Sales Speaker Provides Book Publishing Advice To Aspiring Authors
I received a pleasant note from a multi-talented author that would like to self-publish or have a main home do the honor.
This is not an unusual goal.
But right now, I decided to spice my reply with a small far more sour than sweet, revealing in the process where I believe the book market is at this point, and what it is requiring. I think these comments are applicable, typically, and I hope you, too will locate them beneficial.
You must be careful in what you reveal to publishers about oneself and what's occupying your professional plate, at the moment. Is it full with unrelated, but glamorous activities?
If you have varied interests, and mention them, my very first impression is, "How cool."
But if I'm a publisher and I see varied interests, it could backfire.
"Now, it seems this gifted creature desires us to publish her book. Is she willing to dedicate the next two or 3 years to becoming our slave to refining it and promoting it? How several copies will she personally buy?"
That's right. As an author, you are going to do the heavy lifting, whether or not you self-publish or a big publisher takes on the project. Chances are quite strong you will not sell numerous copies, unless you are the purchaser.
As a sales and advertising sort, I locate that prospect really disappointing, getting sold hundreds of thousands of copies of some titles (to strangers!), even though other titles were commercial flops.
Which makes us revert to the most crucial question: WHY do you want to publish this book? If that WHY is powerful adequate, it will be worth the transaction costs of accomplishing the mission, although potentially putting your other interests on hold.
If not, if a published book is just another laurel, an entry on your life's resume, then WHY becomes WHY BOTHER?
If you seek to get wealthy from book sales, I would advise purchasing lottery tickets.
If it is for fame, that is a surprisingly realistic objective, as a byproduct of promoting a book. With relentless promotion, you can get your 15 minutes and beyond. And it's Enjoyable becoming on Television and radio, but does publicity of that type sell books? If the exposure your title gets is not on Oprah, then not actually.
Publicity sells you back to oneself. It's a vanity-gambit, a fantastic ego massage. But do not get carried away. It can turn out to be a narcissistic narcotic.
Noting the book publishing market had changed for the worse, I sold my most recent book projects to audio publishers rather, and they have been profitable, as nicely as fast-to-the-market. In one case I declined a book contract ($ + royalties) because the publisher was counting too considerably on me to promote. I wasn't about to sign a blank check for my time.
But let's get back to you. Although I've had no experience with e-books, it seems to me they are a cheap and fast way to get your work out there, and to garner at least a trickle of income. If you are successful in e-books, selling hundreds to say a couple of thousand copies a month, many publishers will take a appear at putting you into tough copy. They might even pay an advance against royalties, and agents really should be interested, as properly.
If I had been to pick any single reference book on publishing, it would be Jeff Herman's "Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents." It is a practical and continuously updated directory of names, phone numbers, and tastes of the folks mentioned in the title. Plus, there are some beneficial essays on breaking into the biz. I've sold about 4 of my books with the intelligence I gleaned from his tome.
But I broke 1 of Herman's rules, which he has given that revised: I sold my books to editors by telephone.