The Shifts In Digital Self-Publishing


Publishing a book used to be an incredibly difficult process, only achievable by the most talented, or connected writers. Today, there are seven million titles on the Kindle store. Back in 2014 there were only around two million titles. This astonishing growth is a clear indication of how the world of self-publishing has blown up in recent years.

There have been many media reports that suggest the ebook market is flattening out, or even begging to decline. However, behind these suggestions, it could be that the market share of traditional publishers is behaving in this way. The number of overall titles has exploded.

It’s not just that the market has grown, the tools in which to reach audiences have also evolved over the last few years. If you can write copy that inspires readers to act and place advertisements in front of the right eyes, then you can expect a potential instant surge in sales.

The Amazon Effect

While there have been many contributions to the surge in the digital publishing industry, Amazon has been at the forefront. It has singlehandedly turned the publishing world upside down. First of all, Amazon released their Kindle, meaning that individuals no longer had to frequent book stores for their titles, but could now browse titles, download and read from the comfort of their homes. In 2014 they launched Kindle Unlimited, the monthly subscription service that includes more than 1.5 million titles. Many successful careers have been propelled and many millionaires have been made off the back of the launch… Most deserved.

However, like with most technologies, scammers have found a way to ‘game the system’ and make some underserved cash. A lot of it in some cases! An author receives a payout based on the amount of pages read and with Amazon refusing to introduce measures to crackdown scamming behavior, individuals have been able to unethically get rich from activities such as book stuffing, click-farming, mass-gifting, and author plagiarism.

Amazon has also introduced measures incentivize authors to release exclusively on Amazon (which is a requirement for Kindle Unlimited). If you opt-out then you’ll more than likely lose out on a lot of revenue and will have to make a lot of extra effort to market creatively.

Life outside of Amazon

If a publisher wishes to operate outside of Amazon, they must switch up their marketing tactics. To engage potential customers, a publisher must focus on their niche by using email marketing, lead generation ads, and using a much more targeted approach.

There are, however, many critics and sceptics when it comes to Amazon. The company has literally changed the industry and invested heavily in becoming the biggest and most reputable engine in the world. However, in failing to proactively take action against spammers and fraudsters, it’s eroding its trust and credibility. Spammers have identified big gaps to get in and cheat their way to the number one spot on the Kindle Store. It will be fascinating to see how things play out in the future of publishing.