Is self-publishing the future of literary fiction?

Literary fiction is a subgenre of literature that defies simple categorization. Genre fiction is much easier to classify. Typical genres such as science fiction, romance, and fantasy all adhere to well-established conventions. That is to say, the reader has an idea of what will occur. The difficulty in reading a book is another distinction between literary fiction and genre fiction.

How do you define literary fiction?

Simply put, literary fiction is a novel in which the characters take center stage rather than the storyline. Prose, symbolism, allegory, and the human condition are given greater weight than commercial fiction. More investigative than explicative. This means that the story’s focus is not on whether or not the protagonist makes it through a disaster unscathed but on how they react to it. It’s essentially a subgenre of fiction.

However, it deviates significantly from the standard conventions of the genre. Reflective rather than outgoing is a common trait. George Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ inverts the conventional wisdom that good triumphs over evil. Unfortunately, many modern readers want instant results.

At times, literary fiction works are beyond the average person’s reading abilities. Will Self makes this remark regarding the Harry Potter novels in an interview with The Guardian? That is to say; you should expect these to be something other than pleasant reading experiences.

The fall of literary fiction

The Arts Council England has released a report, stating that sales of literary fiction are in crisis. The survey suggests that the recession, which coincided with the emergence of cheap and easy entertainment, is to blame for the drop in sales of literary fiction. “Literary fiction is often ‘difficult,’ expensive, and time-consuming compared to the distractions of our cellphones,” the report’s authors wrote.

This is nothing new to those of us who are literary fiction book editors. For a while now, it’s become increasingly difficult to find a publisher who is willing to invest in literary fiction because so few people actually read it.

The future of literary fiction: self-publishing?

It’s the only possible future. Thus, that’s the only answer to the question. Traditional publishers will only publish books if they think there’s enough money in the market to support doing so. However, many readers are interested in reading works that are more difficult and provide more insight. While the audience may be smaller than that of a genre author, it does exist. Finding an audience for their work and actively selling copies can take time for literary fiction authors.

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Marketing works of literary fiction

Indeed, this is the most challenging step, especially if your goal is to sell books on Amazon. It is now difficult to determine the total number of Kindle eBooks. In this case, “over” is a magic word. The thousands might write more novels of this type.

As a beginner literary fiction author self-publishing on Amazon, you need to know that there is a lot of garbage and poorly categorized books on Amazon. Choosing appropriate classifications and keywords for a book is a process that most first-time authors need to familiarize themselves with. If a book is classified as either of these broad categories, it will get lost in a sea of similar titles and have no chance of being purchased.

The location is the most crucial factor

Visualize where your book would be shelved in a physical bookstore. You won’t find it on the front-end displays. It’s also possible that the category shelves or author A-Z shelves are where you’ll find them. The process of finding a job online is very similar. One of your goals should be to display your book where curious readers can locate it.

No, it won’t likely be at the top of the bestselling lists. However, strategically placed books can achieve high rankings in less crowded niches. Keep in mind that literary fiction has different subgenres and themes if you plan on self-publishing.

Literary works are relatively easy to categorize. However, there is usually some connection to a traditional form. For example, the novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ could be classified as dystopian fiction. Many self-publishing authors preserve the importance of location.

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Is self-publishing really worth it?

This is one of the vital questions: is self-publishing a literary novel worth it or not? In my opinion, it’s absolutely worth it.

  • In this case, you do not have to wait for any publisher’s permission to promote or publish your book. You will decide everything from when to publish to who you want to read and how much publicity you want. Everything will be in your control.
  • In the case of traditional publishers, it may take so many months to publish your novel, but you can do it whenever you want. This means you can do this as fast as you want.
  • Most importantly, no one wants to convert their work into something else. If you are publishing your novel on your own, then no one can replace anything. But a traditional publisher will change so many things according to their needs, and maybe a lot of things will be changed.
  • With the help of traditional publishers, you can earn up to 10% to 12% profits only, but as a self-publisher, you can earn anywhere between 50% to 70%.
  • By publishing any novel or book on your own, you can also control your future; you can control everything. You can sell it online, offline, in PDF format, in audio format, or anything you want.

So, keep the freedom to yourself by publishing any book or literary novel yourself.

The bottom line

There is no longer a substantial enough market for intellectual reading since people want ease and rapid gratification for major publishing houses to take a chance on it. But there are still readers out there looking for something more substantial to read, and self-publishing is the most direct route to these individuals. Self-publishing has never been simpler. But you will see a few sales once you put the time, effort, and money into book marketing and promotion. This means that literary fiction can avoid greater odds.

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