Alternative Publishing

Yesterday I received a book in the mail that prompts today’s blog. The book is from an author I reluctantly rejected a few years ago. This happens occasionally and I’m always happy when someone I encouraged along the way finally does publish his or her book and sends me a copy. In this case the author, Judy Squier, published the book His Majesty Through Brokenness herself through Amazon’s Createspace.com. The book is attractive and well done. She says, “My graphic designer daughter prepared the cover, the inside photos, the layout and prepared a pdf for them. So I paid $299 for the book to be printed; they sell it on Amazon for the price I chose ($9.99), give me a royalty per book, and I am able to purchase them on demand at an author’s price. We are more than pleased with the product.”

I am too! Very nicely done. There are, of course, many options for authors who choose the self-publishing route. I’ve mentioned some of them here before. My question to you is: In the face of repeated rejection, have you seriously considered self-publishing as your next and wisest move? You really should….if you believe your book will sell if given a chance.

True, you do have to do a lot promotion yourself, but that’s true even if you publish with a royalty publisher. The days when the publisher did all the marketing are past. Increasingly, it’s up to you to sell your book. We will help however we can, but for a book to be successful, it needs an author who believes in their book so fiercely, that author is eager to promote it.

In my recent series How to Succeed as a Christian Writer, step two was all about immersing yourself in the publishing industry. If you’ve been doing that, you must know that some popular authors are ditching their NYC publishers in favor of publishing their books themselves. One of them is Joe Konrath. See his website here. Notice that he says he’s making $500 a day self-publishing. Sure, he was an established author when he began his new venture, but so what? So you begin making far less per day, but work your way up by promoting and selling your book yourself.

There are some of you reading this who should stop the submission/rejection cycle and move to self-publishing now. Why wait another two years and six more rejections? Time’s a wasting.

BUT, to repeat, only self-publish if you:

a. believe fiercely in your book

b. are willing to demonstrate that belief by getting out there and promoting your book yourself. There are, by the way, several excellent books on how to promote your self-published book.

If neither of those two convictions is in place, then don’t self-publish. You will end up with a garage full of books. In my search of local thrift stores for used books to sell on Amazon, I frequently come across a pile of self-published books the author has finally decided to give up on.

Think it over. Pray about it. Talk to some of the reputable companies out there that specialize in self-publishing. And if you have an objection to self-publishing, I’d be interested in knowing what it is.

Now, please go please buy Judy’s book. At $9.99, it’s a bargain!

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4 Responses to Alternative Publishing

  1. Sheila Deeth August 31, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    I think it’s b that stumps me, and the mathematician in me that looks at the numbers and wonders what how anyone would ever see my needle in the self-published haystack.

  2. Carla August 31, 2010 at 7:20 pm #

    Nick, thank you for encouraging your readers to market their books whether they self publish or not. As Publicity for WinePress publishing, I am amazed at how many authors feel their books will simply sell themselves. Let’s remember that it’s your passion and your message and no one can sell it better. The thing that surprised me the most when I started working with WinePress is how self publishing can help authors build their writing and speaking platforms. The authors who work hard at promotion and support their publicist :0), are the ones whose platforms grow. At WP we strive to provide solid building blocks for marketing. It may take time, but anything done with excellence takes patience and hard work.

  3. Timothy Fish September 1, 2010 at 2:36 am #

    If the numbers Rachelle Gardner was giving the other day are correct, a self-published book is twice as likely to achieve traditional publication as an agented manuscript. I suspect that has more to do with the fact that self-publishing requires a significant work investment, thereby creating a natural laziness filter. On top of that, a lot of self-publishers don’t even want a traditional contract. I’ve considered the traditional route on numerous occassions, but I have a hard time convincing myself that I want to go that route because it is so much less stressful to just self-publish.

  4. Kathy Nickerson September 4, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    I still hope for a traditional publishing path, because I’m afraid I might be fooling myself. I feel like a stage mother promoting her own offspring. I don’t want to put it out on the stage, shove a microphone into its face, and then discover the child can’t actually sing after all.

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