When Everything Changes, Find the Right Information


Navigating the Ever-changing Self-Publishing Space:

There have been some major changes in the Indie Publishing space over the last few months. In May, IngramSpark announced FREE title setup and changes. Draft2Digital and Smashwords merged in March. Along with these major changes, and continuously emerging and evolving self-publishing platforms, many minor changes regularly take place. It begs the question: How does an author find accurate, timely, and relevant information?
While Google or author groups are often an early stop on the fact finding journey, wrong or inaccurate information from these resources can be misleading and/or costly. Because self-publishing supports so many different goals, practices, and journeys, businesses and platforms regularly adapt to industry and customer demands and limitations. That means the information that was accurate two months ago may no longer be so.
Misinformation might be benign, but it can also have a financial impact. Something as simple as copyright registration, which is $45 if completed through the U.S. Copyright office, might be several hundred dollars if using a 3rd party. A vanity press masquerading as a traditional publisher might cost an author thousands of dollars for substandard quality or unfulfilled promises. Hiring an inexperienced designer who doesn’t know the industry and provides work that does not satisfy platform requirements can cost time and money. Missing a pre-order deadline on KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) can remove your ability to set up preorders for future books, or get you banned from the platform altogether.
While the ‘Zon may not be as supportive of authors as other platforms, it is still the largest online bookseller. Being banned can have significant implications for revenue, especially for authors who are still finding their audiences and a way to connect with them directly.
While friends and colleagues can have valuable information and experience to impart, if it’s dated or their goals do not align with yours, it may not be helpful.
That’s where writing and author organizations shine, specifically, those focused on the Independent Publishing industry. It is the business of these organizations to support authors in professional publishing. Most have both free and paid resources with the latest information on industry changes and trends. While there are many organizations which provide information and resources like these, there is a handful that I regularly rely upon.

Read the entire article in the June 2023 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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