Many authors find themselves considering another option – the massive (relatively new) world of self-publishing.
It seems like the easiest possible scenario – your submit your book, shell out of a few dollars, and boom – you have a real, published book with your name on it. You can write whatever you want, without an editor (or an agent) breathing down your neck. In moments, your book could even be for sale on Amazon – ready to be purchased by millions of readers worldwide!
There are some authors who have garnered real success through self-publishing. However, the tough truth is that these authors have usually already taken the time to build a rock solid platform (a large group of followers through social media, media, speaking engagements, etc.). The average self-published book sells only 117 copies in its first year. If your book does poorly, this will not only be personally disappointing, it will likely affect your chances of publishing through traditional means in the future.
If you self-publish and your book doesn’t sell like hot cakes, the traditional publishers will know. When they type in the ISBN number (on the bar code) they will see your book “failed” and that taint will prevent them (and therefore me or any other agent) from being able to do anything with that book or your next one.
Be an informed consumer when it comes to self-publishing; it’s critically important that you look before you leap. The wrong decision will affect your future dramatically – more than you can imagine today.
If you are considering self-publishing, ask yourself these questions:
1. Do you have a “platform” – a large group of existing fans right now who will rush to buy your book the minute it is printed?
2. Are you capable of managing the marketing and distribution, the promotion and publicity required to differentiate any one book in the tsunami of 300K+ published annually in the USA?
3. Do you need your book super-fast for some reason?
4. Are there any special reasons your book should be self-published, e.g., some corporation has asked for 4,000 to give to their employees?
5. Do you have a written strategy for making the book successful? Do you know what will happen to your career as an author/speaker if a self-published book fails?
6. Does it matter to you if a large quantity of books are not sold, e.g. are you merely writing your memoirs for your grandkids to read someday?
If you need to know how to put together a plan, or how to pull off a self-publishing success story, click here.