When you decide you are better off going it alone and publishing with a small press, or becoming a publisher, or publishing yourself

Most of the work of booksales is down to the author these days. It’s just how it is. Self-published authors know how to shift books so, if you’re thinking of going it alone, keep that in mind. There are are a couple authors shifting 1,000-3,000 a month in eBooks on Amazon. Learn what these successful authors know about covers, sales,  marketing, targeting audiences, and trends.

Even if you don’t ever self-publish, or plan to start a publishing house,  you can take that knowledge with you into publisher contract negotiations, art direction meetings, and discussions with their marketing teams. It always helps to know about other aspects of the business, besides where to put a comma, and if you can make an intelligent comment about something such as bundling e/p versions of a book or youtube book trailers, that’s always a plus.

There’s really no stigma in going it alone these days, and it’s easier than you think. Author Barry Eisler is
one of the world’s bestselling spy/thriller authors, and he publishes himself. (And yes, he has a really dark website, but he does sell spy books!) He actually walked away from $500K book deal with a major NY publisher in March  to go it alone. He’s a great writer, but he knows how to market himself and his work and he works hard at it.

Dan Poynter’s books on self-publishing are always a help to newbies. You can usually find them in your local library but  visit his ParaPublishing site to get the latest news, downloads and tips.  Dan gets $8,000 to turn up and speak for a day. The guy has been self-publishing since the 1970s, and he’s been crazy successful at it, so, he’s worth hearing out.

Dan gives you the brass tacks on marketing, branding, what it takes to shift books, various rights you have as an author that you need to consider before you sign any away (movie, book, e, audio, serialization, Spanish language, etc).  His insights are extremely helpful to currently unpublished authors who often need to understand big picture of publishing and have no clue what future steps lie ahead should their book find agent and ultimately a publisher.

The important thing to understand about how you choose to publish your work, is that you make the decision that’s right for you. (Hint: it’s the one that makes you peaceful and happy inside, not the one that makes you rich but miserable.) If you don’t enjoy the process you won’t stick with it. Yeah, some days will be tough no matter what, but overall, you should be happy you have an agent, or decided to go it alone, or went with a small publisher, or . . . .

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