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About

Founded in 2011, BookBaby has grown to become the nation’s leading self-publishing company. We’re dedicated to making your journey from writer to published author as easy as possible. From first-timers to veterans, novelists to photographers, we’ve helped many thousands prove that it doesn’t take a traditional publishing deal to bring ...

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Publicist
Ben Michaels
812 339 1195 x 204

Current News

  • 01/05/201801/05/2018

A Maturing Market: BookBaby Invests in Indie Authors as Self-Publishing Comes into its Own

One of the biggest transformations of a creative industry has happened slowly but surely, without a great deal of media attention: the rise of the indie author and the ongoing shift of high-caliber writers away from traditional publishing constraints. No longer the realm of vanity presses or low-quality works, self-publishing has matured into a thriving market supporting writers and changing the way people approach books.

 

BookBaby has played a quiet but instrumental role in shaping...

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News

01/05/2018, A Maturing Market: BookBaby Invests in Indie Authors as Self-Publishing Comes into its Own
01/05/201801/05/2018, A Maturing Market: BookBaby Invests in Indie Authors as Self-Publishing Comes into its Own
Announcement
01/05/2018
Announcement
01/05/2018
BookBaby has facilitated the rise of the indie author and the ongoing shift of high-caliber writers away from traditional publishing constraints. No longer the realm of vanity presses or low-quality works, self-publishing has matured into a thriving market supporting writers and changing the way people approach books. MORE» More»

One of the biggest transformations of a creative industry has happened slowly but surely, without a great deal of media attention: the rise of the indie author and the ongoing shift of high-caliber writers away from traditional publishing constraints. No longer the realm of vanity presses or low-quality works, self-publishing has matured into a thriving market supporting writers and changing the way people approach books.

 

BookBaby has played a quiet but instrumental role in shaping this new space, offering best-in-class services and products to aspiring and already established authors, in the hopes of creating a new cadre of writer-entrepreneurs. To do this, the company has invested heavily in expanding its offerings and improving its services, whether that means buying new printing presses or finding a team of experienced editors ready to help.

 

“We have confirmed over and over again that there are no shortcuts to success,” says Steven Spatz, BookBaby CEO. “Readers need to be unable to differentiate between a release from a major publisher and an indie. If the indie product doesn’t match the expected quality of a major release, it’s DOA. While others come to the market with a new gimmick promising a ‘fast lane to self-publishing success,’ BookBaby has been investing in itself and delivering the real quality products and services that indie authors need to be successful in the marketplace.”

 

There is a great deal of craft in creating a compelling book, be it an ebook or a coffee table-ready hardcover. BookBaby has human designers and coders on staff, a team dedicated to creating high-quality products for authors of all kinds. “Automation simply doesn’t deliver, as you can see by looking at the covers and books produced in this way,” explains Spatz. “Publishers are racing to the bottom and flooding the market with cheap, poorly printed and bound books.” BookBaby in contrast has invested millions adding the latest and greatest printing presses and binding equipment, including a state-of-the-art printing press to ensure consistent quality and fastest possible turnaround. “We like to think a traditionally published book might look like a self-published book sitting on a shelf next to a BookBaby printed book,” Spatz smiles.

 

Cutting costs has been a strategy many companies, both established players and newcomers, have employed when faced with the digital transition. BookBaby sees it differently. The company has insisted on keeping support staff on site, not offshoring them and converting them into high-pressure sales teams the way self-publishers did in the recent past. It has created direct sales channels with royalties higher than other platforms, paying authors promptly and teaching authors to engage personally with readers to further boost sales. The personal touch extends to everything BookBaby does: “Even if you published your book with BookBaby in 2010, you can still ring us up today to speak to our helpful staff about it.”

 

This commitment to service and the long view show how far self-publishing has come, from questionable (or even deceptive) practices to full-fledged and flourishing business. “From our perspective, the moral of the story is there are no shortcuts to success,” concludes Spatz. “BookBaby invests in putting our authors in the best position possible to sell their books. Many of them see success: every month we proudly pay authors hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalties for their book sales. We help indie authors look like the big guys, and it works.”

