Look for an agent?
Look for a traditional publisher?
Along with those questions, comes this:
Does it matter if you self-publish, given that so many authors are making a living doing this?
I can’t answer those questions for you, but I know that if you’re an entrepreneur who’s writing a book to build his business, and who wants to use that book to help build business and become better known, it’s probably still worth it to try to find a traditional publisher.
Self-publishing is a terrific thing for many writers, and it continues to shake up the traditional publishing industry. Writers of thrillers, romances, science fiction and mysteries are finding that they can make much better money publishing their own work than by dealing with the restrictive contracts and long publishing times of traditional publishing.
Entrepreneurs or thought leaders still feel that they need the so-called legitimacy of a publishing imprint, because traditional publishers can distribute their books in bookstores, and that visibility is important to such authors. Bookstores don’t generally carry self-published books (and bookstores don’t carry books published by Amazon’s imprints â€“ though the traditional media didn’t make a big deal about that, compared to the tiresome reporting on the dispute between Amazon and Hachette).
You’re not using your book to make money on it directly, but to build your business (if you’re writing a business-related book, that is). So visibility is important.
Self-published authors can gain visibility, certainly. And having an online platform is essential for you to get the message out about who you are, what you know and what you want to impart to others. A traditionally published authors needs this, too â€“ since traditional publishers don’t have the time or resources to devote to every writer they publish.
But the prejudice lies with media, bookstores and, unfortunately, those consumers who equate having a traditionally published book with success. Things are changing, as self-publishing becomes more important and consumers accept self-published nonfiction authors as the equal of traditionally published ones. At some point, an entrepreneur or thought leader will self-publish a book that everyone talks about, that really helps his or her business to expand.
For now, try the traditional route. Or be the one who breaks through.
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