Book Marketing 101

© 2010, Charles S. Weinblatt

Smashwords Edition

Congratulations! You have found a publisher. Or, you have decided to sell your book electronically. You are a published author! What's next? What will your publisher do? What should you do to sell your book?

As a general rule, fiction is more difficult to sell. Fiction writers should consider finding a traditional publisher. Very few self-published fiction books are successful. Non-fiction can be easier to sell, particularly if you are a subject matter expert or when you can sell the book on your own.

Authors covet traditional (trade) publishers because those publishers are experts in taking a book from manuscript to retail stores with perfection. Readers love trade-published books because they have that special mark of approval that says, “An independent publisher values this work.” No matter how many articles you might have read about the enticement of self-publishing, trade publishers know how to distribute and market a book. They can accomplish it with high quality and in a timely manner. Trade publishers have the best graphic artists, editors, printers, distribution channels and retail connections. That's why you should be willing to share some of the profit with them.

That being said, there are some very good reasons to self-publish. If you can sell plenty of books on your own, as a teacher, professor, public speaker, seminar leader or in any other format, then you should consider self-publishing. For example, I taught job seeking skills for several years. I then began a consulting practice helping laid off employees acquire the skills necessary to get back in the workforce. I wrote a textbook called Job Seeking Skills for Students. Not only did I use the book as part of the seminar, I persuaded a professor at my university to use it with graduate students in counseling. The book was trade published. But if I had a chance to self-publish it back in 1985, it would have made perfect sense. Why share the profit when you can keep all of it?

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