Mistake #8: Publishers are All Crooks! I Can Represent Myself!
Which brings up my next point: yes, it can seem that publishers are all crooks. Publishers are in business, and the point of business is to make a profit. And, concerning your book, your publisher is interested in making a profit. That’s just the way it is. But maybe, as the creator, advocate, and steward of your book, you’re responsible for choosing a publisher who isn’t a crook. They’re out there.
Remember what the publisher’s job is supposed to be – creating a book from your manuscript that is both aesthetically pleasing and communicates your message effectively to your audience. And, to enter your book into the publisher’s distribution, marketing, and information infrastructure. In a nutshell, your publisher’s job is to create a quality book and make sure potential readers can find it and find out about it in the marketplace. Your publisher is your book’s builder and your representative in the trade.
Why do I need a book builder?
Remember what the first five chapters of this book were about?
- Book Covers
- Interior Layout
- ISBN, LCCN
My advice was to find a professional editor for your manuscript, a professional graphic artist for your cover, a professional layout designer for your interior, purchase an ISBN (don’t forget to get a barcode for the back cover), register for an LCCN with the Library of Congress, and get your book printed in the proper trim size and format as well as built into an e-book in both e-pub and mobi formats.
As a self-publisher, this is the point where you’ve got to decide if you’re going to be an author or a publisher or both. I can tell you from experience, doing both prevents you from doing either perfectly. There is a learning curve involved in properly publishing a book, just like there’s a learning curve in building a house. You can publish your own book and it’s possible to build your own house; and it’s true, you can save the money you’d have to pay a publisher or a building contractor to do the job for you. But you’ll spend that money and your own time doing their jobs yourself. A publisher has the experience, tools, and relationships, acquired over years and at considerable expense, to publish books, just as a building contractor has in his professional field. This is their business. And, the fact is, a publisher can publish his hundredth book (yours) and contractor can build his twentieth house much better (and maybe cheaper) than you can publish your first book or build your first house.
What do you think about this self-publishing mistake? Any ideas? We’d love to hear from you, please comment.
I’m a self-published author. My first self-published book, Breaking the Treasure Code: The Hunt for Israel’s Oil sold about 20,000 copies … okay, I guess. Since then, between the self-publishing companies I started and bought, we’ve sold close to one million books.
Let me tell you, in the beginning, I didn’t know much about writing a book, and knew nothing about publishing, printing, marketing and selling books! If I had known anything, I might have walked away, overwhelmed with the whole process. Successfully self-publishing can, at times, seem hopeless. But I stuck to it, learned a lot about publishing, even more about marketing and selling, and, through lots of practice, sharpened my writing skills.
Even so, there are countless, land mines, booby-traps, dead-ends and just plain mistakes a self-published author can make. This is the eighth of ten weekly blog posts. They come from my e-book: The Ten Biggest Mistakes Self-Published Authors Make. This little book captures ten of the most common, most detrimental mistakes you can make as a self-published author and, hopefully, how to avoid them. I wanted to put these mistakes out on a blog format so you can comment, ask questions and we can discuss ways to make your book as successful as it can possibly be. Please, feel free to comment and ask questions.