Indie authors to expand to print and abroad, BEA hears

Indie authors to expand to print and abroad, BEA hears

Self-publishing’s next revolution will take place in print and in territories outside of the US, according to a panel of three bestselling hybrid authors speaking on day one of Book Expo America, yesterday (28th May).

Speaking at the Indie/Hybrid Perspective on Print and Electronic seminar at IDPF’s Digital World conference, Hugh Howey, Bella Andre and Barbara Freethy - whilst agreeing with Freethy’s assertion that “traditional publishing was still the bastion of print”, partially because indie authors were not able to “buy co-op deals” with physical booksellers - all three were sensing change in bricks and mortar booksellers’ attitudes.

Howey, after noting that he had seen books released through Amazon’s CreateSpace self-publishing platform on the shelves in Barnes & Noble, added: “There is a myth that self-publishing is only digital. I have increasingly done really well when I have released a book on print on demand; there is a potential for p.o.d. to really open up the market.”

Andre, too, noted a shift in retailers’ attitudes to getting self-published titles into the retail stream, adding: “The next indie revolution will happen in print.”

Whilst the panel are all hybrid authors, Freethy said she expected to see fewer and fewer authors in both camps: “People are becoming entrenched as an indie or traditional author; it is becoming more and more an either/or. Traditionally published authors are addicted to the advance, whilst indie authors are addicted to the 70% royalty rate and being able to make the important decisions themselves.”

The panel acknowledged that until now self-publishing has had its most success in North America, which Andre saw as an opportunity. She said: “The rest of the world really is an untapped market for self-published authors. But that is a good thing. I think if [indie authors] go out and research and market and approach a territory in the right way, they can literally [sic] own it.”

Freethy agreed, seeing growth possibilities in the global market. She said: “There is a myth that the indie revolution is over. But you see these opportunities worldwide that are beginning to come and you realise it’s not over, it’s really only just begun.”