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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Upending the Book Business

Self-publishing success stories (both large and small) always uplifts my spirits! And I just came across another one that I know will do the same for you...in spades.

Yes indeed, Sir Self-Pub, attended and supported by his new hi-tech court, is the new Prince Charming come to save ignored authors and imbue them with magic publishing keys.

Elisa Lorello (pictured), a teacher at North Carolina State University, details her surprising journey to self-publishing awareness and stardom through an article in the Winston-Salem Journal:

Teacher is part of a self-publishing revolution

Elisa Lorello of Raleigh had no literary agent, no publisher and nothing to lose when she decided to self-publish her first novel, "Faking It," as an e-book for Amazon's Kindle.

At first, she got only a modest response, The Charlotte Observer reported. But when she dropped her price from $1.99 to 99 cents, sales began to soar. Early last year, "Faking It" hit No. 6 on Kindle's best-seller list, beating out big-name authors and giant publishing houses.

Today, digital sales of "Faking It" and its sequel, "Ordinary World," have topped 52,000, a figure many established authors would envy.

And Lorello, who teaches at N.C. State University, counts herself part of a self-publishing revolution that's upending the book business — giving authors more power and bigger profits while boosting the low-rent reputation of the self-published book. At stake? The future of the $24 billion publishing industry.

Until about a decade ago, authors usually needed traditional publishers to ensure wide distribution and a shot at significant sales. If publishers rejected a book, the most common way to get into print was to pay a vanity press. That process often ended with hundreds of copies stacked in the author's garage.

Now, digital books and print-on-demand technology let authors self-publish with little or no upfront costs. Self-publishing companies, such as Raleigh-based Lulu Enterprises, Smashwords and Amazon's CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing, don't print the books or take a cut until they sell.

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