Category: News

Brexit: 5 Benefits for Self-Publishing Authors

BREXIT- 5 Ways it Could Benefit Self-Publishing Authors (4)

Brexit is not what the book industry wanted.  “The Bookseller’s surveys have shown the book trade was overwhelmingly against ‘Brexit’ and pro-Europe, as were its heartlands of London, Edinburgh, Oxford and Bath.” In fact, the final figures showed that 78% of the publishing industry supported remain. Nevertheless, Brexit is what we have been dealt and now we must work out what exactly it could mean for us, this industry and, of course, you the authors.

Although it’s early days, we’ve analysed the situation and it seems clear that Brexit will affect the traditional publishing industry much more than self-publishing authors. Being larger and more expensive, operational machines are more exposed than individual authors, who can be nimble and react quickly. Below we share our thoughts on some of the ways this could work to a self-publisher’s advantage:

5 Ways Brexit Could Benefit Self-Publishing Authors

1, Traditional publishers and agents will be taking on less, so there’s now more room for self-published authors.

As history shows us, in times of financial uncertainty the big publishers stick to tried and tested publishing formulas. They will be looking for low-risk projects, such as those with celebrity authors or authors with a big marketing platform already (expect more diet / lifestyle books from Instagram stars). This creates opportunities for self-published authors who have written something a bit niche or literary, as the chances are they will find competition from the big publishers greatly reduced in their area. Reviewers and bloggers in their niche may well find they are receiving fewer books, so it will be easier for these authors to make a splash.

2, A stronger dollar means UK authors will make more from US sales.

While both the euro and the pound are pretty unhealthy, the dollar is getting stronger, as it seems like a safe haven in this sea of turmoil. In simple terms, selling a book for $15 in January 2016 would have been the equivalent of £10; where as a $15 sale is worth £11.50 today (July 2016). This means you can either reap the rewards of a higher GBP royalty per US sale, or you can afford to do a price promotion to make the dollar price more attractive/competitive to US readers, whilst still making the same net profit in GBP. This is a great time to promote your book in the US. Experiment with flash sales, summer reads promotions etc. It’s also a good time to give some (more) US bloggers copies of your books and start to get noticed over there.

3, Amazon, where the majority of self-published authors make most of their money, is likely to become more important.

There are many successful authors, such as Rachel Abbott, who make so much on Amazon they don’t even bother trying to sell anywhere else. As a global giant, Amazon is better positioned to weather the storm and a British independent bookshop, so it is likely that Amazon will come out on top. Whilst this is sad for our high street, most self-published authors sell relatively few copies through high street shops, compared to the online giant.

4, Publishers will find their international bulk printing more expensive but self-publishing authors who use print-on-demand will be relatively unaffected.

Traditional publishers often print in Asia and have books shipped over. This will now become more expensive because of the weak pound. Some traditional publishers print in Eastern Europe, as it is cheaper than the UK but quicker than Asia. That could now be affected by import tariffs, which may increase the cost. However, self-publishing authors who use print-on-demand platforms, such as Create Space and Ingram Spark, will escape relatively unscathed. Ordering books from Create Space may become slightly more expensive because they price in dollars.

5, Big publishers will scale back, leaving more talented freelancers for the indie community.

While big publishers will be looking at how to survive with mergers and redundancies, self-publishing authors will remain unaffected and can carry on focussing on writing and selling books. In fact, the big publishers cutting their payroll bill will result in more talented freelancers for the indie community. This is great news for us, as we tend to work with lots of designers, proofreaders and typesetters etc. who have been trained up in the big publishing houses.

All entrepreneurs and authorpreneurs will find a way to use current market conditions to their advantage – that’s what makes them able to rise when others fall. Be smart, be nimble and be prepared… good luck!

The Dragon’s Blade Wins Cover Design Award


Here’s another reason to celebrate this Christmas, one of our debut fantasy authors, Michael Miller, has just won a prestigious Gold Star Cover Design Award in the monthly TheBookDesigner.Com awards. The awards were set up by Joel Friedlander, an established book cover designer with experience in book design, advertising and graphic design, to highlight and champion best practice in self-published cover design. Every month, he gets lots of submissions, and in addition to going through them all, picking winners and handing out stars, he takes the time to give personal and professional feedback on some of the best designs.

the dragon's bladeIf you haven’t seen the awards yet, then have a look here. If you are thinking of ideas for the cover of your next book, then it’s a good idea to keep an eye on these awards to see what works and what doesn’t. When assessing The Dragon’s Blade by Michael Miller, Joel said “It’s a gorgeous design with great typography…”.

From rough sketch to award-winner

The cover design evolved from a black and white pencil sketch that the author put together. This was then passed over to our designer who enhanced, coloured and embellished the humble drawing to create something spectacular. Our designer also chose a really great font that suited the image very well. Crucially, despite being quite an intricate hand-drawn design, the image still works very well at thumbnail size (as it will appear on Amazon and other retailers).

Michael explains, “We sought a modern fantasy design for this cover – one that would covey the sense of the genre immediately whilst not being a dated looking illustration or include a character. The Dragon’s Blade, on the cover, can summon forth fire and this element is included in the design to enhance it’s impact.”

We are delighted with the results, the image looks just as good on an eReader as it does on the paperback edition.cover design award

If you would like to find out more about how our design process works, check out our design page here. Or if you would like some suggestions on what sort of cover design would be right for your project, then book in for a free self-publishing consultation right here.

Book Design Awards Open to Self-Publishers

British Book Design and Production Awards

The British Book Design and Production Awards have introduced a category for self-published books. New for 2015, the introduction of the award for Self-Published Book is described as ‘a chance to celebrate and congratulate authors who have worked tirelessly to create their own ‘story’ and made it happen.’ We’re thrilled to see the Book Awards acknowledge the hard work and determination of self-published authors, and join the growing list of literary awards and prestigious publications to recognise exceptional self-published works.

The relaunch of the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award last month came with the welcome announcement that it will for the first time consider self-published works. Throughout 2014, the Guardian awarded its self-published book of the month award to 7 self-published UK authors. Slowly but surely, the landscape of publishing is changing. As the importance of excellent writing and thoughtful, original ideas begins to conquer the prejudice against self-publishing, self-published works are being recognised more and more for their value.

The chances for self-published authors to be acclaimed for their work will only continue to grow as more brilliant authors choose to embrace self-publishing. Don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity to receive recognition for your books. Submit your books for consideration (or encourage your self-publishing friends to!) for Self-Published Book or any other award at this year’s British Book Design and Production Awards. Entries must be published, designed, typeset, printed or bound by the entrant in the UK, with the exception of the Best British Book category, which can be entered only with books produced entirely in the UK. Acorn’s own Karen Healy Wallace was shortlisted for Best British Book in 2014 for her outstanding novel The Perfect Capital. Your book could be next – good luck!