By Ingrid Süßmann
Self-publishing is becoming more and more popular in Germany. Roughly 75,000 German authors are selling books on their own, independent from any publishing house. A closer look at the Amazon bestseller list proves that this concept is highly successful: most of the bestselling titles are published by indie authors and have thousands of fans.
But what does it take to become a successful indie author? That’s what over 100 visitors of this year’s Self-Publishing Day in Münster, organized again by neuDENKEN media, wanted to know. German self-publishing distributors like Neobooks, Epubli and Books on Demand attended as exhibitors; influential digital minds like Johannes Zum Winkel (xtme.de) and Matthias Matting, guru of the German self-publishing scene (selfpublisherbibel.de) were among the speakers. Authors had the chance to learn about different distribution models, ask questions about royalty rates and ways to upload their manuscripts. During his key note session, Johannes Zum Winkel spoke about different strategies for a book launch. His tip: “Readers forget fast. Write your next book — now!” He also pointed out that it takes professionalism to make it to the top: a cover designer, a proofreader, and an editor will help you getting there.
Authors also had the chance to visit several workshops: From “How to Market your Midlist” (Bela Bolten) and “Thinking Economically for Authors” (Matthias Wenzel) to “Optimize your Visibility and Discoverability — How to Enhance Your Success with SEO and Metadata” (neobooks). The latter showed the importance of optimized metadata and how authors can achieve more success with a carefully chosen title, subtitle, description text, etc. — “metadata makes books visible online, therefore it helps with sales.”
Events like the Self-Publishing Day show that the German indie scene is becoming more and more professionalized. Events like this “Mini-Indie Book Fair” help connect authors, distributors, and digital minds alike. It’ll be exciting to see what happens between now and the next Self-Publishing Day!