After watching the book marketing industry and testing its waters, I’ve come to think that probably the best way for a self-publishing scribbler to sell books is face-to-face. Person-to-person. Business to Business. That would be through a variety of speaking engagements in front of groups whose members might be interested in whatever one is selling, and by bringing the book to sell it on the spot.
Far more profitable, though, is helping others self-publish books. There are a lot of good reasons to self-publish — none of which include becoming a famous best-selling writer who makes enough on her genre novels to quit her day job. For example:
- Many a manufacturer can use an informational book for customers or retailers.
- Nonprofits and churches can raise funds with any number of books, whether they’re related to their mission or cookbooks for supporters.
- A town’s history society also can raise funds and support its mission with a local or regional history.
- A family planning a reunion might collect stories and facts about the family’s history and produce it, for the event, in book form.
- Genealogy enthusiasts can gather all the dope on the ancestors and produce their findings in books to hand down to the grandchildren.
- Doctors, dentists, and veterinarians can profitably produce patient information in book form.
- Lawyers also put out books of client information.
- A paperback or coil-bound book is a convenient way to gather and produce employee training materials.
- How-to instructions, whether for workers or for people who buy products, lend themselves to book format.
The Copyeditor’s Desk is already doing just that: producing print-on-demand books for clients who want them for specific purposes.
So I propose to suggest this service to businesses and nonprofit groups around the city, by attending meetings where managers are likely to show up and explaining what they might have to say and how they can say it in a book. And why.
The subject of the current work in progress is why, what, and how to self-publish. In it, I argue that Amazon is a scam, just like all the other scams that exploit people who think they want to be a Writer with a Capital W. The highest and best use of a self-published book is not as something to sell on Amazon.
Cobbled together from two blogs and a book I published some years ago, it’s already at 395 pages, and I still have a half-dozen chapters to write out of whole cloth.
LOL! I figure when some business owner or lawyer who covets a book to peddle his services sees a 400-page tome on how to do it, he’ll figure he’d better hire someone else to do it. Namely, moi!
Seriously: I had no idea I’d written so much on the subject! By the time I transferred content from the published book (which I’ve reused many times for courses and so had in PDF and even, in some cases, in Word format) and then added in as many blog posts from Plain & Simple Press and FaM, the thing came to over 460 pages.
Cut about 70 pages, but then had to add some content to fill in a few lacunae. There’s more material that I can cut, but I’ll need some time and space to think about it. But nevertheless, I’m afraid the thing will come in at right around 400 pages.
Whether that’s an advantage or a disadvantage remains to be decided.
Occurred to me to break it into several books. However, the Amazon experience at serializing Fire-Rider gives the lie to the conventional wisdom about spoon-feeding readers in baby bites. Three books = three times as much cost, three times as much work, and three times as much hassle to produce, print, digitize, and market. I really think I’d druther focus on trying to peddle one book than two or three.
Of 66 chapters, 18 remain to be written or massively rewritten. Or maybe not massive; a few just need some edits. But even if I average all of one per day, that’s only 18 days of work!
Then another two days of formatting. In the meanwhile, I’ll be trying to hustle up some speaking engagements. Since it only takes about two or three days for Author2Market to print a PoD opus, I should be able to get it out in fairly short order.