The publishing world has changed significantly over the past ten years. Publishers have become much more selective about which books they choose to publish, and often they require the writer be established already somehow.
This leaves new writers with little choice but to go with a smaller, less selective publishing house, or to self-publish, both respectable options. If self-publishing worked for the likes of Mark Twain, John Grisham, L. Ron Hubbard, Walt Whitman, Richard Paul Evans, Jack Canfield and Mark Hansen, Beatrix Potter, Edgar Allan Poe, T. S. Elliot, E. E. Cummings, Tom Clancy and many others, it can certainly work for you too!
Yet given the circumstances, small publishers and self-publishing options can’t provide the same solutions or services a larger publishing house is able to. Much of the hard work of selling your book falls to you. But who is better suited to do it? You know your book.
Marketing, publicity, events coordination, book tours, distribution, and more, which used to be the responsibility of the publisher, now often falls to the writer. For some writers, this can be overwhelming because they don’t even know where to start. What’s the inevitable result? Most self-published authors sell an average of less than 200 books. Just to put that in context, 78% of all titles released during that same time were released from a small press or self-publisher.
So, a lot of new titles just aren’t gaining the traction that they could. This is a direct result of the fact many of the things traditionally handled by the publisher are now being left for the author to do themselves, and they haven’t a clue where to begin.
In addition to the marketing and publicity issues, you have to decide which formats to publish a book in as well. Print or digital? If a digital format is decided upon, which eBook formats will be supported? They’re not all alike!
There is typically only a slight additional cost to publishing in eBook format. As a result, 85% of eBooks produced are created in addition to printed books. Okay, but which format?
Well… 38% of eBook sales actually take place on Amazon. Compare that to the 1% that takes place on the Barnes and Noble website, and that might help you make an informed decision as to where you want to spend your money, at least for now.
Many self-publishing firms offer an eBook option as part of a bundled package. As long as the Amazon Kindle format is part of the mix, go for it! However, don’t be too quick to dismiss the need for the other formats. The eBook sales and distribution market is growing rapidly, and other EPUB-based platforms and channels are gaining traction. That doesn’t mean sales are down at Amazon though. It’s simply that the market is growing and Amazon’s sales margin isn’t growing at the same rapid pace as the rest of the industry.
With all of these different decisions to make, it’s no wonder that authors who are left to handle all of this on their own have no idea how to proceed or what to do next. They didn’t sign on to be a publisher. They followed their dream of being a writer. And there’s a big difference! But that’s what The Plan that Launched a Thousand Books is going to help you with.
It’ll give you a starting place to work from and, hopefully, you’ll find you don’t need to be another statistic with only 200 copies of your book sold.
This is when commitment to your book needs to take over. The writing is done. It’s time to get it into the hands of your readers. Are you planning to succeed?