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Why Self-Publishers Authors Must Meet Each Other!

Posted by Tom Chalmers on October 12, 2016 at 8:10 AM Comments comments (9)

While the internet is full of self-publishing groups and forums, writing by its nature can be a solitary business. Never mind writing a bestseller, I have great respect for anyone who has had the dedication and persistence to sit and write by themselves an entire novel! It is not something I think I would be capable of.

However, while there is much information out there now which helps self-published authors choose their options carefully and receive advice and tips from writing to sales and marketing, there is nothing like face-to-face meetings for authors wherever possible. The most useful information, rather than from pre-conceived questions, can be gained through conversations with those that have gone through part or all of the experience themselves.

Furthermore, all writers need a confidence boost to keep them writing through those solitary hours and there is no better way to receive one than to share stories with those that are or have been on the same writing quest. As a result, I would recommend all self-published authors take every opportunity to meet with other writers, self- or traditionally published, whenever possible.

And for those in the UK, such an opportunity can be found at New Generation Publishing’s annual Self-Publishing Summit at King’s College London on 12th November. As part of the Legend Tmes Group, I am always delighted to see a range of big industry names from the traditional and self-publishing sectors mix with authors with a wide-range of experience and backgrounds for an informative, positive and fascinating day. For details of the Self-Publishing Summit see:


The Summit will provide a wealth of information, suggestions, tips and guidance and, maybe as importantly, it will provide a chance for industry professionals and writers to meet and share experiences with each other.


Self-published authors increasingly in control of their rights

Posted by Tom Chalmers on February 16, 2015 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (0)

In the publishing industry the world revolves around numbers, especially when it comes to sales. Last summer, data from Neilson Book suggested that self-published books' share of the UK market grew by 79 per cent in 2013, with 18 million self-published books bought by UK readers, worth in the regions £59 million.

Despite these impressive figures it’s evident that self-published books still account for only a tiny proportion of the overall market. On a plus note this percentage is on the rise. With sales numbers still firmly in mind it was encouraging to see a recent report that self-published author Sheila Rodgers has sold a million copies of her e-book Only the Innocent and its two sequels. Writing under the pen name of Rachel Abbott, she sold her books through Amazon Kindle after previously being rejected by a number of literary agents.

An interesting point to note on this particular story is that despite having a deal with an American publisher for her first two books, she decided to part ways when the publisher wanted world English rights for the third book as she thought she could sell enough independently.

It’s great to see someone of such stature acknowledging the importance of the rights they hold to their work and having the foresight to appreciate the full value attached to them. Of course this is an example of a self-published author with an established readership but that doesn’t mean to say that authors with fewer sales should be thinking any less about exerting greater control over their rights to ensure that they are maximising all potential sales and revenue streams. In essence, applying the same principles as those demonstrated by a traditional publisher.

The parallels between the self-published and traditionally published marketplaces are closing fast. The quality of writing is one element which appeared to be one of the larger gulfs in previous times, although this also appears to be narrowing. We are now seeing more emphasis on strong characters and exciting book series from this author community and with this being a growing perception of the kind of works being produced. And with larger readership numbers comes an even greater need to ascertain more control, especially concerning an often previously ignored component in the writing journey - rights and licensing.


Self-publishing: A growing first resort

Posted by Tom Chalmers on June 20, 2014 at 2:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Firstly let’s underline that this isn’t the start of another self-publishing v traditional publishing debate. That’s very 2012. Self-publishing has moved on dramatically since the debates of old and continues to show some robust and sustained growth. A far more worthy conversation revolves around how self-published authors can extract even more value from their work.

In my last blog I talked about how the savviest author entrepreneurs are swiftly identifying the vast potential attached to rights and licensing. Whilst we are seeing more and more activity though our IPR License platform, a continued frustration remains that far too many authors with highly marketable international works continue to miss out having their work published across a range of international territories.

I’ll now get off the rights and licensing bandwagon for a moment to reflect on the continued growth in the self-publishing arena. According to recent statistics, self-published books' share of the UK market grew by 79% in 2013, with 18m self-published books bought by UK readers last year. With print sales falling by 10% last year, and book purchasing as a whole down 4%, ebook sales were reported to have grown, according to Nielsen's tracking of book purchases, up 20% in the UK in 2013, with 80m ebooks bought by UK consumers, to a value of £300m.

But it is the self-publishing market which is showing the most eye-watering growth, up to 18m titles purchased, worth an estimated £59m. However, despite these encouraging figures, self-published books are still reported to account for a tiny proportion of the overall market – 5% of the 323m total books bought, and 3% of the £2,185m spent on books last year.

There remains a great opportunity to expand on this 5% and as such it’s up to authors to come up with even more inventive and original ways to promote, market and ultimately sell their titles to extract as much value as possible. And I have no doubt they will, as this is a market that will continue to find innovative ways to market. And through licensing authors can focus on their key market(s) while looking to have experts promote and sell their work in other markets on their behalf So, with so much room left for growth in the sector, for many writers self-publishing is now a first, rather than last, resort.

Tom Chalmers is Managing Director of IPR License and a Director of AIA. He can be contacted at @Tom_Chalmers

Jim Carrey to Self Publish

Posted by Association of Independent Authors on January 9, 2014 at 1:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Source: The Guardian 

Jim Carrey is preparing to join the ranks of self-published authors with what he described as a "metaphysical" children's book about a wave.

The actor told HitFix that the book would be called How Roland Rolls. And although a major Hollywood name like Carrey would find it easy to land a mainstream publisher, he said: "I'm going to self-publish, because that's just the world right now and I think it's cool".

Carrey, who has one daughter and recently became a grandfather, said the book would be "beautifully illustrated". He revealed that it would tell the story of "a wave named Roland who's afraid that one day when he hits the beach his life will be over, but when he gets deep he's struck by the notion that he's not just the wave he's the whole big wide ocean".

"It's a metaphysical children's book and it deals with a lot of serious things in a really fun way," Carrey told HitFix. "And I think kids are going to like it and I think parents are going to go to bed feeling a little safer."