The growing share of indie authors on the market
A report of Author Earnings confirmed the growing market share of indie author books, ebooks and audiobooks. In 2016 they even outranked the Big Five publishers. The Big 5 now account for less than a quarter of ebook purchases on Amazon, while indies are closing in on 45%.
According this report major publishers simply are finding it difficult to compete with indie authors on diversity, price, quality, and frequency of publication, as this divergence has been increasing for the last two years
Interesting to see is that the lesser earnings authors get from the big publishers, the more they get as independent author.
Also smaller publishers seems to keep more easy their market share.
What’s going on
Big publishers are publishing only so called winners. They simply can’t afford to lose money and therefore need to be very selective. One publisher told me that they only accepted 1 on 2000 manuscripts. Some years ago the other 1999 authors were left behind disappointed and probably frustrated. These days, with all facilities of Printing On Demand available to them, they’ll keep on trying to bring readers in contact with their book. Even when someone wrote a book about a subject that only attracts 50 or 100 readers, these readers are happy they’ve found this book; where before it would never be published. So, this is the magic of Printing On Demand: you can find books on almost any subject. It stimulates people to read, what they want and when they want. This very motivating for any one with a story in mind. And therefore, the group of indie authors, and their market share, is growing fast.
What do indie authors need
If a publisher wants to hold or even gain market share, he needs to ask himself: how can I be of any service to this group of authors?
You need to understand that most of these writers don’t know anything about publishing. In their eyes they have produced their masterpiece and although they have heard about POD, they are, most of the time, unaware of the technicalities to produce a book and even less how to promote it.
Layout of their pages, book cover design, POD specifications and marketing, they probably didn’t think about this.
So, if you want a piece of this market, you will have to provide full service. OK, I hear you thinking: indie authors don’t have the budget for this. Experience have taught us that publishers often underestimate the willingness of authors to pay for such a service. True; their budget can’t be compared with what successful authors can spend, but, when you do this right, there is a lot of profit to make, without almost any risk. All what you need to do is to coordinate, outsource and advice.
Try to create a service line, including all subdomains of book publishing, without the need of doing anything inhouse. Of course if you already are performing some of these activities yourself, by all means, include them. As long as you will be competitive. Because there are many other small publishers and author service companies that will provide these services.
How else do you think that smaller publishers were able to keep their market share?
Whatever you do, key factor in this story is cost effectiveness. When you outsource parts of your project, you pay only for services provided. This makes it easier to set your prices.
Good luck and remember: we at MaryDes will be happy to supply all your designing needs.