Breakout Books in the U.S - a new book merchandising feature that showcases books from popular self-published authors, including several that have already achieved New York Times bestseller status. The launch of the new service was covered in both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
The service which is now tied into the US iTunes store is expected to make an worldwide over the next few weeks. The Apple's merchandising team hand-pick the titles to be featured and all of them have earned high ratings from Apple customers. So does this mean the team have read the book themselves or are selecting titles that have scored good reviews from customers? I don't suppose it matters really. The service is definitely a good thing and is helping change the image of the self published author as being inferior to their traditionally published contemporaries.
There are said to be many advantages of self publishing over the traditional model - such as the opportunity to bypass publishing gatekeepers; faster time to market; access to global distribution; higher royalties; and greater creative control, but no matter how good a self published book is the real power lies with the distributors, the Apple's, the Amazon's and so on - so when retailers start putting their weight behind schemes such as these, the sole aim being to aid new authors to break into the mainstream then it seems self publishing is fast becoming a must for the professional author.
For my westerns written under the name, Jack Martin I'm traditionally published by Robert Hale Ltd and will continue to be so for as long as they want me, but I have also moved into publishing my own work, under the Red Valley Publishing banner, which is a company I set up to ePublish books to the internet. Sales have not been huge but they are certainly healthy for my Granny Smith series - the first of which is available now with the second book coming this March - If you've not read Granny Smith Investigates yet then why not go and get a copy. The price is low and you never know you may enjoy the book. I certainly hope so, anyway.
Forgive me my little self promotion there, but this outlines the need for service such as Apple's Breakout Books. And I'm looking at making my own books available at the Apple store later this year, but for now you can find them at both Amazon and Smashwords.