On a weekly basis, I field emails and phone calls from authors who are tackling the world of publishing alone. They have decided to self-publish their book or go with a small press and are looking for guidance to promote it. They often ask – can you help make my book a bestseller? How can publicity help sales? What are typical sales numbers for books you represent that have no publisher?
I start off by telling them these three things: every book is different, PR doesn’t guarantee sales and it will be an uphill battle. I am very selective with self-published books that come my way. Not because I have anything against self-publishing; but, because I won’t take a book on if I don’t think I can succeed on some level. I won’t take any book on unless I feel like I can succeed – it’s not about the number of clients for me, it’s about the work itself and if I’m a good fit for that book and author. So that I can successfully help on that uphill battle.
Most of the news about self-publishing is daunting and still very gloomy. The stigma still exists. I try not to be discouraging, but I know I need to be realistic. I had a self-published author come to me and say she wanted to sell 30,000 copies of her book. I told her she’d be lucky to sell 300. I wanted to be honest and up front. Yes, we would do all we can, but I wanted her to have realistic expectations.
But today I don’t want to be gloomy or discouraging when it comes to self or indie publishing. I want to tell you that IT CAN BE DONE! You can do it! And I want to share with you some success stories and tips – real stories of self-published authors who are not Amanda Hocking or John Locke or E.L. James. [Read more…]