Thursday, March 17, 2011
Do They Really Love You?
Harlequin => Dellarte Press (romance)
Berrett Koehler => Open Book Editions (nonfiction)
Thomas Nelson => WestBow Press (Christian)
Hay House => Balboa Press (motivational and self-help)
Victoria Strauss, a voice behind Writers Beware blog, announced that Thomas Nelson just accepted one of its self-published writers into its traditional fold - after he sold 30,000 copies by himself.
Please do not fall into the false sense of comfort that self-publishing with an extension of a traditional press is going to give you a leg-up with that press. Presses of all kinds are notorious for making money first, helping writers second.
I'm not saying that they don't like writers. Presses love writers. Most of these people adore books. They wouldn't be in this business if they didn't. That said, however, they don't do it purely out of the goodness of their heart. They need to make money like you and I do. So when the economy tanked, some of these innovative presses created a self-publishing arm. The publishing world went postal, exclaiming that traditional presses were baiting overly-eager authors who can't get traditionally accepted, giving them the impression this was a better way to self-publish. The insult-slinging finally died down, and now it's another way to self-publish.
However . . .
As can be seen with the Thomas Nelson example, these self-publishing arms aren't a short cut to the traditional boys. Face it...if you sell 30,000 books out of the trunk of your car or off your website, traditional presses will knock on your door.
So . . .
If you self-publish, do it because you want to self-publish. Don't do it to "be discovered." Do it because you think you're good and you know you can sell thousands of copies. If you aren't sure about either of those two reasons, maybe you aren't ready to publish at all . . . at least not yet.