5 Self-Publishing Trends to Keep You Ahead of the Game in 2018

With the increasing capabilities of the Internet, self-publishing becomes more possible for aspiring writers every year. 

Sp 005 5 self publishing trends to look out for in 2018

And with good reason — not only does self-publishing allow you to work within your own timeline with complete creative control, but it could allow you more royalties without having to pay publishing fees

If you've been flirting with the idea of self-publishing your next work, there's no time better than now. Read on to stay ahead of the curb with these 5 upcoming self-publishing trends in 2018.

Minimalist Design

When it comes to book design in 2018, less is more. The name of the game is finding creative ways to use as little as possible. 

When designing and formatting your book, keep your colors neutral with high contrast and clean cut lines. White space is welcome! 

Book designer Oliver Munday advises mastering minimalist design by doing the following:

  • Don't be afraid to step out of the box: Imitation isn't always key. When it comes to book design, the more unique the better. 
  • Experiment with typography: Try out multiple fonts and font combinations. 
  • Minimalist doesn't mean easy: Be prepared to put a lot of thought into your design and formatting. 
  • Let your heart be the guide in choosing colors: There's no formula for the per-fect color palette for your book. Turn off the critic inside and let your instinct decide. 
  • Be sure to still communicate a message: Minimalist artwork can still convey a message. Be sure yours does, too.
  • Plan your idea longer than designing it: Focus on a plan for a concept and the design will come more easily than you think. 

Screen Fatigue Increasing Print Sales

2018 could be the year when bookstore nay-sayers eat their words.

Screen fatigue is becoming more common as we spend more time staring at screens. All that screen time is plaguing us with more than a handful of physical and mental symptoms. As a result, e-book sales have dropped by 17% since 2011.

While declining in popularity, the e-book market isn't one to ignore. Your best bet to succeed in every market is to publish your works both electronically (including audio-books) and through traditional print

Self-Published Authors Doubling as Marketing Machines

Orna Ross, founder of the Alliance of Independent Authors predicts more authors will be building all-encompassing brands by taking on all aspects of the book writing, publishing, and marketing. 

To build your brand and tell your story as an author, the first step is a killer author website. Once you've got that rolling with killer content, it's time to make a plan of attack and determine which hats you'll be wearing and which positions you may need help with:

  1. Create a budget: You're going to have to take on a few initial costs to get your book rolling. Budget for the following, and compare it to your potential earnings to make sure the journey will be worth it for you:
    1. Editing and proofreading services
    2. Images
    3. Graphic design (if you would rather hire someone)
    4. Marketing: social media campaigns, website, printing, etc. 
    5. An author's page on main book platforms like Amazon and Goodreads
  2. Choose user friendly distribution platforms: This will save you a lot of headaches when trying to format your book and allow you to focus less time on formatting and more on marketing. 
  3. Write a draft: This can take months or years depending on the extent of the project. Be sure to get reader input here and there, but not too much so you forget your purpose for writing it in the first place! 
  4. Assemble a team: You're going to need back up for a big project like this. Find a graphic artist, editor, and marketing help within your budget. 
  5. Get reviews: Just because you're an unknown author doesn't mean people aren't interested in reading and reviewing your books. Follow these steps to build a buzz:
    1. Identify the ideal reader for your book
    2. Find large groups of them in online forums
    3. Find their social media sites
    4. Prepare a list to reach out to
  6. Design a cover: You can choose to hire a designer, or do it yourself if you're a tight budget. Remember to keep the concept minimalist, bold, and thematic. 
  7. Promote, market and distribute: Now's the time to create a marketing plan. Be sure to include all outlets including your website, face-to-face opportunities and social media.

More Author Collaboration

More and more authors may be co-writing books in 2018. 

Authors who plan on distributing a novel every couple years find collaboration is a good way to save time by fleshing out the initial concepts and tones and having someone else tidy it up.

Another good reason to co-write is cross promotion. If you come across a market you haven't yet breached and wish to, co-writing with an established author in that field can help you get a foot in the door. 

To stand out from competition (as well as avoid lawsuits), be sure to do the following when choosing a co-author:

  • How open are you both to critiques? You'll both need to be prepared for input. 
  • How will work be divided? Be sure you both have realistic expectations about how much work you'll each take on. 
  • What are your non-negotiables? Where will you draw the line if boundaries are crossed?

More Indie Authors 

2018 may be the year of self-publishing. More and more authors are turning to self-publishing to get their work out into the world, and for many it's paying off.

As of January 2016, indie authors account for 40% of all Amazon e-book sales, with 27% on the bestseller list. And the more indie authors learn to out-market larger publishers, the more the stigma about self-publishing begins to dissipate. 

Feeling a little overwhelmed over all the roles a self-published author needs to wear? You have the backup you need! Let us take the nitty gritty like printing, binding, and cover design off your hands>

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.

Flight cover

After a disappointing proof of my labor-intensive and much loved manuscript from another printer, I decided to try Steuben Press. Based on recommendations from many of my publishing team who are all members of the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA), I submitted my book to Adam and his staff.

Their proof was perfect! The illustrations were crisp, the print clear, and the construction high quality. But the cover! Absolutely beautiful and softly glossed, Steuben's production added depth to the colors and popped the fine design by my cover artist. My book shimmers on the shelf!

Now I sell only Steuben's copies by hand and feel confident that my readers are receiving the best product reflecting my years of effort and passion for my subject.

– Sunny Weber, Denver, CO