Two years ago today I self-published my first book, Remix. It was a book I felt sure was publishable, so I'd
Two years on, I've self-published four novels and a collection of short stories, and sold 58,648 ebooks, plus some paperbacks. I sold more books the first year, but made more money the second - much more money than a publisher would have been likely to offer me. I still own all the rights to my work, and all the profits come straight to me without an agent's deductions or a publisher's delay (mwahahahahaha).
Even better, I know from readers' reviews and emails that my books have entertained quite a lot of people for a few hours, and a writer can't ask for more than that. I now know that if I write a book that I think is good, a proportion of readers are likely to agree with me.
There have been huge changes in the publishing industry in those two years, and it's still changing. Self-publishing has gone from being the province of the deluded to the best way to reach readers for all but top-earning established authors. A considerable number of authors have had mega-success, the most recent I've noticed being Hugh Howey and Nick Spalding, while many are enjoying more modest rewards that would have been unimaginable two years ago.
Writers like me, rejected by traditional publishing, have no reason to love it; but it's interesting that most of the grumbling and criticism is coming the other way, from publishers, agents and legacy authors who feel threatened by this unruly mob of indies who had the temerity to succeed when by everything they have ever believed, we should have failed miserably.
I like success. I'm impressed by anyone who can get a traditional publishing deal in these hard times. I'm also impressed by anyone who does well self-publishing. I can't wait to see how the next two years work out.