I have a good book and they’re to foolish to see it so I’ll self publish! That’ll show ’em!
I call this entitlement and it’s a big OUCH! Stump your toe on this attitude and it may require sutures to close the bleeding gap.
This is why I think a little tough love is good for us. It was good for me when a dear friend shared some years ago. It stung a little, smashed my toes a bit, but over all, the advice proved more valuable than any gift I’ve ever received. I took it to heart, let it bring me down a tad and ate a hot served plate of humility. Then I buckled down and took this dream to the next level. I hope you’ll do the same
Just because your story is good is not an instant golden ticket into Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. It takes hard work and determination to birth a book. It requires tweaking, rewriting and a determination to sell the work. This is where, if you don’t understand the business of publishing, you can put yourself in a real bind financially not to mention career wise.
Self publishing is easy. Sometimes – too easy. For a few thousand dollars you can turn out a finished product which you can flash around to all your friends. “Oh look, I have a book out.” But there is more to self publishing than the finished product – there is “business side.”
Writers hear agents, editors and publishers ask, “What’s your platform?” Translated: Who do you know that you can sell the book to? The harsh reality is, most of us have a real reach of about 100-200 people. That boils down to our parents, immediate family, friends and few stragglers along the way. Unless there is a solid speaking base, tie to large groups or a tremendously successful blog audience, it will to translate into about 200 book sales.
I love fireworks so here’s a great way to think of an author without a platform. Think bottle rocket. You stand the rocket in a mason jar, light the fuse and it fires high into the sky. There’s one burst of color and then it fades into the darkness. Without a platform your book will fire into the sky, those few folks you know will buy it and then it fades into the darkness. In terms of self publishing, this is a killer. (In fact, it’s a killer for traditional publishing if you have no platform.) There has to be a way to keep lighting fuses on new rockets and firing them into the sky for the world to see.
In the past few months I ‘ve talked with over twenty authors (first timers) who have self published their books when they have no platform to keep the fire burning. All twenty have regretted the decision to move in this direction. The lesson learned – “I had no way to sell the books.” When you hear authors and teachers preaching, “Build your platform,” take it seriously. They know what they’re talking about. Before you self publish, sinking tons of money into a product, be sure you have the platform to sell it. It’s a wonderful thought to think our books would hit the shelves and sell by the bushel baskets, but the truth is, our book is just one of hundreds of thousands. Build your tribe. Find your outreach and plug in.
Publishing packages come in all shapes and forms. Let’s say, for the sake of comparison, you choose a mid-range package that includes your book, book cover, light editing, a spot on the publisher’s website, entry into distributor lists, ebook and upload onto Amazon (let’s not forget, 2500 books sent to your home) for a grand total of $5700. The book may retail at $9.95, so say you sell 100 books (the average) – right away. $9.95 x 100= $995.00. Maybe your Amazon sales add up to another $500 (this is generous) but you have to take into account book returns. (Yes, you can return a book – even an ebook, on Amazon. Not to mention book returns from brick and mortars). That has to subtract back and it leaves your total sales at $125.
If you have no real platform (a solid speaking base, ties to large interest groups, in’s into brick and mortar stores) then your book has just died on the shelf. You spent $5700 to self publish a book that, after 5 months on the market, you’ve had a return of $1120 – oh. . . you still have 2000 books in your garage drawing dampness and mold. That’s a $4580 deficit.
This is where it is important to know the business aspect of publishing and to understand having a trophy book costs you valuable dollars.
Before you self publish ask yourself these questions (and it requires soul searching):
Why am I in such a hurry?
Do I understand the reasons why my book has been rejected by traditional publishers?
Have I made the effort to invest enough in my work to hire an editor?
What is my platform?
How much money am I willing to invest and potentially lose?
Self publishing in the right situations can be the perfect solution. Learn the business of publishing. Understand how the market works and then build your personal platform. On a personal note – I’d say do some heavy soul searching. It’s a good idea to have your work critiqued to see where you stand before you invest your hard earned dollars.
In part 3 of the In on Self Publishing we’ll discuss the importance of an editor.
Love Your Faculty
10/17/2018 3:00:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
The Immeasurable Power in You
10/14/2018 2:37:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Forging Ahead after Rejection
7/17/2018 8:12:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
6/4/2018 8:00:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Closing Up Shop - Guiding Seniors to Letting Go
4/9/2018 10:56:00 AM by: Cindy Sproles
3/16/2018 1:30:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
In Prayer - I Write
3/3/2018 9:00:00 AM by: Cindy Sproles
Encouraged - Even When . . .
