“Self-Published Authors = 50% of the EBook Market by 2020”

In News by Dennis Abrams

Mark Coker Art

By Dennis Abrams

Writing for The Huffington Post, Mark Coker, founder of Smashwordshas made the prediction that self-published books will account for 50% of ebook sales by 2020.

His reasons?

Mark Coker

Mark Coker

1. Print will continue to decline as a book-reading format, as more readers continue to transition from print to screen. “The transition to screens will be driven by the low prices, selection, exceptional discoverability and instant reading pleasure delivered by eBooks.”

2. The continuing disappearance of brick and mortar bookstores.

3. “The perceived value of publishers will decline in the eyes of writers.” Coker argues that print distribution is still the “glue” that helps attach writers to traditional publishers. “When publisher stickiness decreases, writers will be tempted to explore the indie author camp.”

4. “Indie authors have learned to publish like professionals.” And this means that self publication “will lead to the publication of more better books, and more diversity of better books.”

5. “The stigma once associated with self-publishing is disappearing – Indie authors are in the cool kids club.”

6. “The number of self-published ebooks will explode.” With the growth in self-publishing’s credibility, more and more first time authors are making it “their option of first choice.”

7. “Successful indies are mentoring the next generation of writers.” Success breeds success, and this generation of authors is mentoring the next generation and teaching them the secrets to self-publishing success.

8. “Writers are discovering the joy of self-publishing.” Coker argues that if publishers are from Mars, authors are from Venus. “They speak different languages and hold different values. The rewards of self-publishing transcend the conventional and myopic commercial-metric value systems of publishers. Indie authors are enjoying total creative control, faster time to market, ownership over their publishing future, and the flexibility to innovate and evolve their immortal eBooks which will never go out of print. Indie authors enjoy the freedom to serve their fans as they want to serve them. Icing on the indie author’s cake: Indie eBook authors earn royalty rates four to five times higher than they’d earn from traditional publishers.

9. Reader’s don’t care about the publisher’s name; they care about the author’s.

10. “There’s a growing rift between writers and publishers…[and] if publishers are unable to close the rift, the deal flow of new authors will diminish and existing authors will defect.”

To read the entire article, including why Harlequin might be feeling the heat from self-publishing authors, and to post your own estimates on self-publishing sales, click here.

About the Author

Dennis Abrams

Dennis Abrams is a contributing editor for Publishing Perspectives, responsible for news, children’s publishing and media. He’s also a restaurant critic, literary blogger, and the author of “The Play’s The Thing,” a complete YA guide to the plays of William Shakespeare published by Pentian, as well as more than 30 YA biographies and histories for Chelsea House publishers.