Earlier this month the Apple iBookstore launched Breakout Books, a new category of the online store which features self- and independently-published books. Although the iBookstore has always accepted self-published titles, Breakout Books highlights the increasing market share of the independent author and gives added support in terms of marketing and promotion.
To give an idea of just how big a slice of the eBook market self-publishers have currently, self-publishing platform Smashwords provides some metrics. Of the 120,000 self-published eBook titles that Smashwords distributes to Apple, an average of 1 million ebooks (free and priced) have been downloaded per week since Christmas 2012. Smashwords is but one of many self-publishing platforms that distributes to Apple – Lulu, Ingram, and Bookwire are other examples – which means that the average of 1 million downloads per week for self-published titles is actually a conservative estimate.
As the Big 6 consolidate and diminish, the avenues to the publishing market broaden. But without the mighty marketing arm of a major publishing house, how can one author or title stand out in a sea of independents? The answer is: by leveraging today’s publishing technology to its fullest extent. The Breakout Books collection at the iBookstore won’t make your eBook a New York Times Bestseller overnight (…sorry). But it will make your eBook accessible to an audience that was otherwise unreachable to you before.