Friday, July 17, 2015

Frequently Asked Questions from Interviewers (Part 13 of 22)

Do you recommend self-publishing or working with a publishing house that can handle the marketing? It seems to me marketing, selling, and distributing my own book would be a big hurdle to selling enough books to pay for my investment of time and expenses, not to mention the need to make a profit.

This question usually comes from a host who has writing aspirations (obvious, I suppose).

That's difficult to answer. First, it's true that publishing houses do little to promote books. Even if they have an excellent staff (or even one talented person), they have too many books to promote. And many publishers put out a new list every three months. That means, unless your book takes off with big sales figures, that's all the attention you receive.

Either way, these days—even if you don't like it—we, the authors are the primary marketers. But also think about these things:

* If you can afford it, you can hire someone to set up interviews and speaking engagements for you.

* Self-publishing still carries a stigma, mainly because there are so many, many badly written and barely edited books out there that bookstores rarely carry them and media hosts won't look at them. There is also the assumption that no one would buy the book, so the author went into self-publishing.

* If you're savvy about marketing and can put your book in front of people, self-publishing may work for you, but it's a big, big, big job.

* Those who are primarily speakers, and have many opportunities each month to speak, might do well with self-publishing.

If you have marketing skills and know how to generate sales, try self-publishing. But remember, just putting your book on Amazon doesn't automatically mean sales. It's hard work—unless you have a talent for it and then it's fun.

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