Self-Publishing and Self-Selling

Publishers long ago should have not only created their own multi-platform e-readers, they should have seen the digital revolution and begun to sell books themselves.

But they didn’t, and now they’re playing catch-up. Though they still don’t sell their own books. They work through Amazon and other retailers to do that.

Publishers might not be in such a have-mercy-in-us position if they’d thought ahead.

In any event, one publisher is saying what others have still been reluctant to utter out loud: publishers should sell their e-books themselves, in addition to offering them through Amazon or iBooks.

In an editorial in the trade magazine Publishers Weekly, John Oakes, the cofounder of OR Books, advocates a change in the way traditional publishers do business:

Perhaps we in the industry are so used to being glum that we refuse to see the thrilling opportunity in front of us. We remain committed to doing business the way it’s always been done. Despite a computer on every desk and exciting new marketing tools online, we perpetuate the same old system, working through retailers and treating the electronic world as simply a tool to augment our presence in the real world.

He has a point. It’s not too late.

But in the meantime, for any writer who’s creating his own brand through building a platform to expand his or her message and audience the signs are good that you will have plenty of opportunity to publish your book, either through yourself or your publisher. The stigma of self-distribution, which has long been part of the self-publishing prejudice, is falling, as publishers themselves realize that they have nothing to lose by selling directly to the buyer.

If you decide to self-publish, that’s a viable option. Amazon is a real force here, and distribution is easy. If you decide to work through a publisher, then the publisher will also have options—brick-and-mortar, click-and-mortar or both.

That doesn’t mean you can’t promote what you write or what you’ve written. But what you have now are more and more opportunities to be heard.

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One Response to “Self-Publishing and Self-Selling”

  1. Anonymous May 24, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

    It’s surprising how effective ebooks have become in sharing your message – perhaps it shouldn’t be so surprising as a nation that thrives on instant gratification and easily accessible knowledge. 

    Just read an article yesterday that Amazon is starting to implement standards for ebook distribution – great news for all the ebook readers! There will be less garbage and more high quality content at the click of a mouse.

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