Self-Publishing is up. Book sales are down. Hmmm….
The number of self-published books entering the market each year has exploded. According to Bowker (the company responsible for issuing ISBN’s – a book’s identification number) more than 725,000 self-published books were registered in 2015. I’m guessing we’re closer to a million per year now.
Anyone can self-publish a book today
That doesn’t mean everyone ought to. The quality of books overall probably has a direct inverse correlation to the quantity of books overall.
It’s like wiring your own house for electricity. Lowes and Home Depot have all the parts; it’s definitely possible to install your home’s electrical yourself – but is it the smart thing to do? If you’re an electrician go for it. If you’re not, you may want to hire a pro. You’ll be living with the decision a long time.
Most self-published books aren’t edited, designed or produced to professional publishing standards.
Some are. But most aren’t.
A good publisher has skills, assets and experience that you, as an author, shouldn’t be expected to match. The right publisher can help make your book better and more successful than you could ever accomplish on your own.
We’ve published more than 170 titles representing more than 100 authors. We’ve sold more than a million books and spent more than a million bucks on systems, infrastructure, distribution and learning how to get things right. That’s a track record any good publisher should have, and it’s something no self-published author should be expected compete with.
The vast majority of self-published authors sell very few books.
Selling a book these days is a challenge, even for professionals. Self-published authors, in most cases, just don’t have the time, experience or audience to successfully “go it alone” in the market.
Here are five areas your publisher can, and should, contribute to your publishing experience:
- Help make your book better. Our professional editors, layout pros and graphic artists polish manuscripts, and create awesome interiors and covers every day. It’s their job. Your book will be better and more professional with a team of professionals behind it.
- Help you develop your audience. Selling your book begins long before books arrive. We begin talking about your audience with our first conversation. We don’t publish a book and then “hope for the best.” We want readers involved and standing in line before your book is printed.
- Help make your book easy to find. The first thing most people will do when they hear about your books is look for it online via Google or Amazon. Some old-school hold-outs may even ask about your book at their local bookstore. It doesn’t matter where they go or how they go, when they go we make sure potential readers can find your book. With millions of choices out there, that’s not so easy. We make it easy and we do it for you. If you’ve worked this hard to get your book noticed we want to be sure that people find it when they’re looking.
- Help make your book easy to buy. Sounds simple doesn’t it? We call this “user experience.” When someone discovers your book and decides to buy it, the transaction should be simple and enjoyable for the purchaser. We make sure that the lane is clear once your reader is ready to read. Whether it’s having books in the right place at the right time for your events, or through our own e-commerce, or through Amazon or bookstores, your book should be easy to buy. Our job is to make that road as smooth as possible.
- Help Introduce your book to others. We publish and sell a lot of books, but we don’t publish and sell a lot of genres. That means our book customers are interested in certain topics. If we have a best-seller in “Christian Living” and your book is all about “Christian Living” guess which book we’re going to suggest next to our current customers? One of our favorite authors, Dr. Jim Richards says, “There are three audiences for your book: your audience, your publisher’s audience, and the audience you create together.” We believe that.
You may not think your book is big deal.
Maybe it doesn’t matter to you if your book is edited or designed professionally. Maybe selling your book isn’t that important. You may just want to “put it out there” and see how it does. If this is you, I’d encourage you to save the money you’d spend to professionally publish your book. Self-publishing may be your best bet.
But if you believe your book is a big deal, if you think of time and work you’ve spent creating your manuscript is an investment in your own future and the future of your readers, then successfully turning it into a book and sharing it with the world should be taken seriously. We believe that too. We’re here to help your book become the best it can be and to help you share it with the world.
If you’re ready to make your dream of a professionally published book a reality, if you’re ready to share your message with the world. Let’s talk.