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Booklet Tips From Paulette

Writing, producing, and promoting tips booklets for marketing, motivating, and making money.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Self-Publish or Traditional Publish

Many booklet authors as well as book authors wrestle with a decision about self-publishing or finding a publisher to do it for them. This has never been an issue for me, for some very simple reasons. The following post from a self-publishing discussion list I frequent is being reprinted here, in full, with permission from the author. She articulates my own point of view quite well.

==========

For what it's worth, I have been approached by agents asking to
represent my self-published books to larger publishing houses. So,
at least some agents are not biased against self-published books.

One agent went so far as to present my book "The Furniture Factory
Outlet Guide" to Rodale without first getting a signed contract with
me. I ultimately decided that going with this agent was not right
for me. At the time that agent approached me, this title had sold
about 70,000 copies, largely through major bookstores nationwide. It
had also gotten a lot of media attention, including The Today Show.

I have chosen to remain self-published, as I don't think there is
much a large publisher would do for me that I can't do for myself at
a much lower cost. Note "would" not "could". Large publishers tend
to concentrate their resources on a few hoped for best sellers
instead of spreading them among all the authors on their lists.
Consumer books on buying furniture are not likely to hit the NYT
bestseller lists, therefore I find it unlikely that a large publisher
would do much to promote a book like mine. So, if I'm going to pay
most or all of my own book promotion expenses anyway, why give a big
publisher a cut too?

Many self-published non-fiction books have made the leap from self-
published to trade published. I don't have time to put together a
list this morning, but I'm sure John Kremer has a current one.

I think the real question is: once you've made a enough of a success
of your self-published book to attract the attention of a large NYC
publisher, would you really want to sell out at that point?

At the time I was approached, I had good sales though bookstores and
a well established track record with the media. A larger publisher
might have increased my sales, but would they have increased sales
enough to compensate for the big chunk of my paycheck they would have
kept? I'm not sure.

I have personally not seen prejudice against self-published books in
non-fiction. Fiction is likely a completely different story, and I
am not qualified to speak to that part of the business.

I agree with Marion [Gropen] that you should not view your self-publishing
efforts only as a means to attract a big publisher. I also think
that you shouldn't refrain from self-publishing nonfiction in an
effort to keep the big publishing avenue open. Give it your best
shot, and evaluate any offer from agents when you actually receive
them.

Good luck,

Kimberly Causey
Home Decor Press
www.smartdecorating.com

========================

Thank you, Kimberly, for your thoughts and your permission to share them here.

Until next time,
Paulette - who just can't fathom going to a publisher for booklets, books, or any information products
www.PublishingProsperity.com - new birth
www.tipsbooklets.com

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