Many of our fellow bloggers write fiction as well. I will mention my latest book, but at the end so that you can easily skip that part if you wish. My main purpose is to point out once again the hard slog self-published authors face when venturing into the literary market place.
In preparation for this post I did a search for current statistics on book publishing in the USA, both traditional and self-published. The first thing that I discovered is that finding reliable numbers is akin to picking fly specks out of black pepper.
The figures are all over the place, ranging from as low as 130,00 to upwards of a million. The greater the range the less reliable is any number you might choose to base decisions on.
For this blog I am citing Bowker’s statistics for 2013, “the number of self-published titles in 2013 increased to 458, 564, up 16.5% from 2012. There were 302,622 titles that were self-published as print books in 2013, a 28.8% increase over 2012. On the other hand, the number of self-published ebook titles decreased 1.6% in 2013 to just 155,942.” While not current, these numbers are indicative of what the field looks like.
A few years ago I did a search for the number of American authors who earned their living solely from writing fiction. At the time the population of the USA was approximately 300 million. The authors who fit that designation totaled 300. A one in a million occupation. Those odds are better than playing the lottery but daunting none the less.
As self-published authors the burden of marketing rests squarely on our own shoulders. While this is increasingly true for new authors who are picked up by traditional publishing houses, it has always been the case with the indie author. No matter the quality of the work, the time, the effort and love poured into it, any given self-published book will not stand head and shoulders above the crowd without a tremendous amount of promotion.
But your indie author can’t do it alone. He or she (we) need your support. If you are a reader I ask that you take a proactive stance and seek out titles that fit within your range of interests. Don’t just visit Amazon or Barnes & Noble, but also go to the publisher’s sites. I am with Lulu.com but I am certain that most if not all will respond to a search by genre.
Although you might not find something that piques your interest on the first try, if you make this a regular routine, perhaps once or twice a month, I’m certain that you will enhance the time you set aside for reading and you will most certainly put a smile on the face of some indie author. Also, with the approaching holidays, remember that books are excellent, relatively inexpensive presents and they show that you put thought into the gift selection process.
And now for the crass commercialism. If you still have moment to spare click on the link below and take a look at the ad for my latest book. If you have two or more of those moments, please open my Author’s Spotlight above the book’s cover image.
Thank you so very much for the time you have invested in reading this post.