I know this post had a kind of negative vibe, but this information can be so helpful to you as an author by saving precious time and managing expectations. And there’s good news at the end, a link to my post about what your publisher should be!
But first, let’s get an understanding of what your publisher isn’t.
- Your publisher is not your publicist. Your publisher isn’t responsible for getting you TV and radio interviews and book signing events. Some of these may come through your publisher because of your publisher’s experience or connections, but never expect your publisher to be your “agent.”
- Your publisher isn’t your exclusive marketing and sales force. You are your book’s number one ambassador. Your readers identify with the book and it’s author, not its publisher. Unless you’re building an audience of readers who know, like and trust you, and are willing to share that with their friends, there isn’t a lot your publisher can do to make your book a success.
- Your publisher is not an unlimited source of advertising or marketing dollars to get your book “out there.”
At True Potential we’re in the business of selling books. We’re also in the business of bringing in more money than we spend. The cover price of an average paperback book is $15.00; with the distributor’s discount, the actual money we bring in may be just $6.00, From that $6.00 we pay royalties, printing, warehousing, shipping and our administrative costs. That leaves us about $1.20. Some of that we’d like to keep to invest in future book sales, some of that we may want to spend advertising so we can sell more books.
There is an endless array of “paid opportunities” to promote your book. We’ve been around long enough and spent enough money to know most of the “opportunities” that are actually worth their cost and those that aren’t. We’ll be the first to participate in promotion that pays for itself in sales and fulfilling our mutual goals for your books, and we’ll be the first to advise you against spending money on “promotion” that doesn’t produce substantial results.
Understanding the what your publisher isn’t (or shouldn’t be) will save you tons of valuable time and keep you from being disappointed by unrealistic expectations.