This article, by Bob Minzesheimer, originally appeared on USA Today.
11:16AM EST November 27. 2012 – In the latest sign of consolidation as well as the growing role for self-published authors in the book business, Simon & Schuster, one of the largest traditional publishers, is partnering with Author Solutions, a leading provider of services to writers who do not have traditional publishers.
Technology has made it easier and cheaper to publish and distribute books. Led by Amazon and Author Solutions’ imprints, which include iUniverse and Xlibris, self-publishing has become one of the fastest growing sectors in publishing.The two firms today announced the launch of Archway Publishing, which unlike traditional publishers, will not pay advances to authors, but instead charge fees to release, distribute and publicize their books in print or digital formats. In turn, those self-published authors get a larger share of the proceeds of any sales.
According to Bowker, a research firm, 211,269 self-published titles were released last year, up more than 60% from 2010. A vast majority sold fewer than 100 copies, but enough were successful — even hitting USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books list — to draw attention to self-publishing. For example:
– After Amanda Hocking had seven self-published paranormal romance e-books hit USA TODAY’s list, she signed a multimillion-dollar deal with the traditional print publisher St. Martin’s Press last year.