Time and time again, self-published authors come to me asking for help. They self-published or published with a very small press and found that doing all of their own marketing and promotion resulted in sales in the three-figure range. Some authors are able to achieve the low four figures but that’s not much better as far as impressing a traditional publisher. A cumulative total of several thousand won’t help if these sales occurred over several titles.
If you’re a brand new author with no back list or platform and you eventually want to publish with a legacy publisher, think before self-publishing. True, you could be the rare author who hits the 20,000 or more mark on your own. But very few new authors sell enough books on their own to garner the attention of a traditional publisher. For most authors, it’s better to impress a traditional publisher and gain that contract first, then work toward becoming a hybrid author.
If you have already self-published to poor sales, I believe you have three options:
1.) Stay on the path. Take joy in the success you do have, and know you are still touching a loyal and devoted core audience.
2.) Increase your speaking ministry and build enough platform so that you can sell enough books to impress a traditional publisher.
3.) Start over with a pen name. This will put you in the ranks of a debut author, but you won’t have to fight against poor sales figures.
Whatever your decision, it’s your career and self-publishing can be right for you. Just be judicious about your path, especially if you feel you want to approach legacy publishers in the future.
What is the best self-published book you have ever read?
Are you thinking of self-publishing? Why?
Tell us about your self-publishing experience.