My Books For Your Reading Pleasure

My Books For Your Reading Pleasure
Proud Indie Author

Monday, December 6, 2010

Non-traditional publishing

I was surprised and I was shocked to read this post on a great website called Ctrl+Alt+Pub    I was unaware that "40% of all manufactured books never sell a single copy."   Wow!  Talk about the cards being stacked against an aspiring writer. 

"Moving on, I’ve recently observed that there seems to be little strength in the argument going through traditional publishers increases the chance of better sales. It’s simply not true. Consider this: 40% of all manufactured books never sell a single copy! That’s right, it’s a fact—I didn’t make it up. But why? This is a question that has perplexed many and I’d surmise the first person who can come up with a quantifiable, scientifically bulletproof reason will probably land their own bestseller. That’s a book I’d buy! Yet, we cannot change our fortunes because the reality is that the odds are stacked against from the start. And let me dispel the myth now: I don’t believe it has anything to do with self-publishing a book over going through traditional channels. Where the real difference is the money.
Traditional publishers give an advance to the author; we non-traditionally published authors advance ourselves based on our belief in our own work. The problem is that there simply isn’t enough money in the publisher coffers to give every author an equal chance. Many say that it’s the fault of the publishers that give too high advances. Probably true, to an extent, but that still has nothing to do with sales. Traditional publishers have the advantage of the connections and resources to market books. But the simple act of marketing doesn’t guarantee increased sales. They can market the heck out of a book, but if the topic doesn’t appeal to the masses (non-fiction) or the author hasn’t built a loyal following (fiction), chances are good the book won’t move. Money down the drain for the publisher, and a near-guaranteed career killer for the poor author with things like Nielsen Bookscan now in play.
It begs the question: what do we do? I’ve come to believe the only thing we can do is write the best book possible, take chances and think outside the box. For those trying to make a full-time living out of writing, and more to those who’ve done it successfully, I applaud you. It’s certainly never worked for me and I’ve been at it fifteen years professionally. Great part-time job, for sure, but I’ve tried many different tacks and none have generated any sales of “significance.” In my opinion, your book will do as well as it does, and I don’t advise any author to invest many thousands of your own dollars into marketing your book unless you’ve braced yourself for disappointment. Do the small things; network and make connections; sign up for the free marketing sites; improve your professional and industry relationships. Do all you can to help others. You may never know where it leads.
Whatever you do, though, don’t beat yourself up for a lack of sales. Remember, if your book sells one copy you just stepped out of obscurity and into the realm of being a professional author. That’s more than most can claim in a lifetime."

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