Publishing companies used to pay very low royalties to authors - usually only 10% or less. But self publishing means authors can reap all the profits themselves. And producing ebooks means 100% profit. And it's not just authors who are enjoying the ebook revolution. Readers too now have access to millions more books, and with ereaders, they can travel the world and take their whole library of books with them everywhere they go. Many authors have now become self published millionaires and the list is still growing. Read on to find out how you can join them.
Not too long ago, it was so difficult to become a published author.
Because the only kinds of books there used to be were printed books. And not only that - these books were produced in print runs of tens of thousands of copies at a time which meant that only the big publishing companies could afford to print them.
And with only an estimated one in every fifty thousand manuscripts submitted being published, most authors could only dream about working as a full-time writer.
Then along came POD publishing.
This was a real revolution for indie authors. Now books could be Printed On Demand. This freed up authors because they were able to publish all their own books and only print a copy when it was ordered.
At the time, many people poo-pooed the idea of self publishing this way and warned that allowing so many authors to publish their own books would lead to a flood of low-quality writing hitting the book store shelves.
They said the reading public would never embrace it.
But they did.
More and more online bookstores began to appear because now they didn't need to stock books anymore.
With Print On Demand they could just order a book whenever a customer made a purchase.
Then self publishing became even more exciting.
Along came ebooks and the new eBook reading devices.
This meant that not only could authors publish their own books, they could do it all electronically over the internet, with no shipping fees or packing of books required.
And if you're an author, I don't need to tell you how much this revolutionized the whole publishing industry and lead to some publishing companies going out of business and thousands of bricks and mortar stores all across the world closing down.
Finally authors were free to write and publish all their books all the time.
Gone was the need to send out manuscripts to publishing companies or employ expensive editors to ensure your work was "worthy" of publication.
Self publishing is popular with authors because of the ease and speed at which they can publish their books, and also because of the increased profit from every sale.
Publishing companies used to pay very low royalties to authors - usually only 10% or less.
But self publishing means authors can reap all the profits themselves. And producing ebooks means 100% profit.
And it's not just authors who are enjoying the eBook revolution.
Readers too now have access to millions more books, and with ereaders, they can travel the world and take their whole library of books with them everywhere they go.
Many authors have now become self published millionaires and the list is still growing.
Amanda Hocking published only a small number of her novels for the Amazon Kindle™ and as sales increased she soon found herself earning half a million dollars a month.
John Locke also published his novels as Kindle ebooks and in less than 9 months had sold over a million books.
He then went on to publish another book called "How I Sold 1 Million Ebooks in 5 Months." And there have been plenty of other success stories too including H P Mallory, Lee Goldberg and J A Konrath, just to name a few.
And you don't have to publish for the Kindle to have success with self publishing.
There are also people like Jim Edwards, Joe Vitale and others who make a success publishing their own ebooks on their own websites.
It is estimated that there are now more indie authors than those with traditional publishing contracts.
For years now there have been indie musicians successfully producing music without a big recording company behind them.
Yet for some reason it was always frowned upon for indie authors to produce a book without a big publishing company behind them.
Thankfully all that has changed and indie authors are now the heroes of the publishing world, producing more book titles on a mass scale than any publishing company has ever done.
It used to be the cost of printing thousands of books at once (plus the lack of storage space) that stopped authors publishing their own work.
But now, not only is it very cheap to publish a book, it can even be done for free.
For instance, you can publish your book on Amazon as a Kindle eBook or on Smashwords.com as an eBook and neither would cost you any money upfront. Both companies charge a fee for each book sold and pay you the rest.
And these are not the only places you can publish your eBook for free.
You could also set up a free blog with a company such as Blogger, which is owned by Google, and sell your book from there too, although they don't give you any online storage space to upload your ebook to, but you can market it from there.
On the other hand, if you have lots of money to spare, you could hire a self publishing company to do the work for you.
These companies have a range of services to help you publish your book and some will even design a book cover for you and produce a POD print edition of your book too.
But, be warned: These publishing services come at a hefty price and can cost as much as $10,000.
However, for that price you can get everything done for you so all you have to do is write your next book.
But don't Forget to Market. Marketing is the most important part of self publishing because if people don't know your book is there, they won't buy it.
But marketing a book isn't the hassle that it used to be.
Authors used to spend months traipsing round book stores to do author signings.
They also had to do radio and magazine interviews constantly.
And when they weren't doing all this, they were sending out press releases to try and drum up more interest in their book, which means they weren't spending much time writing.
Now, instead of book signing tours, you can do virtual book tours via the internet. So now you don't even have to leave home.
And the best part of marketing online is that it can be done for free.
About the Author: Ruth Barringham, from Brisbane Australia, is the publisher of Writeaholics, the inspirational website for writers and authors. Go to http://writeaholics.net and sign up for her free newsletter for writers. See all her books and ebooks at http://cheritonhousepublishing.com.