Self-Publishing in 2020

We are writing more and more books. A million books were self-published in the U.S in 2017, against less than a hundred thousand in 2008. 88.5% of those books are printed.

Let's consider each book in 2017 has been published by exactly one author. That's 0.003% of the U.S population. How could we double, decuple, or centuple this number?

First, we'd need more people developing a consistent writing habit. Even if you just write 100 words a day, it will amount to 36,500 words over the span of a year. After editing, that would be enough to write a novella, a short non-fiction book, or a Master thesis.

Then, we would have to find a way to decrease the barriers to entry. Self-published authors can spend thousands of dollars on random things, like copy editing, proofreading, cover design, or marketing: writing a book is not much different from launching a whole business, and most people just don't have the time, money, and energy to spare.

Third, even if you manage to publish, there is a high probability you won't make a living from it. Even if the sales of audiobooks have doubled between 2014 and 2017, ebook revenues have shrunk from 1.6 billion dollars to 1 billion dollars over the same period of time: on average, most books don't go past the hundred sales milestone in their entire shelf life. Most books can't go past the ambient noise, and self-published authors are forced to turn into marketers to make ends meet.

Publishing remains a billion-dollar industry, but it's waiting to be disrupted. This is why I'm introducing a new digital product tomorrow to help with that.