Traditional media â€“ newspapers, for example â€“ are reluctant to report good news about self-publishing. Even as more writers self-publish, the conglomerates that run media outlets would rather report on figures from traditional publishers. That’s because self-publishing is one of those disruptions to an industry that could upend the normal way of doing things. So, the thing that many do is ignore the invading hordes.
But that shouldn’t matter to you â€“ unless you really want a bestseller (and who doesn’t?) The day will come when self-published titles will appear on national bestseller lists. But until then, the entrepreneur who wants the endorsement of those lists, and the validation of having created something that people want to read â€“ evidence being that appearance on the list â€“ will have to work with traditional publishers.
Still, even for those authors who prefer the old-fashioned route to self-publishing, the most important thing to realize is that the sales of your book are not an end in themselves. Your book gives you legitimacy as a thought leader. Your book helps you build a legacy for your ideas. Your book isn’t designed to make money itself for you (though this happens) â€“ it’s designed to be part of a larger marketing plan for your business. We’re speaking here of entrepreneurs who write books that explain their methods, services or products.
So if you haven’t had the luck or the timing yet to find a traditional publisher, and you’re raring to publishing your book, don’t think that all is lost. You can still reach a lot of people with the publication of your book on your own. You won’t be able to claim that your book is a national bestseller in The New York Times or USA Today or The Wall Street Journal. But your self-published book can be a start for future books. And while newspapers and traditional media still for the moment disregard the sales of a self-published book â€“ even one that sells well â€“ traditional publishers certainly don’t. When and if you’re ready to move onto another book, and if you still want to work with a traditional publisher, those sales of your self-published book will show that your work is reaching an audience.
As we wrap up this series of blogs about your book and marketing, we’ll continue to explore in the next few posts the confluence between self-publishing and traditional publishing, and what you need to do to make the best choices.
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