1/2/2018 12:00:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
12/18/2017 12:00:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Holiday Elder Care - Be an Elder Elf
11/12/2017 7:00:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Grateful for a Dream I Didn't Know I Had
11/9/2017 6:30:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Writing in a Pickle
11/4/2017 7:00:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Keep Them Reading
11/1/2017 7:00:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Chicken Soup for the Soul - Writer Call Out
10/27/2017 10:05:00 AM by: Cindy Sproles
Five Ways to Assure Your Work will Find the Slush Pile
10/24/2017 7:00:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
23rd Psalm Revisited
10/21/2017 7:00:00 AM by: Cindy Sproles
Contentment in Writing
10/19/2017 9:30:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
5 Common Sense Tips to Better Writing
10/10/2017 7:00:00 AM by: Cindy Sproles
8/21/2017 10:05:00 AM by: Cindy Sproles
Chicken Soup for the Soul Callout - Stories about Love
8/21/2017 7:54:00 AM by: Cindy Sproles
Present Yourself Approved and Professional
8/14/2017 7:00:00 AM by: Cindy Sproles
Five Keys to Overcoming Rejection
8/12/2017 7:00:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Writing Call Out - Chicken Soup for the Soul
8/10/2017 8:47:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Writing Your Mission Statement
8/8/2017 7:38:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
When Words of Encouragement Wane
6/28/2017 10:54:00 AM by: Cindy Sproles
The Good, The Bad, and the Memoir
2/6/2017 10:59:00 AM by: Cindy Sproles
Writing Truth with Love
1/13/2017 11:05:00 AM by: Cindy Sproles
Oh To Be A Writer
1/4/2017 11:12:00 AM by: Cindy Sproles
1/1/2017 11:16:00 AM by: Cindy Sproles
Writing the Cliffhanger
12/28/2016 11:23:00 AM by: Cindy Sproles
6/21/2016 3:48:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
The Pain of Unsolicited
3/9/2016 3:51:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Frozen in Place – Icey Self-Talk to Freeze Your Writing
2/9/2016 3:58:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Not Alone: A Literary and Spiritual Companion for Those Confronted with Infertility and Miscarriage
11/21/2015 3:02:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Thankful Despite . . .
11/20/2015 3:04:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Stepping Up to Na-No-Wri-Mo
11/16/2015 3:08:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
The Gift of No Gifts
11/2/2015 3:11:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Writers Be Encouraged
10/15/2015 3:17:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Keep ‘Em Reading – It’s the Writer’s Responsibility
8/13/2015 3:26:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
7/17/2015 3:31:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Overcoming the Fear of Writing Failure
7/8/2015 3:38:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Making the Move – Home to Assisted Living
6/17/2015 3:41:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
I Kid You Not
6/6/2015 3:44:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Who Really Sells Your Books
5/24/2015 3:47:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Homonyms – Did You Sea/See Them Their/There?
3/10/2015 3:52:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Hearing the Call to Foster – Renee McCausey
1/13/2015 3:54:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Throw Out the Crutches
1/10/2015 5:02:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
So You Were Asked to Be A Beta Reader?
1/10/2015 3:59:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
REJECTIONS – Aaughhh!
1/5/2015 5:04:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
The Bachelor – Stephanie Reed
12/14/2014 5:06:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Those 15-Minute Appointments
12/3/2014 5:08:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
The Making of a Servant
11/30/2014 5:10:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Miracle in a Dry Season Review – Yvonne Lehman
8/27/2014 5:12:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
8/26/2014 5:17:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
World Blog Tour – Catching Up with Cindy Sproles
7/22/2014 5:19:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
The Progression of Life
7/17/2014 5:23:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Instrumental Writing Helps – Aaron Gansky
7/4/2014 5:27:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
The Question Saga
6/29/2014 5:28:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Defy the Night – REVIEW
4/28/2014 5:30:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
When the Work is Hard to Do
4/1/2014 5:31:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
My Heart Belongs to Him
2/14/2014 5:32:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Review of The Vicar’s Wife
2/2/2014 5:44:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
The In on Self Publishing – Part 2
12/29/2013 3:44:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
The In on Self Publishing – Part 1
12/26/2013 3:47:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Divorce My Words? Never!
10/25/2013 3:50:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
In a Pickle
10/1/2013 3:52:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Bigger and Better
9/27/2013 3:54:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Putting SOCIAL back in Media
8/10/2013 8:08:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
After the Conference Ends…
8/8/2013 8:13:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Here a Tweak, There a Tweak, Everywhere a Tweak, Tweak
8/2/2013 8:15:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
A Writing Circle of Life
7/30/2013 8:16:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Can You Hear Me Now?
7/23/2013 8:18:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Golden Years, Cherished Moments
3/20/2013 7:47:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Broken Heart Syndrome
9/26/2012 7:56:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
What About Our Elders
8/24/2012 7:57:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
A Minute – A Lifetime
8/10/2012 7:58:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles
Water, Water – Who’s Got the Water
7/31/2012 7:59:00 PM by: Cindy Sproles