From David Vinjamuri via Forbes blogs:
We are in the middle of one of the most important and least appreciated social transformations of the postwar era. It is changing the way that established companies sell their products while propelling unknown brands to the forefront. Everyone knows someone involved in this cultural shift, but nobody is talking about it – not as a whole. Or we don’t realize that we’re talking about it when we do. We’re talking about selfies when we should be talking about indies.
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In fact, indie movements have reached an unprecedented size in the past few years. Indie craftspeople and artisans ran over 1 million active shops (listing 25 million products) that sold $1.35 billion dollars of merchandise on Etsy last year. Amazon reported that nearly a third of its bestsellers were self-published (on Kindle Direct Publishing) last year, a fact noted in a front-page Wall Street Journal profile featuring prolific indie author Russell Blake, who has himself sold 650,000 books directly online. According to the American Association of Independent Music, 34.6% of the market for recorded music came from indie labels in 2013. While some of those labels are fair-sized businesses, many of them are the direct output of individual artists or bands. And Minecraft, an indie game created by Swedish programmer Markus “Notch” Persson has more than 100 million registered users on its original site.
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Then there’s author Bette Lee Crosby who wrote and indie published eight books before she saw her novel Spare Change reach the USA Today Bestseller list. Or Julie Austrakas, who sells funny, hand-designed greeting cards online. It took Julie over four years to quit her day job, but she has no regrets. She told me,
The indie artisan community has been more welcoming and supportive than I could have imagined … I have had various opportunities stem from my Etsy shop, including being approached to sell my cards at Urban Outfitters. Etsy has become so well-known that it seems bigger companies and publications go there to seek out unique indie artisans.
The Indie Revolution is also having a huge impact on the marketing strategies of Fortune 500 companies. In November of 2012, the average price of a top-25 bestselling eBook was nearly $12. A year later, as the holidays approached in 2013, that price had dropped by half, to around $6 according to Forbes contributor Jeremy Greenfield. Some of this has to do with an eBook price-fixing trial, but much of it owes to the downward price pressure exerted by indie bestsellers. Consumers who picked up the new John Grisham bestseller Sycamore Row on Cyber Monday last year could thank the unprecedented $3.29 price point to the pressure of indie writers reaching the bestseller lists with genre fiction often discounted to $0.99.
Link to the rest at Forbes blogs