As a self-published author or future author, it is essential to be aware of current trends in the self-publishing industry. The industry is constantly evolving, and staying up to date on developments will keep you ahead of the curve. Staging Post has done a little bit of research and we have compiled a list of six current trends in self-publishing. There are other trends out there, but in our eyes, these are some of the most important.

The trends

Formats, formats, formats

Publishing your book in multiple formats has become increasingly important in 2023 and will for the foreseeable future. Formats include print books (softcover and hardcover), print-on-demand books, e-books, and – making headway lately – audiobooks.  In addition to an increased demand for e-books, readers are buying more and more audiobooks. According to Publisher’s Weekly (2023), the audiobook industry has seen double-digit growth for over a decade and continues to grow. The more formats you have, the more readers you can reach, but not all formats work for all markets. You have to research your market and establish the best formats to publish in.

(Interesting fact: The number of self-published books has grown by 264% in the last five years.)

Multiple forms for book publishing and marketing

Hybrid publishing models

Publishing is no longer necessarily a one-size-fits-all industry, as many authors are using a combination of business models to get their books out into the world. Some authors choose to use self-publishing service providers for their production and go it alone for their marketing and distribution or vice versa.

For more information on the various publishing models out there, check our blog post below: https://makeabook.co.za/publishing-models/.

The rise of AI tools

From writing to editing to marketing, the number of AI tools at a writer’s disposal are increasing and will continue to do so. One example of a popular platform is Chat GPT, as it can be used for book marketing ideas, research and content. Authors using these kinds of platforms have said that it saves them time when coming up with content ideas for marketing their books.

There are also editing and proofreading AI tools out there and, although these tools can be useful for checking your marketing content and for editing your first drafts, they do not have the same level of authenticity or fact-checking ability as the human eye (Forbes, 2023).

You can utilise these tools, but we advise that you hire a professional editor and proofreader when publishing your book.

Check out some of these AI marketing tools for books below. These tools are constantly changing and being updated, and some may be phased out as time goes by. We advise that you do your own research into these tools.

  • Bookbub
  • Publisher Rocket
  • Bublish
  • TikTok’s Script Generator
  • ai
  • Lumen5

Market directly to your readers

As a self-published author, you benefit greatly from marketing and selling directly to your readers through social media, your author website, email lists and by using targeted advertising. One of the best things about direct selling is that you don’t have to share your profit, like when using a distributor or platform like Amazon (KDP). It also allows your readers to engage directly with you and therefore you build a closer relationship with them. By selling through your own website, you can collect more data and improve your marketing and selling efforts even more (Noblit, 2023).

Be the brand!

Author branding and personal branding goes together with point number 4 above as you need to stand out from the crowd in the current publishing landscape and digital marketing space. The power of your brand is an indicator of your value to ‘readers, industry professionals, influencers, or other key players in your area or genre’ (Grabas, 2023).

Take time to think about what you want your brand to be, and establish a reputation beyond your book, as ‘readers want to connect with the person behind the words’ (Brand Credential, 2023). For example, you can run a blog on your website that talks about the genre you are writing in, or you can comment and review books of other authors. It’s all about establishing connections and building a network around you.

Reach readers all over the world

As an independent author, you should be selling your book to a global audience (where viable). Platforms with global reach have been around for many years and the number of options available will continue to increase. Well-known platforms include Kindle Direct Publishing, Apple Books, IngramSpark, Draft2Digital and Google Play Books. We suggest researching various platforms to decide which options are best suited for your book.

Sources consulted:

Brand Credential, 2023. ‘Personal Branding for Writers’. Brand Credentialhttps://www.brandcredential.com/post/personal-branding-for-writers, accessed 19 July 2023.

Forbes, 2023. ‘8 Big Trends In Publishing In 2023 (And How Marketers Can Leverage Them)’. Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2023/02/03/8-big-trends-in-publishing-in-2023-and-how-marketers-can-leverage-them/?sh=1a4e40ab1882, accessed 18 July 2023.

Grabas, K., 2023. ‘Personal Branding for Authors: What It is and Why It’s Essential’. Your Writer Platform, https://yourwriterplatform.com/personal-branding-for-authors/, accessed 19 July 2023.

Noblit, C. 2023. ‘The Top 10 Publishing Trends for 2023.’ Written Word Media. Available Online: https://www.writtenwordmedia.com/the-top-10-publishing-trends-for-2023/. Accessed: 18 July 2023.

Publishers’ Weekly, 2023. ‘The Audiobook Market and its Revenue Keep Growing’. Publishers’ Weekly, https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/audio-books/article/92444-the-audiobook-market-and-revenue-keeps-growing.html, accessed 18 July 2023.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *