Standing Out in the Digital Bookshelf

Nowadays, in a world for which products of any kind can be increasingly sold online, there are numerous ways to publish and sell a book in the digital world. With all of the benefits available to aspiring authors, such as multiple ways to publish their works and get their books out into the market, self-publishing and traditional publishing alike can be attractive to indie authors in their own respective ways. However, there are some difficult-to-navigate parts of this market as well. For example, being distinguishable among the sea of other indie authors. Authors must seek every means to get noticed and to stand out. The quality of the work is increasingly more important in order to be successful and overcome competition; so is developing an effective way of marketing that will establish a loyal reader base.

One of the biggest struggles, nowadays, as an independent author, a writer who publishes his work without the help of an established press, is attracting attention to their work in the severe competition of the self-publishing market. According to Ilmiolibro, a self-publishing platform, the idea behind the concept of this model of publishing online was born to find a new suitable model for the digital world. These digital authors are responsible for their own producing, editing, marketing and the distribution behind the books they write.

A quality product is crucial for an indie author. There are three basic factors: editing, layout, and cover. Editing refers to the quality of the text, having to do with revision and rewriting, and every book must be written without any mistakes. Attention to the layout is especially important with the spread of eBooks and has highlighted problems with editing. Having scattered images, blank pages and other inaccuracies happen often enough, and can be annoying and make the reader want to stop reading. Obviously, this hurts the effort to stand out in a good way, and gain a reader base. Perhaps the most important part is the cover. The cover is the business card of a book, as it is the first thing the reader’s eye lands on, and it must convince the readers that the book is different and worth it. Importantly, the cover cannot be done roughly if an indie author wants to stand out and to have success in the digital world. The idiom, “don’t judge a book by its cover” doesn’t apply to digital and self-publishing, as it is often the only thing that a reader looks at, before moving on.

This model has also made the interaction between the author and readers easier because through the new platforms it is very simple to obtain feedback and communicate, allowing for greater intimacy. According to Cristina Arnaboldi, a blogger and expert in self-publishing, to be a successful indie writer in this self-publishing world, it is crucial for authors to understand how to connect the author’s work within a large digital environment, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple, and Amazon to reach as many readers as possible. Those platforms are the cheapest and fastest way to express and market a project to a large audience. But, again, writers run into the problem of being lost in the crowd.Authors have to find out what readers want, and this will help stand out. At the same time, while publishing is about the hopes of making money, building a fanbase, and continuing to grow as a writer, it is also very important that the author loves what they are writing about. Authors have to find something that both they and their readers like.

There are many great ways to obtain information about what readers want to read. These ways can include conducting surveys through sites and social networks, chatting with readers on group platforms like Facebook or Twitter, or even studying the ranking for the best sellers on Amazon. Studying competition is also very important. In fact, studying the moves and techniques of good writers in your niches is another great tip for an author to be successful. Observing and studying the most successful titles, seeing how the covers are structured, and noticing the length of the books can be useful both to steal the secret of a book optimized for a sale. There is also another benefit to paying attention to other authors of a similar genre: growth in writing. Focusing on authors of the same genre or those who talk about the same topic can lend indie writers invaluable insights into what content readers are looking for. In a similar way, collaborations are an excellent tool for pursuing success, and can happen in many different ways, like writing a new book or preface together, or even organize events and promotions together.

Technology is the driving force behind the digital publishing market which is always changing and transforming and that is one reason why we can’t predict the future of self-publishing. At the moment, though, indie authors can do many things to overcome competition and stand out in a unique way, in order to be successful in the digital market. Whether it is honing editing skills and learning more about formatting, collaborating with favorite authors, or spending more time on social media, and growing their presence online, it is important to continue to research trends that will lead to success in the self-publishing world.


Professione, Author: Cristina Arnaboldi Copywriter per, et al. “Come Avere Successo Nel Self-Publishing: 10 Consigli Utili.” Il Piacere Di Scrivere, 21 Jan. 2017,

“Self Publishing, La Cultura Digitale Cambia Il Mondo Del Libro - Self Publishing.” ILMIOLIBRO,

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