Today I read an article about Charles Orlando and how he turned down the traditional publishing houses to self-publish and had fantastic success. He published through Amazon Createspace and then spent a lot of time blogging and networking through social media, building a fan base and promoting his books through them. He has already published books through traditional means, but says that he recieves 1/2 the cost of his books in royalties.
He also states (about traditional publishers) that:
As negotiations started, however, it became clear that my revenue percentage was going to be very low with nearly zero marketing/PR support from the publisher. Moreover, I would be lucky if my book would be released within 18 months, as it needed to be put into the queue.
He notes some very good observations however which are good advice to all self-publishers out there.
- Time Is On Your Side - The ability to self publish is easier than ever, but it takes time. Take the time necessary to turn out a good book, hire an editor, listen to critics. The only deadline is the one you set for yourself.
- You Are Your Own Marketing Agent - The only reason he was successful, he says, is because he spent the time it took to literally get involved with his fans. He would spend hours and hours writing back to posts made on his blog, connecting on Facebook and Twitter and answering e-mails.
- Be Wary of Social Media Gurus - There are millions of huxters out there who are willing (for a large fee) to balloon out your reach to others, but they are not guaranteed to work or help you in any way. Do it yourself or enlist someone who loves you very much to promote you. Go with trusted people you know.
- It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint - It takes time and lasting effort to build a Facebook/Twitter/Blogging fanbase and you have to keep at it. Success may not come for a few years. Find a niche and stick with it until that niche responds, or change your niche.
- Don't Sell Using Social Media - Social media should only be used for connecting to people, not selling products. People are more apt to read how the process is going and then buy the product when it comes out, kind of like they had an "in" to the creation of your book.