These days you’re more likely to find a person with their nose stuck in an E-Reader then in a book. The E-Book phenomenon has reached new heights and only continues to climb, sales of Kindle and Kobo readers are continuously climbing and show no signs of stopping. Kindle e-readers/tablets are now selling in 170 countries around the world.
Book selling giants are finding it hard to stay afloat with the increasing popularity of e-books, and stores such as Borders have been forced to announce bankruptcy and shut down. Other stores like Angus and Robertson have mainly retreated to online sales.
On one hand it is a sad state to see many well loved bookstores closing down, Borders was an absolute haven for book lovers and you could lose yourself for many hours among all the titles in there, I challenge any book lover to have entered a Borders store and left without a purchase!
So while yes, I find it sort of heart breaking to see so many cherished bookstores being shut down, on the other hand getting your work published has never been easier! It used to be that if you’re not Stephen King or J.K Rowling it will be very hard to get anyone to take any notice of your work, not so much anymore!
One of the most successful e-book cases is one of the best selling books of all time, yep you guessed it – E.L James’ 50 Shades of Grey! While many critics slammed the book for it’s writing style, and deemed the book simply ‘Mummy porn’ and nothing more, that still cannot take away from its immense success. 50 Shades of Grey started life as a Twilight fan fiction, which was then released in e-book format and ‘print on demand’ paperbacks, after sky rocketing sales Random House purchased the rights in a 7 figure deal, now if that doesn’t give hope to a struggling writer about to self publish their work, I don’t know what will! 50 Shades of Grey has done a complete reverse of what is usually the standard publishing cycle. From e-book to paperback, and then finally released as a hardcover (source). It certainly shows the way in which publishing may be heading.
With all this talk of the growing popularity of e-books I decided to check out for myself just how hard (or easy) it was to go about making an e-book.
I found a link to the Amazon self publishing site, in which you can publish your e-books independently with KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). I thought this would be one of the best places to go given the growing popularity of Kindles in general. If you’re uploaded to the Amazon Kindle Store it automatically means anyone with a Kindle can download your e-book, a good start I think!
Looking through the steps on the Amazon website it seemed fairly simple, first of course you must have a book ready to publish, you must provide a front cover for your book, a table of contents, and have it formatted correctly, Amazon has resources on it’s website to help you with the e-book formatting. As the website says, a badly formatted book will not sell, and Amazon reserves the right to refuse to publish work it doesn’t deem fit for its site. Eventually you must go through a series of steps which include confirming publishing rights and entering pricing and royalty information. Amazon gives you the power to price your book, most e-book experts recommend you start low at around $2.99-$5.99. After you’ve completed all the steps your e-book will be up and running in about 24 hours! Exciting stuff!
The simplicity of self publishing these days truly is revolutionary, never has it been easier for a struggling author to be heard! Guess I better get started on that great Australian novel…