Self-Publishing: The New Black

Last Friday I happened to run into a new friend at a coffee shop down the street from my home. She also works in the publishing industry as a consultant, but more on the traditional model side. We enjoy running in to each other and talking shop.

This last run-in she mentioned a new author for which she’s providing ghostwriting and consulting services. Amy was evidently reserved in progressing with the project and I pressed for a bit more information. As it turned out, this particular author Amy was working with has a timely book topic on the table with a pressing eagerness to see it published; and with business savvy, the author wanted to see an attractive return on investment.

“Okay, what concerns do you have?” I asked. Amy first responded that shopping for an agent to pick up the book would push the timeline way back, and then between the agent’s and then the publisher’s cut, what could she reasonably expect to provide as an incentive to her author.

I couldn’t help but smirk. With self-publishing, authors retain exclusive control and full royalties, while having their books published in full-service style – start to finish – in around 12 weeks. Amy’s look was one of almost disbelief. When I mentioned all of these things along with the advantage of unlimited on-demand, international distribution offered by the best full-service self-publishing options she was noticeably, informed.

If you are an author, or publishing professional, revisit this question: What are your publishing goals? For many authors, the most important goals are:
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1) Keeping 100% of your rights and creative control to your book
2) Keeping 100% of your author royalties
3) Setting your own retail price, profit, and author discount
4) Publishing a high-quality book that is available worldwide

I hope that helps. Keep writing…

– Karl Schroeder

2 thoughts on “Self-Publishing: The New Black

  1. Awesome title. Bookstore distribution is the biggest obstacle – not just the ability to be ordered in store, but for the book to be on the shelves. Once that is covered, there will be nothing holding back self-publishing as being a valid outlet for anyone.

  2. While it’s true that many authors find incredible success managing online distribution only, and take advantage of much higher royalties, you’re right optimizing the number of distribution outlets is important to consider. There are self-publishing options that allow the author to establish the distribution discount offline, brick and mortar stores are looking for. Make sure yours does.

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