Is the market for self-published books saturated?

Chris Guillebeau just published a blog post about online publishing. It starts out with a confession of sorts:

For the past eight years I’ve made a good living through online publishing. But I don’t think the instructions are as timeless as I thought they were at the time. If, today, you do exactly what I said back then, I’m not entirely sure that success will follow.

One of his key points is that the market has become saturated:

What happens when large numbers of people all pursue the same goal? They all set out to “build a following” and “create platform” for themselves. They all write ebooks. They all create online courses, some more helpful than others.

He continues this line of thinking with a direct warning to new, aspiring self-published authors:

These days, it’s much harder for most people to reap a substantial profit on a new digital product.


In light of that post, I thought it'd be interesting to revisit this section from the conversation Sacha, Nathan, Paul and I had in 2013:

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What do you think? Is online publishing saturated? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Published on February 5th, 2016
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