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Deciphering Matters on Recession and the
Self-Publishing Industry

The World's Challenge We all have felt the impact of the global financial crisis. According to an article at Forbes.com, the average net worth of the world's billionaires fell 23% or by $3 billion. Even the richest people in the world have gotten poorer, just like the rest of us. You might also be wondering how the international credit crunch at the end of 2007 became a full financial meltdown by the middle of 2008, and finally turned into a global recession. Everything feels tough nowadays.

So what is the key to overcoming global recession? In contrary to what other people
perceive, keeping a lot of money will not save the entire world from its current financial
dilemma. Money needs to be used and circulated to keep the economy running. It's a key
neglected tool for economic recovery. 

This can be reinforced by the Keynesian theory developed by John Maynard Keynes. His
theory states that "aggregate demand is the primary source of business-cycle
instability and the most important cause of recessions." This theory basically proves
that the frequency of consumer activities and the implementation of government policies
affect the stability of the entire economy.

Since consumer activities are a great factor in sustaining and improving the economy, we
all need to be proactive. We all need to spend money to keep our economy afloat. We need
to spend and invest wisely if we want to overcome the global economic crisis.

Combating Recession

Hobbled by world's financial challenges, booksellers are also struggling to lure readers.
Small bookstores are closing. Publishing houses are facing subsequent retrenchments.
Others are even exploring bankruptcy. 

However, the self-publishing industry is an exception. It's one industry that is
tremendously flourishing. Self-published authors seem to be proactively involved in
consumer activities which helps us gradually overcome recession. This can be proven by an
article last January from The New York Times, "In 2008, Author Solutions, which
is based in Bloomington, Ind., and operates iUniverse as well as other print-on-demand
imprints including AuthorHouse and Wordclay, published 13,000 titles, up 12 percent from
the previous year". The same article states that in 2008, nearly 480,000 books were
published or distributed in the United States. 

Behind the Figures

Amidst the progress of the self-publishing industry, there is an underlying threat behind
bigger book marketing and publishing companies buying out smaller establishments. It
seemingly eats up other independent establishments, resulting to lesser consumer
(self-published authors) service options. 

Just last January, Author Solutions, a company based in Bloomington, Ind., acquired a
rival, Xlibris, and added it to their portfolio of self-publishing brands. 

"The self-publishing companies generally make their money either by charging author
fees - which can range from $99 to $100,000 for a variety of services, including custom
cover design and marketing and distribution to online retailers, or by taking a portion of
book sales, or both.", Self-Publishers Flourish as Writers Pay the Tab by Motoko Rich,
The New York Times. Just imagine how much money is being circulated on this
industry. 

The existence of numerous book marketing and publishing services providers is an advantage
because of the following: (1) drives down prices, (2) provides a wide variety of services,
(3) encourages competitive quality, (4) more options, and (5) produces greater output. 

If bigger corporations continue to buyout smaller companies, authors would have to settle
on higher prices with lesser options, and lower output. And that is definitely not
beneficial to the entire publishing industry. Eliminating market competition immensely
harms the basic and most important sector - the consumers or the self-published authors.
Moreover, it is not entirely beneficial to a promising and flourishing industry of
self-publishing.

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