Archives for posts with tag: Self-publish

By some estimates there are about 2 million books published per year in the world. That’s an awful lot of books. By other estimates it also constitutes a very small percentage of the total number of books written. The publishing bottleneck is such that demand will only ever support the supply of a far smaller proportion of books than the total written.

For every 1,000 books written, perhaps 25 get taken on by a publisher, and perhaps 5 of those get published, and perhaps 1 of those becomes a best-seller. These are the kinds of odds you’re up against as a potential writer of published work. The kinds of odds I’m up against.

Of these 2 million books, maybe half a million are self-published. The writer has written the book, then used a self-publishing platform to typeset, lay out, proof read and publish the work herself or himself, so that the book can be available in both electronic and print-on-demand formats.

Unfortunately, by bypassing the traditional publishing industry, the self-publishing writers also have to market and promote the book themselves, and that’s the rub. Promoting takes time, more work and money. After all the effort of self-publishing, for the vast majority of self-publishers the numbers of books sold – and the consequent revenues accruing – are tiny.

So the publishing bottleneck, and the publishing conundrum, continues for every budding author.


Have you got something to say? Do you think it will help other people? Do you think they’ll be interested in it?

Then write it! It’s never been easier to set up a blog and commit to writing on a regular or even semi-regular basis. We all have something to share that would either be useful for other people or entertaining to them.

You used to hear the common refrain that everyone has a book in them. The traditional barriers to publishing and the financial realities of getting projects to pay for themselves meant that for over 99% of people the cost of entry was too high, in both time and money. As a consequence, the impetus that people had to publish their writing was quickly snuffed out.

Nowadays, it’s easy for people to set up a blog page, free of charge, requiring nothing more than a little of their time. What’s more, the self-publishing phenomenon has made it possible for us all to publish a book of which we might sell as little as one printed or electronic copy. Talk about the long tail-leveraging power of the Internet…

“See that? It’s mine. I wrote it.” It’s a good feeling, isn’t it?