Friday, October 29, 2010

"Well, maybe I will publish my own book . . ."

An potential author called the other day.

"If you the publisher sells X copies of my book, I will earn about $Y and you will earn $Z. That is simply unfair."

"That is gross dollars, with no guarantee after putting up the price of a car on what is essentially a bet," I replied. "How is that unfair?"

"You publishers do alright," he continued. "I am thinking maybe I should just publish my own book."

I chuckled (silently). "Certainly you can do that, and for some authors it works out fine. For most, it does not," I answered as gently as possible while lighting an expensive Cuban cigar with a Ben Franklin. And then I explained to him what he will have to do if he does not want to store a garage full of books for the next decade. "And of course," I concluded, "you can do all these things and still have a garage full of books--and no money."

The graphic (below) is a good illustration of what I tried to explain to him. If they only knew. No one gets into the publishing business for money. It is a virus. And there is no real cure.

"Ah, OK, I see what you mean," he replied. "Can you explain all this in an email for me?"

"No," I answered. "I think you get the point. Good luck."

--tps

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

LOL. This is funny but true. It is true in every business really. There is always a lot more to a business or career than most people on the outside realize. This graphic says a lot.

Stephen

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the future, pal. We are ALL publishers.

It's not writers, but readers we're looking for.

K

Anonymous said...

Yes, of course we are all publishers. And we are all singers because we have a voice, and we are all musicians because we have an acoustic in our bedrooms, and we are all lawyers because we took Busines Law 101.

You wrote: "It's not writers, but readers we're looking for."

Ah--hello? Isn't that the entire point of the graphic Savas posted? ANYONE can publish ANYTHING. Now put your own money into it and try it out in the marketplace and find those readers. "K" let me know when you publish something on your own and do successfully and get the sales and critical reviews, etc. Good luck with that.

Murray Kendrick

Jared Frederick said...

So far, I have published three of my own books. It has worked quite well for me. However, people fail to realize they are very concise (thin) and paperback. Printing affordability for me allows for affordability for customers. This is obviously not the case for authors with 400 page manuscripts. It depends totally on your subject matter and audience. Good post.