Last week I took part in an event for International Women’s Day organised by Birmingham Adult Education Service . I was asked to speak about something to do with women and writing. Women are flourishing in the field of self-publishing so that’s the area I chose to focus on.
An early female ‘self-publisher’ was Jane Austen. Sense and Sensibility was only taken by the London publisher Thomas Egerton on the condition that the Austen family made good any losses suffered by the book if it didn’t sell. In my mind that equates to self-publishing because the author was taking all the financial risk. This story removes much of the stigma attached to self-publishing – showing that even classic writers have done it.
Jump forward 200 years and books by indie women authors are outselling those by men. An article in the Guardian stated that in early 2015 67% of the top-ranking self-published books were by women, compare that to the Telegraph’s ‘Best Books of 2014’ list – 70% of those were by men.
This article in the Daily Mail showcases three women who’ve sold thousands of their books on Kindle. We all know that they are the exception but they provide inspiration to the rest of us and show that it is possible, with hard work and an understanding of the marketplace, to make it big.
Having (hopefully) enthused my audience with these facts, I went on to give them a whistle stop guide to self-publishing on Kindle, based on Kindle Direct Publishing for Absolute Beginners. Afterwards a couple of ladies came and told me that they’d been inspired which was very gratifying.
Just in case I’ve inspired you too, my non-fiction e-books on writing are both only 99p/99c (UK & US only) until Sunday 20th March 2016. And men are allowed to make use of them too!
#1 by Linda Daunter on March 15, 2016 - 2:16 pm
Well, you learn something every day – I didn’t know that about Jane Austen. Thanks for enlightening me!
I think the biggest problem with self-publishing today is that too many people think it’s an easy option, which is why there are so many badly written and produced books out there. They make it even harder to find the gems.
I’m not thinking of self-publishing yet but if and when I do, I’ll definitely be looking for advice from someone (like you!) who knows what they’re talking about.
#2 by Sally Jenkins on March 15, 2016 - 5:59 pm
Linda, thanks for implying that I know what I’m talking about! Self-publishing is a learning curve for everyone that embarks on it and, as you say, it’s not an easy option! Quality control is very important.
#3 by Keith Havers on March 20, 2016 - 5:05 pm
Just got the Kindle Publishing book. Thanks, Sally.
#4 by Sally Jenkins on March 20, 2016 - 5:11 pm
Hope you find it useful, Keith and do let me know if/when you publish!