The Top 2020 Self-Publishing Trends You Should Know

The new decade has arrived, and with it comes new self-publishing trends. 

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Staying up-to-date on publishing trends can keep you ahead of the game by giving you insight on everything from the latest publishing technology to what audiences are seeking. 

2020 is being predicted by trend forecasters to be a year full of changes in the world of self-publishing, and many of these will be in favor of the indie artist (finally!)

From the opportunity for multiple revenue streams to the opportunity to hire a whole team to help get your book in readers hands, the new decade is proving to be a promising one for self-published authors. 

Stay ahead of the game with the top 3 self-publishing trends of 2020. 

1. The Rise of the Authorpreneur

Being an author these days requires a business mindset as things like branding and marketing are becoming necessities in order to stay ahead of the competition. At the very least, it requires access to other business-minded people who are willing to help guide you. 

As a self-published author in 2020, expect to do things like hire a team to take care of everything from editing to marketing, show up to networking events, and create an entire business plan around your personal brand and books.

All this hard work can pay off, as it creates the potential for streams of revenue that go beyond just book sales, such as:

Speaking gigs and interviews

  • Once you’ve established a brand people can trust and have worked on your publicity, you’ll find opportunities for speaking gigs.
  • These can be based on the themes of your books, being an author in and of itself…whatever you feel best sharing!

Author coaching opportunities

  • Your reputation as an authorpreneur is bound to spark the interest of new self-published authors looking to do the same. 
  • You can gain some revenue sharing your knowledge as a book or author coach

Guest Writing

  • Many blogs and websites seek out authors to guest-write pieces for their site. 
  • Not only will this help you expand your audience by appealing to their listeners, but you’ll develop a reputation as an influencer in the indie author community. 

2. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

In order to maximize your level of success as a self-published author, building a team is the way to do it starting in 2020. 

Think about all the hats you have to wear in order to self-publish your book that go far beyond being an author…a marketer, a literary agent, an editor, the list goes on!

Self-published authors have been learning to work smarter, not harder, by assembling a team to help publish and promote their books, and the results have proven promising as self-publishers who have a team make an average of 34% more from their books.

The size and positions of your team depend on your goals and budget. The ideal team to ensure your book gets sold would consist of the following:


Editors look at your work as a whole. They’ll provide you feedback on things like the book’s structure and overall content. 


While editors take a look at the “big picture,” a proofreader is specifically used to catch spelling and grammatical errors. 

Literary agent

Think of the literary agent as the Director of Operations for your self-published book. A literary agent can help you find the perfect editor, coordinate your book launch and marketing, and guide you through the publishing process. 


Ideally, you’ll be able to find a person or company who can help you with your cover design, layout design and typesetting for both your printed novels and eBook.

Local retailers

It’s never too early to start developing relationships with local bookstores and retailers who are likely to carry your book. These relationships will serve as the determining factor in whether you’ll be able to sell your books on consignment.

Online distributors

Say good-bye to uploading your eBook to each platform one at a time. Online eBook distributors are a handy tool that allow you to upload your book once and disperse it to multiple eBook platforms

Marketing professional

While a literary agent can help guide your marketing and publicity, it’s helpful to have a marketing professional who can help develop and execute the strategies so your agent can focus on more high-level tasks, like your overall public image and ensuring your contracts are in order. 

3. Self-Published eBooks on the Rise

Overall, digital publishing is increasing in popularity for everyone, indie authors included. 

According to the founder of self-publishing platform Smashwords, “indie eBooks will account for 50% of eBook sales by 2020.”

This prediction is based on research and past patterns in the eBook market. Trends and predictions that have helped devise this conclusion include:

  • Print’s continuous decline
  • The increase in self-published eBooks
  • More people catching on to indie publishing
  • Increased royalty potential in which self-published authors can make 4-5x the amount as with traditional publishers
  • A new generation of self-published authors emerging
  • Authors will begin to find less value in traditional print publishers
  • Authors creating their own brands help compete with the marketing of traditional publishers

Now is a better time than ever to perfect your eBook publishing. When self-publishing your eBook, make sure all the boxes are checked:

A defined brand

  • Having a brand around your author identity provides a basis for your readers and potential readers to connect with you and your work. 
  • You’ll need to identify your ideal reader, figure out what sets you apart from other authors, and choose a consistent and entertaining look and voice for your author site, social platforms, email marketing efforts, etc. 

A solid author site

  • When it comes to marketing your self-published eBook, it’s important not to limit yourself to social media.
  • Creating an on-brand author website gives your audience a place to create a unique community around your brand and work. It also serves as a personal archive. 

Choose the right genre

  • Your eBook’s genre will guide a lot of your branding and marketing, so be sure you’ve categorized it correctly and have familiarized yourself with the audience that comes with it. 

Get coverage

  • Having reviews and online feedback is a huge factor in eBook sales and traditional book sales alike, as it helps build trust with your audience and potential readers.
  • Seek out blogs that write about your genre, and send a personal request for reviews. 

A special bonus: Once you’ve gotten down your eBook publishing, you can charge higher rates in 2020 than you might have a few years ago, as the average book rates are slowly rising.

By establishing yourself as an authorpreneur by building a marketing team, creating a solid brand, and focusing on dominating the eBook world, you have the perfect combination of skills to get more books sold in 2020. See why following the trends can be important? 

If it’s hard to imagine becoming an authorpreneur and keeping up with these trends when you don’t even know how to fund your book, fear not. We’ve got you covered with 48 new ways to fund your book »

Adam user

President & CEO,
Steuben Press

Adam Ellis has worked in the book industry since 2002, when he was first exposed to the wonderful world of Self Publishing. Over the years he has worked with thousands of authors and helped to produce, print and publish countless books.

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I worked with Jamie Howell at Steuben, editing, formatting, and printing my first book, Divine Ordinariness. She did a superb job offering ideas that truly enhanced the final product. Sharp, responsive, creative, and quick processionals, a pleasure to work with. Jamie even stopped the press to make a major revision when I got midstream deal-breaker feedback and had to rework the project. Steuben is the way to go for fine quality service. Thanks a lot, Steuben.

– Catherine Scott, Evergreen, CO