First Time Authors Face a Cruel Reality

Karen-Jonson-Indiepub-blog-headshotKaren Jonson is a writer, blogger, and founder of the Indie Book Marketing Community. She asked me to contribute to a two-part series about book publicity. Part 1 provides the perspective of a publicist – me! Part 2 will provide information on self publishing. It was interesting for me to see some differences between the publishing industries in South Africa and the United States. Here’s a snippet of my answers to her questions:

“1. What are the benefits of self-publishing versus traditional publishing?

The main benefit is that authors have a chance to publish books that traditional publishers might reject.

Their rejection is often not based on the quality of the book, but on economics. Publishers have to look at their bottom line and expect a minimum return on their investments; otherwise they are not likely to take a risk on a new author.

Another big area is subject matter: Every publisher has categories of books they publish. Many books sent to them don’t match their areas of expertise.

The economics of the traditional industry can mean that unknown authors, niche-market books, and off-topic subjects stand a good chance of being rejected.

But today, if an author has the passion, drive, time, and money, they can consider self-publishing their books — and get them out into the marketplace.

Either way, the book needs media publicity; otherwise, it’s not likely to sell.”

Read the rest of the interview on her website. 

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