A piece of publishing business

If anybody out there is a writer trying to get published, I published my own book and I couldn’t be happier.  I would do it again, no matter who the publisher might be, wanting to take that job off my hands.

Here’s why: I worked in the publishing field, doing public relations and marketing.  My former partner, who came out of a major publishing house, would dispute my qualifications as a publishing marketer – and she has a point, I wasn’t steeped in the culture the way she was.  That’s what I brought to the table that works for me.  I have no problem trying sales tactics that haven’t been tried before.

I learned a lot from her, though.  One thing she knew from personal experience was how long book stores kept books around before pulling them off the shelves (which, by the way, renders them both useless and expensive).

I knew exactly who would want to read it.  The audience for my book were NOT people who had the time, inclination, or strength to run to a bookstore.  They needed that information instantly, delivered as painlessly and accurately as possible.

I designed the marketing plan for “I’m Hot!…and I’m Bald!”: CHEMOTHERAPY FOR WINNERS so chemo patients could get the book from the people who were pumping the drugs into their veins.  It’s available at some hospital gift shops – every store I was able to visit took copies and sold them out.  And it’s available at Amazon and Kindle, for people who hear about it and are inclined to buy it.  But the thrust of my marketing model hasn’t been tried before, at least not by someone who wears both hats: writer and publisher.

My marketing plan puts this book into patients’ hands free of charge.  If I can pull this off, I won’t make a load of money, but I never intended to get rich on this book, anyway.  If the plan succeeds, I’ll be selling it in quantity, at a deep discount, to the facilities who are, in all fairness, making a lot of money treating us.  Selling the book “on demand” on Amazon means I get only 1/3 of the retail price.  But it also means I don’t have to ship the book and I don’t have to warehouse copies.  Kindle has a flat sale rate; I don’t remember what the author gets, but if the book ever starts selling in quantity, you can bet I’ll find out.  Most of all, it means patients and their caretakers don’t have to hunt the book down through a book store.

The point is, if you have a book in you, don’t automatically think if you can’t hook up with a publisher, it isn’t worth writing the book.  If your book is a novel, then yeah, it would be hard to get anywhere self-publishing.  But if you know your market, and if you’re persistent, you may just find that being your own publisher is something you can do better than anyone.  Best of all, if you know your audience, you’ll be motivated more than any publisher, to find the best way to reach them.

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