1. lex
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    lex Contributing Member

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    "Self-published" is now one of the "Big 5" for e-book bestsellers (Forbes)

    Discussion in 'Electronic Publishing' started by lex, Dec 30, 2013.

    Here's a thing.

    According to this article in Forbes Magazine, "Self-published" accounted for more bestsellers than HarperCollins in 2013. Only Penguin Random House and Hachette did better.

    Ok, it's obviously not really quite comparing like with like, and nobody's pretending it is, but an interesting statistic nevertheless, and still further evidence (as if we needed any) that the obvious story in the world of digital books is the success of self-publishing.

    Indie authors not only managed to hit the list 99 times in 2013 - they also managed four No. 1 best-sellers.
     
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  2. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Well, I am glad there is some mathematical proof that puts self-publishing in a positive light.
    I prefer the traditional route out of habit but it's good to see new paths for authors to take.

    Just, let's not abuse it anymore than it already has :S
     
  3. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    That's not a bad showing, even though the top 2 have much higher numbers. It dispels the myth that self-publishing success is miniscule in comparison to success via traditional routes. There are good self-published works out there, and it looks like readers are finding them.
     
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  4. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just out of curiosity, which best-seller list was this? Because it makes a difference - like the NYT list versus Amazon's list.

    Um, let's remember this is ebooks only. Add in print books and audio books and that myth is still not so much myth. That's a lot of sales most self-publishers still can't afford to go after, unfortunately.
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I'm impressed regardless.
     
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  6. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, the original post said "e-book bestsellers," so the subsequent comments were clearly directed to that same subject matter.
     
  7. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Right. But I was addressing the part about the "myth" - and again, a lot of the impact of the article depends on which "best seller" list these figures came from.
     
  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Again, clear from the context of the post. Your rush to find something negative to post in a thread on self-publishing apparently leads you to believe that the people on this site are stupid.
     
  9. GingerCoffee
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    [Insert popcorn smiley.]
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    what is a 'popcorn' smiley?
     
  11. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    It's a smiley that indicates you plan to be a spectator for the discussion looking to ensue.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  12. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Here, I found one:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Aw, we don't have a popcorn one?

    [​IMG]


    Getting back to the point of the article, the numbers are good, particularly given the surge in ebook sales. Instead of comparing self-published authors to those with traditional publication contracts, it makes more sense to look at the entire pool of writers on both ends - all of the aspiring writers who choose self-pub versus all of the aspiring writers who follow the traditional path.

    Fact is, most of the latter will never see a book in print. Some will be lucky enough to get into the ever-shrinking midlist, where you may not make enough to live on. And a tiny percentage of people will be very successful traditionally. That's the comparison.

    On the self-publishing side, everyone will get their book published, but only a tiny percentage will be very successful. If you're one of the authors who would have wallowed in the mid-list via the traditional route, I'm not convinced you don't stand a better chance with the self-publishing route.

    People on this forum, whether going the traditional route or self-publishing, aren't idiots. They understand that either way you need to put out a quality product if you want a real chance of making it (and that can happen via either publishing route). They understand it is hard work, either way, and that based purely on numbers, the odds are well against you, either way.

    Some apparently have an issue that makes it so they can hardly stand to see something good written about self-publishing. @shadowwalker, you may dress it up as though you're just trying to protect all the poor fools on the site from their own stupidity, but that's intellectually dishonest.
     
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  14. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Damnit, ninja'ed by @GingerCoffee . That'll teach me to be long-winded.
     
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  15. shadowwalker
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    So one is not allowed to ask a legitimate question about SP articles? Because to question is a sure sign of antagonism? How about just a straight answer to the question - which best seller list is this? How do they get their figures? Or is this another one of those "black box" deals where we're just supposed to accept on faith what the article says?

    I have to wonder why you get so angry whenever people don't just accept these types of articles. As to the "poor fools", I wasn't asking for them - whomever you think they are. I wanted to know because I like to make up my own mind as to the legitimacy of a "report". If the source is reliable, why would I dispute it? If it's not reliable, why should I accept it?
     
  16. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I have to wonder why you assume people are angry, unless you're angry yourself. Do people get angry over discussions with anonymous other people on internet forums? Doesn't seem reasonable.

    Read the article and follow the links and you may find some of your questions answered.
     
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  17. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Where did you guys get that popcorn smiley??? o_O
     
  18. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I just found one online and pasted the URL :)
     
  19. jannert
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    Popcorn-Smiley-300x300.jpg
    Waaahhh ...can't find it ...waaahhh...
     
  20. GingerCoffee
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    There there, don't cry. [​IMG]

    I found an excellent link, bookmarked it for myself.

    http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys-basic-001.php
     
  21. jannert
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    oooh, fangs... snif
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  22. lex
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    lex Contributing Member

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    I don't think one is a sign of antagonism at all.

    But I think one shouldn't altogether blame people for interpreting it that way when more or less the same kind of questions are asked, always with negative imputations/connotations, very repeatedly, by the same people in almost every thread discussing self-publishing.

    It's a real problem, in this forum. It doesn't happen like this in any of the other writing forums that I've seen.

    It drives members away (I was one of them, albeit that I've now tentatively returned).

    It also dissuades other writers - who may have much to offer - from joining (I myself know several in that group).

    In other words, it's really damaging to a small but very nice, very good forum which does apparently have a little difficulty (compared with some other equivalents) in "holding a quorum together".

    I was driven away from the forum over a year ago precisely because of this behavior (albeit in a more extreme form than what you've just asked about). I've returned and am participating here again only after being assured that "the climate has changed" now, and that much of the former irrational malice and hostility toward self-publishing has either dissolved or effectively been prevented. I'm eager to participate here, to re-assure others that things have changed, to encourage people to join/re-join, and so on. Just my own perspective.

    I also have several friends in exactly the same position as me (except they haven't yet joined/rejoined).

    I'm explaining this not in any way to try to criticize you, but simply to offer the perspective - of which you seem to me to be unaware - that this might actually very legitimately be a slightly sensitive issue around here, understandably, simply because of some aspects of this forum's very unusual history in this specific regard. Since you ask. And a very Happy New Year to you. :) ;)
     
  23. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    One thing that may explain why self-published ebooks are so popular is the price. Just from a quick look through Amazon, I found that most of the self-published ebooks are between $2 and $4. On the other hand, ebooks released by publishers like Penguin et al. are selling for more than twice that. Given a choice, I'm sure most people would go for the cheaper option (unless there's a particular book they want to read).
     
  24. shadowwalker
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    Let me just clarify that one reason (among many) that the climate has changed is because of PMs exchanged with Daniel concerning the summary deletion of threads and discussions concerning self-publishing. If I were antagonistic toward SP, those PMs would not have been sent.

    As to continually asking these types of questions, on other forums I am on, it is almost customary to look at articles (on damn near any subject) and questioning the voracity, particularly when generalized terms such as "best seller lists" and "award-winning author" are used. People want to know whether it's the NYT best-seller list or "Selling in Podunk Holler"; whether it's the Nobel Prize or third place in the Podunk Holler Founder's Day contest. It's through clarifying these things that we learn what to believe and what to discount. I see no reason why self-publishing should be a sacred cow. If people are unwilling or unable to answer such questions, why should others accept what is being said?
     
  25. lex
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    lex Contributing Member

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    I know - I sent many myself. ;)

    I didn't suggest that you're antagonistic concerning self-publishing (not in my post above and not - I hasten to mention - to anyone else either!). I simply answered the question you asked. And only from my own perspective and that of others I know who wouldn't post here, as I said. :)
     

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