Self-publishing on a larger stageNot surprisingly, bestselling erotic trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James, which started out as Twilight fan fiction, got a lot of attention at Frankfurt as a self-publishing success that became even more successful once it was picked up by Random House. The trilogy is rumored to have sold over 50 million copies, but James couldn’t have done that on her own, writes Publishing Perspectives editor-in-chief Ed Nawotka: “It took Random House and Bertelsmann’s global network–and editorial, production, distribution and sales expertise–to make that happen.” He cites 50 Shades as a prime example of how self-pubbed authors and traditional publishers can work together: “Amid the continuing economic recession, the publishing industry needed 50 Shades of Grey. James didn’t need a publisher as such, but once she turned to the pros, her relatively modest success was turned into a maelstrom of money.”
At Frankfurt, publishers were on the lookout for more self-published titles to snap up. Penguin bought the UK rights to crime novel Natural Causes by James Oswald, which sold hundreds of thousands of copies as a self-published book, in a six-figure deal; German publisher Goldman Verlag also made a six-figure deal for the title, and offers were in from Brazil and Italy.
Amazon continued its promotion of its self-publishing platform KDP. The company held daily sessions about the benefits of using self-publishing through KDP, and also announced that it is expanding the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library — which lets Amazon Prime members who own Kindle devices borrow one ebook a month from a library of over 200,000 titles, most of them self-published — to the UK, Germany and France.
In order to offer their books in the KOLL, self-published authors must make them available exclusively through the Kindle store.This is “dangerous…for the ebook rivals who have yet to open their doors to self-published content,” Eoin Purcell writes. “In reality, only Kobo has a fully functional platform for self-publishing authors beyond the USA (Apple does too, but only to the extent that those who have a nice Mac can access their iBookstore, but not everyone has a Mac). Nook’s [self-publishing platform PubIt!] is US only, though the talk is that this will change soon. The longer B&N and Microsoft exclude non-U.S. citizens from the service, the longer Amazon has to lock in exclusive content for three months at a time.”
Speaking of Kobo, the company announced a few more initiatives to compete on the self-publishing front through its self-publishing platform Writing Life. It acquired French digital software company Aquafadas and will make iBooks Author-like tools available to users. Writing Life is available in new languages — German, French, Italian, Portuguese and Dutch — and the company said authors from 82 countries are now using it.
Full article at paidContent