Sunday, January 22, 2017

What Books Are Best Suited for Self-Publishing?

This is a guest post from the awesome Faith MacAnas, a technology blogger for Secure Thoughts - Enjoy!

Self-publishing isn’t for every book. There are some genres that significantly outperform others, and it is important that authors in pursuit of self-publishing their books using tools like Kindle Direct Publishing are well-aware of the types of books that sell well as self-published titles.

Romance novels are the best-selling books by self-publishing authors. Books in this genre that have been published independently make up 66 percent of the market share. In fact, Big Five publishers earn just 18 percent of the profits generated by romance books. For reference, the Big Five publishers are Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster.
Meredith Wild is one of the best-selling romance novelists. She self-published her debut novel, “Hardwired” in 2013, and eventually became stocked in brick-and-mortar bookstore chains across the country. By 2014, she was listed on the Bestsellers lists of the “New York Times” and “Wall Street Journal”. She has sold millions of books worldwide and her novels have been translated into 20 languages.

Science Fiction and Fantasy
In the self-publishing market, Science Fiction and Fantasy are a close second behind Romance with 56 percent of all sales in these genres coming from self-published authors. Some of the most successful self-published Fantasy and Science Fiction authors include J.R. Rain (400,000 copies sold), B.V. Larson (250,000 copies sold) and David Daglish (175,000 copies sold).

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Earning 26 percent of its sales from self-published authors are the Mystery, Thriller and Suspense genres. One of the most successful self-published authors in this genre is Adam Croft. He used Kindle Direct Publishing to distribute his 2011 debut novel “Too Close for Comfort”, which saw huge success on the platform. Over the course of the next five years, he has self-published a further eight books and has sold over 350,000 copies. In 2016, his novels generated $1.4 million in sales.

Self-publishing is the perfect outlet for non-fiction writers, with 26% of all sales in this genre coming from self-published outlets. There are a number of advantages to publishing non-fiction books yourself, and it is ideal if your topic is a niche one. Previously, you would have to sell your idea to agents and publishing houses, who may not see the need to publish a book on a subject that they deem too specialized to sell well. However, self-publishing allows you to directly reach out to those who are interested in that particular niche.

One of the major benefits of self-publishing non-fiction e-books is that you can make updates and revisions as necessary. When new information on your subject becomes available, you can update your book’s digital file to include it and keep readers in the know about the latest developments. With print books, you would have to wait for sales to dictate if a new edition is necessary before you make any changes.

The Bestselling Self-Published Authors 

Some of the most successful writers in recent history are self-published authors who specialize in the above genres. They knew their readers and were able to forge successful careers with self-published novels that were eventually printed by Big Five houses and optioned for movies.

The most popular example is E.L. James who wrote the “Fifty Shades of Grey” erotic romance trilogy. Before becoming one of the bestselling print novels ever, it was originally published on fan fiction sites since it was based on the “Twilight” series. Her stories eventually went viral and James was eventually offered a contract worth over $10 million by Vintage Books. By the end of that year, the trilogy had sold 70 million copies around the world.

Hugh Howie, author of “Wool” went a more traditional route for self-published authors. In July 2011, he published the opening chapters of his dystopian sci-fi trilogy as an e-book novella using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing tool. Over the course of the next few months, he released four more installments, which put his name at the top of the Amazon Bestsellers list. Eventually, Howie was selling up to 30,000 copies of “Wool” every month.

After negotiating with plenty of publishing houses, he was offered a six-figure advance by Simon &Schuster to finish his trilogy. The rights for the “Wool” have been purchased by 20th Century Fox, and several big names have signed on to produce the film. Nicole Perlman, who wrote the screenplay for “Guardians of the Galaxy”, will write the film, while Ridley Scott and Steve Zallian are producers.

If you’re writing a Romance, Science Fiction or Mystery book, you can look forward to tapping into a great market for self-published authors. These are just a few of the success stories out there, and you can certainly follow their examples in forging a fruitful career as a writer.

Are you working on self-publishing your next book? Leave a comment. We’d love to hear more about your project!

Author Bio: Faith is a technology blogger for Secure Thoughts, a leading cybersecurity resource, and her content aims to help creatives keep their work safe online. She also has a passion for reading novel thrillers. As a huge fan of authors like Stephen Leather, Hugh Howie and Adam Croft, she is fascinated with their success in self-publishing.

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