 
Announcement
01/05/2018

12/07/2017, A Better BookShop: BookBaby Adds New Features to its Online Book Purchasing Pages to Boost Direct-to-Reader Sales
12/07/201712/07/2017, A Better BookShop: BookBaby Adds New Features to its Online Book Purchasing Pages to Boost Direct-to-Reader Sales
Announcement
12/07/2017
Announcement
12/07/2017
BookShop is part of BookBaby’s growing suite of services and events for independent authors who want to thrive. With several updated features to BookShop, BookBaby authors can now do everything from create banner ads to lead directly to their BookShop, to offer discounts and curate reviews. MORE» More»

BookBaby, the self-publishing powerhouse, wants indie authors to connect directly to readers--and to keep more of their sales revenue in the process. To this end, the service’s long-standing BookShop just rolled out a series of key upgrades, giving writers even more flexibility in how to market and present their books.

“We wanted to expand the ways authors can reach their readership and market their books,” explains Steven Spatz, BookBaby CEO. “While other platforms and retail outlets can be very important to an author’s career and income, selling directly to fans is one of the best ways to build a meaningful career as a writer-entrepreneur.”

BookBaby authors can now do everything from create banner ads to lead directly to their BookShop, to offer discounts and curate reviews. The visual presentation has gotten a serious, mobile-friendly revamp as well. “BookShop is a retail landing page that you, the author, control,” notes Dan Baker, BookBaby’s head of marketing. “It’s also more visually appealing than the big online retail sites and lacks the clutter that might distract readers from engaging with and purchasing your books.”

Another key element: Authors keep significantly more per sale via BookShop, almost twice as much for printed books and three times as much for ebooks. And unlike some retailers, BookShop’s Print-on-Demand approach means books are always in stock and ready to ship to happy readers no matter how high the demand. BookShop is a free part of every BookBaby author’s publishing experience.

 

BookShop’s new features

Coupons and discounts allow authors more control and flexibility in their marketing and enable them to trace where sales are coming from.

New eye-catching layouts: “We’ve created new easy-to-use, templates and themes in order for authors to easily match the design aesthetic of their book,” Baker explains. “Plus, with our new responsive templates, BookShop will look as good on a mobile device as it does on a desktop computer.”

Author-approved book reviews: Select reviews help guide readers and increase discoverability. “Authors can encourage readers to review directly on their BookShop site, which will boost their page in search engine ranking and sales,” says Baker.

Embeddable banner links lead readers from author’s websites to their BookShop pages—where they can earn more money than anywhere else.

“See Inside”: BookBaby has added this popular feature that prompts more sales

Showcase your other book titles: Authors can let readers know your prequels, sequels, and other series.

 

BookShop is part of BookBaby’s growing suite of services and events for independent authors who want to thrive. “As self-publishing matures, and more and more high-quality books are being published this way, authors need an expanded toolkit to grow audiences and benefit from their work,” Spatz notes. “We’re working to make BookShop an attractive and effective place to do this.” 

Announcement
12/07/2017

11/18/2017, Self-publishing comes into its own w/ BookBaby 1st Independent Authors Conference
11/18/201711/18/2017, Self-publishing comes into its own w/ BookBaby 1st Independent Authors Conference
Announcement
11/18/2017
Announcement
11/18/2017
More than three hundred fifty authors and speakers converged in Philadelphia in early November, for what is the only event focusing on how to run a publishing business. MORE» More»

BookBaby’s first Independent Author Conference demonstrated something the self-publishing services hub has been arguing for years: Self-publishing has come into its own, and there are droves of authors committed to making successful careers, not merely printing vanity books.
 

More than three hundred fifty authors and speakers converged in Philadelphia in early November, for what is the only event focusing on how to run a publishing business. In contrast to other conferences, the emphasis lay on how to create and market books. “There are plenty of opportunities to master the writing craft,” explains BookBaby CEO Steven Spatz. “There are almost no places where an author can get the business skills she needs to thrive commercially.”

These skills are essential in an era that finds the traditional publishers in profound disarray. Most authors find their own success first, be it in business or on a YouTube channel, before a large publisher will consider taking them on.

Authors gained insights in the areas of publishing crucial to book promotion and audience discovery. Sessions on platform-specific marketing approaches, branding, publicity, and book design were among the highlights, teaching participants to think like publishers.

