New Opportunities for Self-Publishers

by | Oct 14, 2009

There have been a series of announcements recently of interest to self-publishers, and the opening of doors is a good sign for the continued growth of the industry. It seems like the drive to become content creators rather than just content consumers, continues to grow. We can thank the advent of print on demand publishing for unleashing the 400,000 estimated self-published titles that were printed last year alone.

Sony and Smashwords

As Henry Baum reported in the Self Publishing Review, self-published authors can now visit the Sony Publisher Portal and click on Smashwords to sign up for a free publishing account. Then they can format a book in Smashwords’ style and choose their distribution preferences, and their book will be made available for immediate sale at The book can show up a few days later on Sony’s eBook Store, where books for Sony’s Reader are sold. In addition to Smashwords, Author Solutions is also teaming up with the Sony portal. Author Solutions owns a large chunck of the subsidy-publishing market, including iUniverse, Wordclay, Authorhouse, and Xlibris all under its umbrella.

Baker and Taylor

Reported in Baker & Taylor, Inc., the world’s largest distributor of physical and digital books announced at the Frankfurt Book Fair the launch of TextStream, the company’s digital printing service. It will provide publishers with a wide variety of print-on-demand and short-run digital printing services, saving them time and money while increasing their customer reach. Baker & Taylor continues to be one of the best ways for self-publishers to get their books to libraries and bookstores.

Thomas Nelson

As reported in Mick Rooney’s POD, Self Publishing and Independent Publishing blog, Thomas Nelson, currently the sixth largest American trade publisher and the world’s largest Christian publisher, has decided to step into the author solutions arena and is offering publishing packages for authors wishing to self-publish their books. This unprecedented step by a major publishing house to make an imprint available to self-publishers, is the strongest indication so far of the penetration of self-publishing into the mainstream of book selling.

Takeaway: It’s remarkable to see the speed with which the world around us is changing. While opportunities open up, it’s more important than ever that self-publishers take their opportunity seriously. Successful books in the coming publishing climate will be those produced at the high level consumers and readers have come to expect. Welcome to the future.

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  1. Eulalia

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  2. Annie

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  4. Sephen Tiano

    We’ve come a long, long way from the days when publishing oneself meant “vanity publishing” period. I’m even surprised to find myself working with self-publishers, having grown up when that dread expression was in vogue. But some of my best book design experiences have been with self-published books.

    • admin

      @Stephen, I remember those days well, but we can see that the changes going on now in book publishing are truly seismic, and when the dust settles I think the weight will have shifted to the content creators who can best meet the needs of a specific group of readers. I’ve had both great experiences with self-publishers and horrific ones. In about 2000 I actually closed my business to self-publishers since most of the work I was doing was from small- to medium-sized publishers. Now it’s quite the opposite!


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