For over four years, my first book supported me full-time. Not choosing chateaux-in-the-South-of-France sort of money, yet it took care of every one of my bills (counting two printings each year), allowed me to take some nice get-aways, save a lump of money and cause no new debt. When you’re per book profit (after expenses) is commonly what you’d make with a publisher, you can be nicely profitable with much lower numbers.
A few caveats. My genre – true to life how-to – is, ostensibly, the easiest to self-distribute (with straight verifiable second). Why? Not exclusively is there an insatiable appetite for data in the purchasing public, yet in addition with verifiable how-to, it is relatively easy to identify and pursue specific target audiences. Fiction is harder to self-distribute however for first-time novelists, it is additionally far harder to draw in a conventional publisher.
Second and Third Caveats
This advice applies if you will probably have your book be a commercial success and on the off chance that you have the time to market your masterpiece. In the event that neither is the case, you’d be better off with a publisher or in a POD scenario, where your forthright investment is low or nonexistent (as will be, probably, your backend profits…). With respect to the time thing, however, in case you’re fantasizing that you’ll discover a publisher who will permit you to just drop off your original copy while they handle that whole disgusting marketing thingy, reconsider.
Writer Jessica Hatchigan (How to be Your Own Publicist) observed, Writers who receive modest advances for their books – and that is most writers – can expect shamefully little in marketing support from most publishers. Most publishers these days need to work with writers who come to them with, their book, yet additionally an arrangement for advancing and marketing that book. Along these lines, in the event that I actually have to do the majority of the work for anemic eminence rates, self-distributing merits a look.
Conventional versus Unconventional
Most distributing companies take the shotgun way to deal with advancement and exposure. Mass emailed press releases to mainstream media outlets. Mass-mailed and unsolicited review copies (with little or no development). EVERY single one of the generally 500+ review copies I’ve sent out over the years went to someone with whom I’d communicated in advance Book Profits. Yes, it takes more time, however yields undeniably more bang for the book.
As a self-publisher, you can zero in on your title and track down the best approaches to promote it, as opposed to the above-described bar organization model. Conversely, as a self-publisher, I go where the traffic is lighter, the reception is warmer and the people speak my language.