Self Publishing Q&A

Is it the right choice for you? 


I have heard more than once that "everyone has at laeast one good book in them." Maybe that is true. The rest of the quote from Christopher Hitchens says, "and that, in most cases, is where it should stay."

The question becomes "Who wants to hear my story and how can I get it to them?"

Having been in the publishing business most of my 50+ years of working, I have met a multitude of authors and writers, editors and reporters, wordsmiths and storytellers.

And I have heard the phrase, "I really should write a book" probably thousands of times.

After working with publishers for 30 or so years, I decided I should start my own publishing company. Four of my own books had already been published with sales in the hundreds of thousands of books sold to mass market companies: Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, and more. I was well aware of how the business worked. In addition, I knew most of the buyers in the business from coast to coast, I sought out their guidance as to what kind of books they were seeking. 

I shared my vision with them and got a lot of "Go for it! Sounds Great! What are you waiting for?"   

I launched my own company in 2002 with six titles, all children's inspirational books.  Over the next nine years, we published an additional 53 titles, including 13 of mine and 40 from other authors.

Introducing: Barnes and Noble's Kindle. Then came Amazon on-line and many others.  Electronic books made their way into the industry and people stopped buying printed books.  

When we began distribution, we had 935 stores that  bought from us. After 9 years, we had 65 storesleft in business.  Gone are the Mom and Pops, the small chains and the religious book stores. Even the larger chains and news distribution services have closed their doors.

Even though we still have stories to tell, how can we get the stories out there?  

Then came the world of "self - publishing."

It sounds like a great idea. You submit your manuscript, they print it, ship you some books and sell the books for you. You collect a royalty check and everyone is happy.

But wait--that's not exactly how it works.

I am not going to list all the "benefits"  that the self-publishers offer you, but 90% of what they do, you can do on your own. Most of their deals are centered around marketing, not publishing.  They send their book lists to the book companies that are left in business, upload them to digital services like Amazon, B&N and more, but that is pretty much where it starts and ends.

Self-publishers are in the business of taking your money, telling you what is possible with their expertise, and charging you a lot of money.

If you are thinking of a self-publishing deal, STOP and contact me. Let me tell you  how you can do the same things they offer for a lot less money. It just takes some time on your part.  Even if you go with a self-publisher, you will be doing most of the marketing and sales on your own.  

The reason you write is because you have a story to tell. 

This is the only reason you should be writing.

Book publishing will not make you rich.

Book publishing probably won't gain you notoriety.

In fact, publishing you book will probably cost you more in dollars than you will make.

BUT publishing your own book will leave a legacy unlike any other.

Weigh the costs before you write a check to a self-publisher.