Publishing, like many traditional media, has undergone a complete overhaul in the digital age. Most Gen Z people don’t care about a paper book and prefer to download everything to their devices. The trend dates back to the first smartphones, which surfaced around 2007. At the end of this year, the Kindle hit the market and Kindle Direct Publishing was quickly on its heels. Between the years 2011 and 2013, many self-publishers took full advantage of Amazon’s organic visibility. They launched books on the market with minimal publicity and still made huge profits. However, Kindle stopped this in 2012 when they invented their AMS advertising platform.
As Amazon and other players rushed to meet the needs of the self-publishing market, they inadvertently sparked a freelance author revolution. It had never been easier, cheaper or more profitable to write a book and put it on the market. Not only that, but they had also paved the way for female authors, who had long been the underdog of their male counterparts, to stand up and take their place in the publishing arena.
Traditional publishers are dominated by men
Reports suggest that the book world is still very male dominated. One famous woman went so far as to assume a male identity and send her manuscript to agents. The result? She gained up to 8.5 times the demand for her novel when agents thought she was male. It is also well known that, since 1950, only a quarter of American literary prizes have gone to women. In addition, the prestigious Booker Prize has only been awarded to 18 women since 1969.
Adriana Monique Alvarez, CEO and Founder of AMA Publishing, and also bestselling author of USA Today, advises clients on how to start their own profitable publishing house. Alvarez is quick to take on the role of self-publishing in liberating and empowering women around the world. She specifies that “women were not recognized as publishing professionals or legally authorized to do so until the end of the 19th century.
Self-publishers control the narrative
One of the most appealing aspects of self-publishing is that women can tell the story in their own words: in a relevant voice that their audience can understand and relate to. One of the complaints from female authors has been that a male perception of femininity has been the dominant voice in the literature. Women do not want their ideas to be filtered, restricted or altered in any way; they want to be free and shown in all their fullness.
Independent romance novels, in particular, reflect the autonomy and control that women have over their own bodies. They celebrate a woman’s right to enjoy any fantasy or desire that she wishes. Millions of women cite romance novels as a form of sex education, and freedom in the bedroom equates with empowerment in all walks of life.
This change in the established order has not been without its casualties, however. Alvarez explains how his latest book was taken off the Wall Street Journal list, for one, or more, for the following reasons: list. “
Despite the challenges, authors are increasingly drawn to the obvious financial benefits of self-publishing. The indications are that self-published women can make up to five times more than a book that has taken the traditional publishing route.
This has been a key factor in female emancipation. Rather than wait to be one of the lucky few, selected from the millions of transcripts that pass through agent offices every day, the authors are now able to publish and market their books immediately. Indeed, publishing your own book can be a wonderful addition to other business interests. You can use it as a marketing tool and create an additional source of income.
Recommended apps for writers
Whether you are writing to promote your business or planning your next big novel, there are tools and technologies that will help you on your way.
As a writer it is very important that you find a tool that suits your workflow and allows you to consistently achieve that all-important daily word count. Alvarez advises writers to check:
Writing room. A useful application for writing without distraction.
Scribe also worth a visit. An industry veteran, it’s available on most platforms and packed with useful publishing features, including a “focus” mode, which helps you block unwanted interference.
Once you have the first draft, you’ll want to start thinking about your book cover. Alvarez notes that “this is the main thing that most self-published authors spoil. “
99 models is a great place to get professional book cover on a budget.
SelfPubBookCovers is another worthy mention. It has many pre-made models, but also gives you the option of upgrading to something bespoke.
Of course, writing the first draft and designing an attractive cover is just the first step on your journey. The best advice is to learn as much as you can about the different publishing platforms: how much do they pay, how to market your book, what are the rules and regulations? Additionally, you need to look at the competitors in your field: what makes them so popular, where do you stand in the market, how can you carve out your own unique niche? No matter what genre you produce, know that you will always be your toughest critic: the voice that holds you back. The most important lesson is to learn to overcome this fear and to do it anyway.