The publishing industry has changed drastically over the past decade and because of these changes, authors must now carry the responsibilities of marketing, promotions and publicity for their books. This is a daunting task, and many authors fail, losing their publishing contract or possibly any future contracts. It’s a hard, cold fact … an author’s books must sell and sell well for the publishing machine to keep moving.SORRY WHAT?
I saw a post on Twitter from a publishing company that shall remain unnamed and saw the above written there. I am thoroughly confused. I'm sorry, if I wanted to carry the responsibilities of marketing, promotions and publicity for my books I would skip you guys altogether and self publish.
Now, to be fair this may be only one companies policy and as very few publishers are taking unsolicited manuscripts getting to the meat of what they offer in terms of author support is difficult. The other "unknown" is if literary agents take care of this.
Why am I concerned about this? Because I don't want to market and promote my book myself. I'm not lazy, but I also don't have a degree in business, marketing and/or advertising. I'm a writer. What do I want to do? Write.
Self publishing is great and kudos to all of the success stories out there. I am not one of them. I have made a grand total of $7.79 from e-book sales on top of the $700 or so I made from sales of the hard copies (which was about break even for my cost of printing). With promotion and all of that I likely could do better but I want to finish my full length novel.
In my eyes a writer who has to do all the work to sell his book is akin to a race car driver having to do his own pit stops.
So, do I want a "Traditional" Publisher? Well, sort of, I completely embrace e-books and new techniques of publishing but at the same time I want to be sort of taken care of, given deadlines, told when and where to do signings and have someone else run ads for me. This is what I am paying you <>80% of my book costs for.
So unnamed book company, if all you are giving me for my book is a small percentage of sales, a few bytes of data space and a bit of paper, no thanks.
Thanks For Reading
Check out The Global 50: The World's Largest Book Publishers, 2012
Of note: #8 Random House posted revenue of almost $2.3 Billion last year.
Also of Note:
After writing this I happened to get a tweet from another publisher who will be named (Evolved Publishing) who sound like exactly what I will be looking for when the time comes.