Like it or not, self-publishing will be the next big trend

(Featured Image Credit: Publishing Solutions)

Amidst the cold winter rain in Taipei these days, the 22nd Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE) is underway, attracting hundred thousands of bookworms into the venue, who are there to meet their favorite authors and shop for their favourite books as if it’s Black Friday.

TIBE, an annual exhibition held at the Taipei World Trade Center, is an event anticipated by many. The exhibition’s contents would cover comic books, animation and literature from countries around the globe. Many international guest authors are also invited to meet readers face to face, adding to the huge pull factor for the event.

[caption id="attachment_4940" align="aligncenter" width="650"]Image Credit: tumblehomelearning Image Credit: tumblehomelearning[/caption]

This year, one of the guest author who attracted the most attention may just be Hugh Howey, an American who authored the popular sci-fi series “Wool”, “Shift” and “Dust”. What differentiates his bestsellers from the rest is, Hugh Howey first introduced this series through Amazon’s program, ”

Video: Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing Video

Initially Hugh Howey charged USD 1 for each story entry he wrote, and as the stories gained popularity, he continued to release more. He would then collate the first 5 entries into an entire book “Wool”, which he charged USD5.99 on Amazon Kindle.

He also signed a Hugh Howey TOBE Hugh Howey in TIBE 2014. (Photo Source: Readmoo)[/caption]

In the interview from TIBE this year, Hugh Howey explained why he first published his novels online before they went to print.

It is fast, cheap, and it gains more exposure easily.

Other than the lower publishing cost for authors, what’s more important is, through online content sharing, authors can engage in a direct communication with their readers. With a price starting from USD0.99, readers are more inclined to purchase ebooks and share feedbacks on Amazon after reading. This way, authors can adjust or improve their writing according to the comments and opinions received.

A win-win for the readers and authors.

Back in 2007, the rise of Amazon ushers in the era of e-books and self publishing. Amazon started to encourage authors to publish their own books, which requires no agents or press. Authors no longer have to send their work to publishers and wait before they see their efforts in print at bookstores.

Internet changed all of that.

Now, before publishing a book, authors can post stories by chapters on blogs or an open platform like what Amazon provides, to attract viewerships, get instant feedbacks from a wide range of readers and decide what to do next. If authors reach an early success, it means that they attracted the attention of their prospective readers, and therefore, it is more likely that the book will be a success in print as well.

Some, or probably most of us have a doubt on whether ebooks can fully replace print books some day. The November 2013 issue of Scientific American magazine showed that . On top of that, everyone knows that we are increasing our dependency on the Internet as well as our portable devices.

Ebooks sales 2017

Humans are more prone to share and has a desire to be heard, so we witness the rise of blogs and various social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

What matters most for authors is probably not how they are paid, but how their stories can be heard. The story of Hugh Howey sheds some light on the future of electronic self-publishing. Amazon recently also announced that the