The Phenomenon of Self-Publishing
Over time, self-publishing of e-books has become rather easy. The process involves choosing a particular size for the book, formatting the soft copy to align it with that size, converting the Word file into a PDF, and finally uploading the content onto the website of a self-publisher.
Self-publishing of e-books is a good way of testing the waters before going in for the print option. This helps determine the quality of your text content as e-books are usually devoid of illustrations and photos.
Once the e-book has garnered a decent amount of attention, one can go the print-on-demand (POD) way, wherein the book is produced in specific quantities to meet bookstore or online demands.
The drawback of having a rather smooth entry into this market is that practically everybody, nowadays, happens to be an author. The fact that it does not make for healthy competition is a foregone conclusion. However, it is a matter of perspective; the trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey came via the self-publishing route.
There is, however, no doubt that the odds are stacked up against anyone attempting to make it big. Many articles have pointed out that while traditional publishers produce as many as 100,000 copies of some books, self-publishing firms generate revenue by publishing only a fraction of those numbers from a similar number of authors.
One cannot deny the existence of several major barriers associated with conventional publishing. It requires substantial investment, without even taking into consideration the marketing costs. Time is another factor that needs to be accounted for. The formatting of books is a long and arduous process, but when you receive the proofread copy of your book, you cannot stem the urge to work upon it further.
When it comes to self-publishing e-books, niche topics seem to fare the best, for instance nonfiction books with a hook to target a specific audience. Inspirational stories seem to be a case in point. As far as fiction is concerned, the terrain is tricky with only Indie love tales and racy erotica literature managing to thrive in the e-book circuit.
One can take heart from the fact that most fiction books — even those churned out by traditional publishers — struggle in the market. That is why conventional publishers stick to proven authors who have a loyal following.