A Saturation Point In Self Pub’ing?


As we know, back in the earlier days of writing and publishing, things were quite different.  It wasn’t all that long ago one still sent in a manuscript by snail mail, and then waited for weeks (months?) on end to get a reply, but I believe for the most part, a reply came.  It all seemed so very orderly, and manageable.

I think it’s only been in the past, say decade (?)  that manuscripts started to be accepted via email and the practice of no answer meaning “no,” has become the norm.  There are a lot of other changes too.  Not that I have any statistics to throw at you here, but, just by reading a snippet here, a comment there, it’s not too hard to figure that writing something today is so much easier for just about anyone to do and to share  – if they choose to do so.

We have our laptops, desktops, iPads or even iphones with which to write.  We can produce words faster than ever before with these tools.  We can access the internet and research right here, at our own little desks, without ever having to actually get in our cars and drive to the library in order to understand the migration path of the dung beetle (if that’s supposed to be in your story)  And we can post it, share it, or publish it, via Facebook, Youtube,  Amazon, or by way of all the other outlets.

It doesn’t take a lot of research to understand that the self-publishing world spits out enough titles per year such that many books (possibly very, very good ones) will never stand a chance of ever making it because finding them amongst all of the others is akin to eliminating every weed in your yard.  (just about impossible)

As the creative types produce and produce, is there ever going to come a time when some sort of saturation point is reached?   Agents reach a saturation point.  Example: Janet Reid, she’s says on her blog she’s closed to queries from June 1 through September 30.  http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/ 

Publisher’s reach a saturation point, and may only buy a few titles each year due to budgetary constraints, and by only taking on authors whose works are unique and aren’t already part of their author portfolio.

I mean, just how much hardware, software and support will sites like Amazon, Createspace, Lulu and others continue to add in order to support self publishing?  As much as is needed, as long as people are willing to pay?

Just how big  could a self-publishing company actually grow and do you think they can ever reach a saturation point?  

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6 Comments

In thinking about this, I came to the conclusion the “owners” of the sites would keep on keeping on – if the money is there to support it, why not?

I guess the “saturation” point for some self pub authors could be the sheer volume (your black hole?) that exists. I mean, how does one make their work standout amongst a gazillion others? There is only so much online marketing, blogging, tweeting etc that can be done. (This of course leads back to the old word of mouth being the best tool any author can have. if it’s good enough? Word will get around and lift the book out of the black hole…sadly for others the discovery will never come.)

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    I think the cover becomes more important than ever. You have to pay or do something to get your book on the opening screen at least a few hours. Plus, the cover must be provocative enough that people will click it. If you fall into the stacks with all other assholes and you’re lucky enough someone is cruising there, your cover better be enticing.

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      We are absolutely on the same page. (Pun!) The cover is exactly what grabs my eye first, that, and the title, are what get me to read the back of the book snippet. And then to buy, of course.

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      Exactly. The cover and title had better be kickass, because if either one even hints at amateur, you’re sunk.

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      And both title and cover for your book are that, Averil – they have that OMG factor! I loved both…the title alone would make me want to read the book, but the cover? EEEK! It just added more fuel.

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I don’t think there is a limit on self publishing. Electrons are cheap. Making money for most of these sites hinges on how many people publish. For most authors, it’s a black hole.

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