Here are the top 5 articles on indie publishing from the past week.

1. How do we love Hugh, Let us count the ways

Hugh Howey, the best-selling author of Wool, is a big fan of self-publishing. His interview with Publisher’s Weekly appeared this week and included his insights into the publishing and self-publishing worlds. Here are some of his observations and predictions for indie authors:

  • The market share of the big 5 publishers will continue to shrink and their margins will decline as they attempt to compete with Amazon.
  • The benefits to self-publishing are large and numerous – price control, speed to market, creative control and a livable wage.
  • There are more and more self-published being published because these authors are catering to holes in the market. Readers are buying books in genres that were not readily available before self-publishing became mainstream.
  • Self-publishing can be improved with better tools for writing, editing and discoverability.
  • Amazon is the best self-publishing platform for new authors.
  • Most self-published authors won’t make much money with their first title. Authors need to stick at it, improve their writing and publish multiple titles to be successful.
  • There will never be too many books.

2. Keeping Score

John Doppler over at ALLi (Alliance for Independent Authors) published an article explaining the dynamics at work behind Amazon’s sales rank. Sales rank can be a useful indicator to gage how your book is being indexed by Amazon but a high sales rank does not translate into more sales. We recommend you read the full article but here are the cliff notes:

  • Sales rank is relative, and changes in rank may be due to the performance of other books
  • It takes half as many sales to sustain a rank as it does to initially hit it
  • A launch day blitz may briefly attain a high sales rank, but steady, organic growth will sustain it
  • Pre-orders increase visiblity and jump-start your book’s sales rank
  • Kindle Unlimited downloads immediately affect your sales rank, regardless of whether they are read

3. The Apple of my Eye

Apple announced an update to the iBooks app this week. iBooks users can now sync PDFs using iCloud for iBooks and the ability for users to share audiobooks with family members using the family Share tool.

4. Amazon Marketing

Chris McMullen has a helpful article out on the Amazon marketing services available to authors enrolled in KDP Select. The ads are effective at garnering thousands of impressions for a book and can be used as part of a book’s brand-building budget. Chris outlines tips and tricks he has used to leverage the ads but cautions that they may not be ROI positive, so test carefully.

 5. Star Gazing

Goodreads hit a whopping 50 million reviews this week, according to a blog post by founder Otis Chandler. Some fun stats the Goodreads team shared: Reviewers on Goodreads skewed highly positive with 71% of all ratings being 4 or  5-star reviews and only 8% of ratings being 1 or 2-star reviews. The Hunger Games is the most reviewed book on Goodreads with almost 150k reviews!

Missed last week’s Friday Five? Catch up on indie author news here.

Have an article you think we should include? Tweet us @WrittenWordM with your links.


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