Authors Tempted to Switch to Self-Publishing

I didn’t notice this (staggeringly interesting) story in the run up to Christmas and I reckon it’s worth resurrecting. According to the Digital Census by Futurebook, almost half the traditionally published authors responding to their survey have contemplated switching to the self-publishing route. This is the first time that Futurebook (part of The Bookseller magazine) has posed questions to authors in its annual census.

In addition, traditionally published authors expressed less satisfaction with their publishers’ achievements (6.2 out of 10 rating) compared to self-published authors’ satisfaction with their own publishing efforts (7 out of 10 rating).

Trad authors complained about their ebooks being over-priced and that their publishers were slow to respond to market changes. They were disappointed with publishers’ ebook strategies as well as their marketing efforts.

As for authors who self-publish, many would be tempted to move to a traditional publisher for the kudos, for further intellectual property exploitation (eg translation rights), and . . . for improved marketing. (Ha ha! See above).

According to Futurebook’s Sam Missingham:

The obvious conclusion seems to be that we are at a significant moment when many authors are weighing the pros and cons of pursuing a self-publishing or traditional publishing route for their work.

Or a case, possibly, of the grass always being greener on the other side.

Maybe we’ll witness more developments in 2013 akin to literary agency Curtis Brown’s move into ‘self-publishing’. Curtis Brown is self-publishing in the US market for its established UK authors such as Tony Parsons.


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