These authors included a strikingly diverse group of writers and creators, from former hedge fund managers to photographers, from former aid workers in Sub-Saharan Africa to Christian creativity coaches. (More than a third of authors who use BookBaby write from Christian perspectives or address Christian themes.)

Hear more from authors and indie publishers here.

I love what BookBaby has created here,” enthuses speaker and author of Book Breakthrough Elizabeth Marshall. “They are really helping authors not just to get their book out there in an excellent way, but showing them that strategic pathway to have staying power, which is what I care about very much.”

“We really didn’t know what to expect when we started planning this conference,” reflects Spatz. “We discovered that authors really responded to the ideas and tools we were offering them. We’ve given them a path forward, to turn from a writer into an author, on their own terms.”

“The most empowering thing I learned from the conference and from this community is believing in yourself. Not really needing an okay from somebody else; knowing that your work is okay,” explains conference attendee and Louisiana-based writer V. Harris. “So I got that, and that was worth the conference cost.”

 
Announcement
11/18/2017

10/05/2017, Build a Better Book: Indie Publishing Thought Leader and Book Designer Joel Friedlander Teams up With BookBaby to Create Book Construction Blueprint
10/05/201710/05/2017, Build a Better Book: Indie Publishing Thought Leader and Book Designer Joel Friedlander Teams up With BookBaby to Create Book Construction Blueprint
Announcement
10/05/2017
Announcement
10/05/2017
Joel Friedlander has distilled his knowledge for authors into an ebook, exclusively available at BookBaby, "Book Construction Blueprint: Expert Advice for Creating Industry-Standard Print Books". Joel will be presenting at BookBaby’s first-ever Independent Authors Conference this November in Philadelphia. MORE» More»

Independent authors don’t just toss their works online anymore. They are increasingly learning to act as publishers when they decide how to design and print their books. And like publishers, they need to make sure their products are the best they can be.

Joel Friedlander knows just how important this is. With decades of experience as a book designer, he has been involved in nearly every aspect of creating beautiful, market-savvy physical books. He’s distilled his knowledge for authors into an ebook, exclusively available at BookBaby, Book Construction Blueprint: Expert Advice for Creating Industry-Standard Print Books.

The Blueprint examines each part of the book, explaining its logic and structure, which in turn influences each part of the book’s design. “I tried to bring all the writing I’ve done on book construction and offset printing to the table,” explains Friedlander. “Offset printing should be on the minds of every independent author. If you want to move past selling a couple dozen books, if you want to see your books with the widest possible distribution, you have to start thinking like someone who makes products. You’re need to put yourself in a “B2B” mindset. The Blueprint is designed to help authors understand how print books are put together. If you want to take the next step, it helps you do that.”

Friedlander is intimately familiar with the inner workings of books, as a designer, publisher, and prolific author. Friedlander’s blog, The Book Designer, sprang from two years of soul searching about how to best help today’s independent authors, and intensive freewriting. The blog became a hub for independent authors looking to understand exactly how to deal with issues as diverse as copyright and cover illustrations.

With more than 20,000 books published from his designs, Friedlander has grappled with all these topics extensively. “The consideration that guides me in my work and my writing is that from a design point of view, books are schizophrenic,” notes Friedlander. “The cover jumps and shouts, ‘Read me!’ Inside, the designer needs to get out of the way and let the author communicate with the reader, punctuated by open space to give the readers rest. Whatever else will suit that book, that fits its market niche and reaches its target audience, is the right design.”

Design and book production advice includes:

  • How to pick fonts for your book interiors and covers, including lots of free options
  • Why readers expect your books to be "industry-standard"
  • Step by step instructions for dealing with short-run offset book printers
  • Keys to understanding the "language of printing"
  • Almost 100 illustrations clarify many topics
  • Making the decision between print-on-demand and offset production
  • How to design details like running heads, text breaks, and indexes for your book
  • Expert tips on preparing your Word files for book production

“We’re thrilled to partner with Joel and to launch his latest book,” says Steven Spatz, BookBaby President. “Joel is a great example of a self publishing expert who pushes and encourages authors to take their publishing career seriously - just like we do at BookBaby.”

