After COVID-19, will more writers choose to self-publish?

By   Hannah Bickerton 2 min read

whitefox: helping brands, thought leaders and writers create beautiful bespoke books

After COVID-19, will more writers choose to self-publish?

The past three months have brought about many changes, personally, professionally and of course, politically. If this period of lockdown were to be summed up, we’re sure words like ‘uncertainty’, ‘isolation’ and ‘technology’ would be used. Here at whitefox we’re wondering what long-term effects this ‘new normal’, and the lifestyle changes it brings, will have on the publishing industry, and whether it will impact the number of people choosing to self-publish. 

Taking (digital) control

If you were on the technophobe scale of digital know-how before this pandemic, chances are things have changed. With over four months of maintaining professional and personal relationships via Zoom, Houseparty, Slack and many more digital platforms, the country’s collective tech knowledge has seen a sharp increase. Where once you may have been cautious uploading an ebook to Kindle Direct Publishing or signing into ACX to enter your audiobook metadata, now that sort of task might just be a breeze.

Going it alone… for the most part

For those who live alone or are working from home, self-motivation and independence have been key; we have collectively learned how to operate without structures in place and are now emerging from this time with more self-sufficiency and confidence. With the decision to self-publish comes creative control; the ability to make editorial, design and distribution decisions that traditional publishing does not offer. We haven’t been hand-held throughout the pandemic, so why should we continue letting someone else make the creative decisions?

A radical change

At such a pivotal time in history, and with growing distrust for those in control, people are looking for more unconventional ways of doing things; there is growing momentum behind new systems based on collective care and community. Self-publishing, like indie record labels, is a radical and innovative model. While publishing traditionally may stamp a recognisable logo on your book, when you self-publish you are in control of the timeline, the process and the results. 

Staying ahead of the (economic) curve 

As national headlines predict economic disaster, businesses and individuals are working to create long-term, cost-effective products. If the last four months have taught us anything, it’s that people will never stop buying books, and with self-published books offering up to 100 per cent royalties, there’s never been a better time for your business or brand to consider investing in the upfront costs to create a book that could be paying out for the foreseeable future. 

The future is uncertain, but through all climates books continue to offer escape, distraction and entertainment. Self-publishing is just one publication model among many, but here at whitefox we have confidence that a model that offers creative control and provides a good financial return will see growing interest as everyone adapts to the new way of living in a post-COVID-19 world.

Hannah Bickerton
Hannah Bickerton
Hannah has worked in marketing for nine years, specialising in strategy development for start-ups and EdTech companies. Having recently jumped across industries to join the Whitefox team, Hannah isn’t a complete stranger to the publishing world with previous employment at Macmillan and TES Global. She is now dedicated to ensuring that anyone who has something interesting to say knows all about whitefox.