought to discuss it with a few reputed people from the author industry. Let’s read them in their own words:
Samparpita Mukherjee Sharma (Editor)
I have been working with authors for 12 years now. The changes in the scene of publishing have been gradual and quite interesting. While vanity publishing had grabbed eyeballs soon enough, ebook publishing platforms like KDP have recently picked up in India. Recently, especially with the pandemic raging, everything is uncertain. I have seen a huge rise in the number of people self-publishing via KDP.
It causes no dent on the pocket, is user friendly and the author has almost all control. It’s delightful to see people warming up to the idea of e-books. Now they are publishing more frequently than they could with traditional publishing where the wait is longer. Of course, some people still want to go only the traditional way. But there is definitely a rise in authors opting to self-publish.
Sankalpita Singh (India’s best book blog)
No, I wouldn’t say that. I think the market has expanded. Now more people can access the means to showcase their work to the general public. Self-publishing has identified a problem. It has presented a good workable solution to those who were facing challenges in catching the traditional publisher’s eye.
And that’s what a sustainable business model is all about, right? Identifying a problem and delivering a solution that caters to the needs of many. Perhaps, that is also one reason why more and more authors are jumping the line and joining the self-publishing bandwagon.
As for the dent in the market, in my opinion, over the years, the market itself has expanded. Every year more and more people are taking up reading as a hobby. That’s one reason we can see phenomenal growth in eBooks and audiobooks as options.
People are ready to experiment. They are willing to read some exceptional content, irrespective of where it comes from – self-publishing or traditional publishing.
Deepti Menon (Author)
When I got published in 2002, I had to send the manuscript all typed out to Rupa Publishers. I was uncomfortable using a computer at that time. Today, finding a publisher has become easier since every house puts out guidelines. Authors, including me, can send their digital manuscripts at the click of a button.
Self-publishing has also become popular, with authors covering everything from writing and editing to publishing and marketing with absolute élan. Kindle Direct Publishing allows one to publish a book in three simple steps. Many writers have taken advantage of the offer.
However, writing a book is only the tip of the iceberg. If the writer has a huge readership and is a pro at PR, half the battle is won. I, personally, prefer to just do the writing. PR is a mountain of hard work.
Of course, there are well-known authors who have taken control of their self-published books and are going great guns. I admire them tremendously.
However, I prefer the traditional route. Here, the cover to marketing, and everything in between, is taken care of by the publisher. I have full faith in Readomania publishing. I have published four solo books and several short stories with them. Faith is everything!
Deepa Gandhi (EBook author)
I believe self-publishing has surely impacted the market. It is supposed to be much easier and economical compared to traditionally published books. The whole digitisation process of book publishing has impacted the economy of traditional book publishing. This was surely not the case a few years ago but now there are more self-published authors.
Authors prefer self-publishing. Here, they do not have to run after publishers to get approvals and follow them for thousand other things. And they have total control or much more control over their books when self-publishing.
Also, the reader’s mindset is changing fast. Ebooks and audiobooks are preferred over paperback books. They prefer reading on gadgets as that’s convenient for them.
So, overall the whole process along with the money part is better. That’s why people prefer self-publishing to traditional publishing.
Roma Gupta Sinha (Self-published author of 6 books)
Well, I would say yes, to a certain extent. Six of my books are self-published. There was a strong self-conviction that my work needed to see the light of the day. I didn’t approach a traditional publisher. I know they need to validate the profitability and marketability from multiple angles. They need to justify the profits and salaries in the publishing house.
But fortunately, self-publishing authors have no such liability. I am glad so many of us are taking this new avenue that offers us a brilliant opportunity. As we don’t invest, every copy sold is profitable to us. We may as well use it to promote and advertise further if we may choose to do so.
Also, I feel the readers’ domain to take in a diverse gamete of genres is widely expanding these days. The traditional market may have shrunk by a whisker, still, the sky undoubtedly is the limit for both. Optimal risk-taking and self-conviction shall go hand in hand in striking a balance. May both flourish hand in hand and may more and more dreams come true
Richa S Mukherjee (Author)
I believe the charm of traditional publishing will remain. There are and will be enough aspirants for this format of releasing books. But yes, self-publishing has democratised space to a great extent. If you have a good story to tell and are impatient to turn it around, you can publish your book. Push it as hard as you want to. Create a base of readers and reap the benefits of being the sole beneficiary of the proceeds.
It’s unnerving yet empowering to be the sole captain of your ship. In the current scenario, there’s a manifold rise in the number of aspiring writers. With limited avenues of traditional publishing, I see a lot more people taking to self-publishing. This holds true for established authors as well. Some turn around a few books in a year and choose to hedge their efforts between both ways to publish.
Also read: The Ebook effect #BlogchatterEbook
Well, I feel I agree with all of them. There’s a clean market for both kinds of authors. Avenues are open for authors as well as readers. Choose your option wisely.
This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon Aug’21