According to the old adage, “Everything old is new again.” When we reviewed our ten most popular self-publishing blog posts of the last decade, we noticed that the page views for the blog reflect the issues that consistently concern authors no matter what the year: typesetting, getting your book to lie flat, and how exactly does this whole self-publishing thing work anyhow? We included one post in our list that technically is from the previous decade, but which took flight in 2019 as authors became more concerned with making their books as competitive as possible: The Importance of Editing.

The rest of our top ten list—including the number one blog post by far in terms of page views with a whopping 45,000 views—reflects two major shifts in the indie publishing ecosystem in 2018/2019. The first was the closing of CreateSpace. Amazon, who owned CreateSpace, consolidated its offerings to authors; they closed their publishing services division, which had provided authors with editing and book design. They then added paperbacks to Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing so that both eBooks and paperbacks were united under one digital and print-on-demand platform as a conduit to selling books on Amazon. Once the transition was complete, CreateSpace was closed.

Of course, mass confusion ensued. We tried to keep our authors up to date with the latest news and tips on what to do next. Posts included what the closing of CreateSpace meant to authors, whether to publish on KDP or CreateSpace (when choosing between the two was still an option), and the difference between KDP and IngramSpark.

Two years on, What the Shuttering of CreateSpace’s Services for Authors Means to You remains a very popular post. Why? We imagine the conversation must go something like this:

Author 1: How did you self-publish your book?

Author 2: Oh, I used CreateSpace! They self-publish for free!

Author 1: (Googles CreateSpace and finds our top-ranked blog post saying CreateSpace closed. Calls 1106 Design. Finds out self-publishing isn’t free. Goes back to Author 2.)

Author 2: Oh, I self-published my book in 2017…

Author 1: @#$$@#!

Which brings me to the second trend: Indie Publishing versus Self-Publishing. Ever ahead of our time, we’ve spent much of the last decade “preaching” to authors about the importance of creating a professional book that can compete with the best-sellers. The term “indie author” was gaining traction in 2016, and we wanted to let authors know they could take their book to an even higher level by thinking like an “indie publisher,” someone who:

… treats the book publishing project as a serious business and not just a hobby. The author is the CEO of their own indie publishing company, with the book as the product. The indie publisher does the research into the book market and the genre in which the book will compete, setting the book up to compete successfully in the marketplace…The indie publisher asks, “What are my options, which option achieves my desired outcome, and how much does that option cost?”

Reflecting the trend towards “Self-Publishing 3.0,” a term coined by the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), authors are increasingly interested in thinking like indie publishers rather than indie authors or self-published authors. It’s a trend we don’t see ending any time soon, and we’re excited to see what comes next.

Without further ado, here are the top ten 1106 Design self-publishing blog posts of the past decade:

  1. What the Shuttering of CreateSpace’s Services for Authors Means to You (January 2018, Updated as news became available)
  2. Indie Publishing versus Self-publishing: The rise of the indie author (September 2016)
  3. How to Typeset a Book (January 2016)
  4. 8 Ways to Make a Book Lay Flat (September 2017)
  5. What Is the Difference Between IngramSpark and Kindle Direct Publishing? (March 2019)
  6. 3 Ways to Sell Books from Your Author Website (May 2017)
  7. The Importance of Editing (January 2009, updated July 2019)
  8. How to Self-Publish a Book in 7 Steps (February 2018)
  9. Publish on KDP or CreateSpace: Where to Self-publish Your Paperback (July 2018)
  10. How to Set Up Your Amazon and Author Book Pages (March 2016, updated April 2019)

Any predictions as to what our top ten blog posts might be at the end of 2029? There are many more blogs to come in the next decade. Make sure not to miss out on the information, tips and trends posted here on the 1106 Design blog by subscribing to our bi-weekly Publish Like the Pros newsletter.