Attention Wal-Mart Shoppers: Buy Your Self-Published Book Here!

ATTENTION WAL-MART SHOPPERS: BUY YOUR SELF-PUBLISHED BOOK HERE!

When hybrid author Jamie McGuire made the transition from self-publishing to traditional publishing and then back to self-publishing, she was mostly happy with the transition, she explains in a recent blog post. “The only downside has been hearing the frustration from my readers, knowing that there are only a few online places to purchase my indie paperbacks and hardbacks.”

While websites like Amazon, CreateSpace, and others are highly useful, she missed knowing that readers could find her books on physical shelves [ED’S NOTE: Indie authors not lucky enough to have a deal with Wal-Mart can check out IndieReader In-Store, a unique distribution service that can get self-published titles in front of brick and mortar booksellers like Wal-Mart!].

Now, however, her new novel Beautiful Redemption is going to be available in physical form on shelves in select Wal-Mart stores. “This is huge,” says McGuire. “This is pioneer stuff, friends, and this is just the beginning of your favorite self-published titles being available to you!” Having self-published books on shelves at stores like Wal-Mart will make them available to a much larger audience and will also help normalize the idea of self-publishing as a legitimate option. Beautiful Redemption will be one of the first self-published books carried by Wal-Mart and is hopefully just the start of a continuing trend.

If you’re a fan of McGuire or just want an opportunity to win a prize, you can help celebrate this achievement by going to your local Wal-Mart and searching for a copy of Beautiful Redemption. If you find one, take a picture with it for a chance to win a $100 gift card to Wal-Mart. Check out McGuire’s blog for more information.

AUTHOR SOLUTIONS CASE ENDS IN SETTLEMENT

According to Publisher’s Weekly, the lawsuit accusing self-publishing service provider Author Solutions of fraud appears to be over.

In April 2013, a group of authors pressed a series of claims against Author Solutions, claiming that they were guilty of a fraudulent scheme to sell authors a worthless marketing service. The plaintiffs had “alleged that Author Solutions, as part of a company-wide policy, hid from consumers that ‘it is a telemarketing operation’ based on upselling ‘worthless’ services to unsuspecting authors.”

On August 12, Judge Denise Cote ordered the case discontinued without prejudice after being informed by the parties that a settlement had been reached, following a court-ordered conference held on August 11. A settlement was not unexpected, coming just weeks after Cote dealt the plaintiff authors’ case a presumably fatal blow by denying class action status. However, a second potential class action against AS was filed this past spring in Indiana, with new representative author plaintiffs.

In the end, the case in New York was left with just two named plaintiffs. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

WHAT’S THE DEAL BEHIND THE SUCCESS OF THE RABBIT WHO WANTS TO FALL ASLEEP?

Swedish author Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin self-published his picture book The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep in April 2014, leading to a decent amount of sales. But two weeks ago, sales of the picture book that claimed to help kids go to sleep skyrocketed, seemingly out of the blue (and by the end of last week, Random House had paid seven figures for world English rights to Rabbit and two sequels).

A recent Publishers Weekly article explores the phenomenon. While some have speculated that Ehrlin manipulated the Amazon UK bestseller list to get himself to the top, an Amazon spokesperson denies this claim, saying, “All sales activity around The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep was organic.” It seems that the origin of Rabbit’s rise to fame is in a Daily Mail article on the book from August 14 of this year, which talked about the picture book’s seemingly magical powers to lull reluctant children to sleep. After the article, UK parents on social media and blogs spread the word and the book’s sales rapidly shot up. However the book’s rise in popularity started, it rose very quickly.

PW compared it to the rise in popularity of similarly self-published Fifty Shades of Grey, saying, “Both cases prove that, regardless of how the press machine gets going, once it does, it has the ability to turn a[n indie] book into a phenomenon.”

THE LIBRARY WRITERS PROJECT HELPS INDIE AUTHORS GET THEIR BOOKS INTO READER’S HANDS

A recent article in The Oregonian explains that local authors with library cards have been invited to submit their manuscripts to the library’s e-book collection. This is part of the Library Writers Project, allowing self-published writers to get their books out to more readers.

“Library panels will screen excerpts of books written and submitted by library members. If they like it, they’ll purchase a few copies from [the ebook distributor] Smashwords, and then depending on demand, they could purchase more.” Smashwords admits that the chance of making tons of money is unlikely, but says, frankly, “eBook authors face the same marketing challenges all authors have always faced.”

Participating in this library program could help local authors get their name and their work out into the world. The library also plans to hold sessions on self-publishing and writing in general. Here’s hoping more libraries will follow in Multnomah’s footsteps to help their local authors.

REEDSY LAUNCHES AUTHOR SURVEY

“Data can help authors understand the publishing landscape better,” says the website of self-publishing resource Reedsy, in the recent announcement of their author survey. The survey is intended to gather information on industry sales statistics and other data from self-published, hybrid, and traditionally published authors.

Reedsy is hoping to shed some light on the facts of the publishing industry. This will be particularly interesting for those who may have misconceptions about what indie authors earn. Author Mark Dawson says, “The interesting stories are… the thousands of [indie] authors who are making enough to pay bills, to treat themselves, and to make realistic plans… This survey will help shine a light on those authors, and I’m happy to take part.”

If you are a published author who wants to help with this project, go to this link to fill out the survey. It takes less than 3 minutes to complete and will hopefully contribute to an important gathering of data.

For more books to read, check out Indie Reader’s List Where Indies Count, featuring self-pubbed titles listed on both The New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists for this week.

And have a great Labor Day Weekend, Indie Readers!

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