How Viable is Self Publishing? Proof is in the Numbers

Kindle and booksClearly, 2011 is a tipping point for self-publishing–moving this new publishing model from backwater to the forefront of the publishing world. It’s all happening despite the bow-tie traditional publishers who still would have authors believe that they are the only ones who can bestow legitimacy on a work. But the track-records of self-published authors don’t lie.

There’s a terrific article by Alison Flood over at the Guardian that traces this coming-of-age for self-publishing. Highlights from the article:

– Author John Locke just passed the 1 million mark in sales of his mystery thrillers on the Kindle platform. He’s the first self-published author to do so.

– After years of resisting, JK Rowling finally announced this week that she’ll be selling her Harry Potter series as ebooks. They’ll be available on her new website Pottermore.

– Self-published co-authors Louise Voss and Mark Edwards claim to be selling 1,900 copies a day of their thriller Catch Your Death.

– Author Amanda Hocking who started by selling her paranormal romance stories on the Kindle platform for $.99 to $2.99 has now signed a deal with St. Martin’s for a reported $2 million.

– British writer David Moody started by giving away his zombie novel Autumn. Now he sells his novels on the Kindle platform for $.99. Chump change? He was making $1,500 a month when he attracted the attention of a film producer.

– Thriller novelist Barry Eisler turned down a deal reported to be worth about $500,000 from St. Martin’s to self-publish. He has accepted a deal with Amazon (now a publisher in its own right) for a six-figure sum for one book. He says the Amazon deal offers “the advance and marketing muscle you (might) get in a legacy contract; the digital royalties, creative control and time-to-market you get with indie.”

– GP Taylor, author of the children’s novel Shadowmancer, is one of several authors who started as a self publisher, proved his worth, was picked up by traditional publisher and is now considering going back to self-publishing. He sells 6 ebooks for every paperback.

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