BTB #305: A Golden Age for Self-Publishing?

Keith OgorekThe wild growth in e-books and self-publishing has spurred a fiery debate over the future direction of the industry. While some argue that the growing mountain of books makes it harder than ever for any single title to succeed, people like Keith Ogorek, author of 7 Secrets of Successful Self-Published Authors, say that this time, our time, is the best time ever to be an author.

“This is the best time to be an author because if you have a manuscript, you do not need to die with that manuscript in your drawer. You have more opportunity than ever before to get your manuscript into the hands of readers,” says Ogorek, who is Sr. Vice President, Global Marketing, for Author Solutions and BookTango, its e-book publishing venture. “As an author you really have three different opportunities, depending on your goals, your budget, and your talents,” he tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “You can choose a DIY option, and do it only as an e-book. You can choose an assisted self-publishing option. Or, you can still pursue the route of finding an agent and pursuing a traditional contract. And the beauty of this is they’re not mutually exclusive.”

Ogorek’s sunny outlook for authors is confirmed by industry statistics released for BookExpo America in June. In 2011, “traditional” print book production climbed to over 347,000 titles, a rise of 6% over 2010. For the first time, the numbers from Bowker – the official ISBN Agency for the United States and a leading provider of bibliographic information– included self-published titles. By their count, ISBNs were issued to 124,700 such titles — 36% of the total “traditional” output. When self-published e-books are added, the total climbs to more than 211,000.

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