5 Surprises About Self Publishing

5 Surprises About Self Publishing Guest Blogger: Jennie Nash (@jennienash) My first six books were all published by major New York houses, including Scribner, Simon & Schuster, Crown, and Berkley/Penguin. I adored my editors and their teams, but I was a midlist writer getting midlist attention, and the midlist was starting to feel like purgatory. For my seventh book, Perfect Red, a historical novel set in 1950’s New York, I decided to self publish. Why I made that decision is a story for another day, and how it turns out, economically-speaking, has yet to be determined. But a few revelations about the process have surprised the socks off me. Herewith, the top five: 1. I underestimated the weight of having the legitimacy of a traditional publisher. When I could say, “My third novel is being published by Penguin,”...

Can I Make More Money via Traditional or Self-Pub?

Can I Make More Money via Traditional or Self-Pub? These days, authors are carefully considering the merits of self-publishing versus traditional publishing, and many are doing both at once. (My upcoming e-book: How Do I Decide? Self Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing, will help with these decisions.) I’m having almost daily conversations with my clients, most of whom are already traditionally published, about various ways they can extend their brands, increase their income and/or grow their readership by self-publishing e-books “on the side.” I’m coming across some interesting questions during these discussions. One that I’ve been hearing lately comes from authors trying to figure out how they can make the most money with their next book: through traditional or self-pub. They’re trying to estimate...

How Does Your Publisher Make Money?

How Does Your Publisher Make Money? If you read the publishing blogs and follow industry Twitter feeds, you’ve no doubt gathered that there’s a firestorm of controversy over Pearson, the parent company of Penguin Books, purchasing a company called Author Solutions (ASI), a well-established self-publishing company. You can read numerous diverse opinions on this acquisition and plenty of astute commentary (links at the end of the post) but here, I want to focus on one tiny aspect. What is the most important thing for an author to understand about a traditional publisher entering into the self-publishing fray? As it happens, I addressed this very issue over 2½ years ago on the blog (December, 2009). Much of what follows is what I said back then. Self publishing represents a completely different business model from...

Self-Published Author Seeks Agent

Self-Published Author Seeks Agent More and more, I get emails from people who have self-published, asking me whether I take on self-pubbed authors, or whether they even need an agent if they’ve already gone the DIY route. This is a topic that will require several posts to completely cover, but I’ll get it started today by answering a few of the basic questions I typically see. If I’m self-published, why might I still want an agent? 1. If your self-published books are extremely successful, you may want an agent to shop the print rights and subsidiary rights such as audio, film, and foreign rights. “Extremely successful” can be defined in various ways, but certainly it would mean you’ve sold several thousand units on your own in a short period of time, maybe a few months. 2. If...

Quality Books Take Time

Quality Books Take Time Back in the early ’80s there was an ad campaign for Paul Masson wine where Orson Welles famously uttered, “We will sell no wine before its time.” The message was powerful; it conveyed, “We care so much about producing the highest quality wine that we refuse to rush the process. We won’t try to bring it out faster to increase profit. We won’t skimp on the craftsmanship that makes our wine so good. It takes time, and we will give our wine the time it needs.” I couldn’t help thinking about that as I considered what I wanted to say today about the time and craftsmanship it takes to write a high quality book. I’m not talking about a book that everyone has to love. I’m talking about a book that has the basics: a solid story,...

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