Friedlander is particularly excited about sharing the potential of offset with the independent publishing community. “There are lots of creative things offset printers can do that you can’t do any other way, like using different papers, incorporating etchings or engravings into your book, or adding gilt edges to pages. There are so many different ways to spark creative potential. I could go on all day!” Friedlander enthuses.

In the end, Friedlander has always had one hope in sharing his wisdom with fellow book makers: “I want people to produce better books.” The Blueprint lays out exactly how.

Friedlander will be presenting at BookBaby’s first-ever Independent Authors Conference this November in Philadelphia. The Blueprint is available here

Announcement
10/05/2017

09/05/2017, Indie Lit: The first-ever BookBaby Independent Authors Conference Launches in the Historic Publishing Hub of Philadelphia, PA
09/05/201709/05/2017, Indie Lit: The first-ever BookBaby Independent Authors Conference Launches in the Historic Publishing Hub of Philadelphia, PA
Announcement
09/05/2017
Announcement
09/05/2017
BookBaby is launching the first-ever 2017 BookBaby Independent Authors Conference. On November 3-5, 2017, independent authors from across the world will meet in the cradle of America’s book business, downtown Philadelphia, to learn about the publishing process, from first manuscript page to final marketing push. MORE» More»

BookBaby, the full-stack, independent author-focused self-publishing service, wants the world to know: There’s a whole universe of independent authors out there, many of them successful publishing entrepreneurs. These authors are creating their own ecosystems and audiences, reaching people in grassroots ways and by storming bestseller lists in major news outlets.

This new space demands new ideas and tactics, which is why BookBaby is launching the first-ever 2017 BookBaby Independent Authors Conference. On November 3-5, 2017, independent authors from across the world will meet in the cradle of America’s book business, downtown Philadelphia, to learn about the publishing process, from first manuscript page to final marketing push.

“This conference is shaping up to be one of the biggest self-publishing events of the year,” enthuses Steven Spatz, BookBaby CEO. “From a self-help author in Alaska to a sci-fi author in Nigeria, authors from all over the world are coming to Philly for a weekend of knowledge, growth, and lasting connections.”

The conference is focusing first and foremost on actionable advice that authors can implement the second they leave the workshop or panel. “Often, a meetup or conference can focus on pathways to traditional publishing deals, or on abstract, state-of-the-industry issues,” Spatz notes. “We want authors to come away empowered, connected, and excited to try new approaches to building a meaningful career as an independent author.”

Sessions will address crowdfunding and other ways to finance your book project, how to craft a spot-on blurb, how to market online, how to find and use book reviews, and how to figure out who exactly a book’s audience might be. Self-published New York Times bestselling authors will discuss their journeys, and industry veterans will give writing and marketing advice, gleaned from decades in the business.

The event is geared toward authors, but offers others interested in the industry a substantial overview of the state of self-publishing, a field that has shifted at lightning speed. “The indie market is a global phenomenon, and it’s growing by leaps and bounds year over year,” says Spatz. “It’s shaping traditional publishing, while offering a real alternative for writers who want to do things their way.”

What can attendees expect?


Meet the speakers

  • Scott Bilker
  • Lucy Briggs
  • Rochelle Carter
  • Hope Clark
  • Nancy Erickson
  • Grant Faulkner
  • Joel Friedlander
  • Janet Goldstein
  • Shelley Hitz
  • Carolyn Howard-Johnson
  • Dana Kaye
  • Carla King
  • Elizabeth Marshall
  • Patricia Moosbrugger
  • Ally Nathaniel
  • Eva Lesko Natiello
  • Sandra Poirier Smith
  • Miral Sattar
  • Steven Spatz
  • Brooke Warner

Independent authors can purchase their tickets here: sites.grenadine.co/sites/rps/en/bookbaby

About BookBaby: BookBaby makes self-publishing easy: From book printingeBooks, distribution, cover design, and now editing. Since 2011, we’ve helped thousands realize their publishing goals, backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

BookBaby creates and distributes your printed books and eBooks to the largest distribution network, including Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and many other popular retailers worldwide. You’ll keep 100% of your book’s net sales, and retain all rights and creative control.

Best of all, you can call us at 1-877-961-6878 and talk through the process with a real human being–a fellow writer who’s invested in the success of your book.

Announcement
09/05/2017