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Just wanted to say thank you for your efforts on my manuscript...You did an awesome job and your attention to detail helped so much! (Tim McKitrick, Timothy Publishing Services, author of "The Hope of Glory")
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John Stewart--"Thanks for your work."
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"Hi Jim! People are in love with the books. Both books are impacting lives for God. Thank you!"--Lawrence Maeba.
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You have put together a project that was nearly shattered due to a broken vessel of clay, in need of healing, yet unyielding to failure. God will use this work in a mighty way for His glory. Thanks, for your help and God's richest blessings. In Him, Ruth Stafford
D.B. Lantz
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Thanks for everything you did! John Anderegg

Why the Self-Publishing Dislike? (Part 5)

Blog pic green(Part 5 of 5)  As you look into self -publishing, particularly online, it will not take long before you find those who demonize it, in whole or in part. The accusations can range widely, but when you boil it down, they demonize it because:

1) It is not traditional publishing where the publisher pays the author to write a book. (We dealt with this in Part 2: http://cspablog.typepad.com/my-blog/2010/12/why-some-people-have-such-a-problem-with-self-publishing-part-2-.html )

2) They self-published a book, thinking it would be a best-seller and it was not–by a long shot. (We dealt with this in Part 3: http://cspablog.typepad.com/my-blog/2011/01/reason-2.html )

3) They self-published a book and believe they were taken advantage of by a company–what was promised was not delivered. (We dealt with this in Part 4: http://cspablog.typepad.com/my-blog/2011/01/reasons-why-some-people-.html )

Finally, the last post in this five-part series:

4) They have heard that traditional publishers, distributors, and bookstores do not respect and will not stock POD (print on demand) or self-published books.

Here is the scoop on all this…

 

Important background: If your book is digitally stored and printed by Lightning Source, it already has distribution to 25,000 bookstores through Ingram and Spring Arbor (including distribution to Amazon). This means your book can be special-ordered (or ordered online) from 25,000 bookstores. Distribution is not placement in bookstores (your book is not physically on shelves in stores).

Okay, here is the scoop…

1. Occasionally, we do get reports of stores refusing to special-order self-published books, but in looking at these cases, we have found it was not due to an institutional policy of any bookstore chain, but rather a local store problem. Some bookstores balked at special ordering due to the incorrect assumption that all self-published books are non-returnable. Still others would not special order a book if it does not show up as “in stock” in their system (thus it is a “back-order” item). Most will not special order a back-ordered book. (Lightning Source long ago addressed this issue. They keep a virtual inventory of 100 print on demand copies of every POD [print on demand] title, so that searches will never show them as out of stock.) 

2. Any Christian book that sells is interesting to bookstores, distributors, and traditional publishers. It doesn’t matter if the book is traditionally published or self-published, if it is already selling, bookstores, distributors and traditional publishers will be interested.

If you have sold even a few hundred copies of your book on your own (say within six months), that is potentially “interesting.” Sell a few thousand in that time and it is considered “extremely interesting.” Distributors and bookstores are looking for products that will “turn” quickly (sell).

Traditional publishers are intrigued by a book with a “proven” market/ sales history. The day after Xulon Press author, Patrick Heron (author of The Nephilim) completed a radio interview that led to over a thousand book sales in one day, agents, traditional publishers and many others were ringing the Xulon phones to get to Patrick.

Additionally, if there is enough demand for any book, bookstores will be interested in carrying it, and actually stocking it on their shelves. If a bookstore hears about you and your book for the first time from you, it is likely they will not be interested in carrying your book. If they receive a number of special orders for your book which result in completed sales, it is much more likely they will carry it.

3. Distributors and bookstores are only interested in selling books they can return without loss or risk. Distributors and stores will not take on the risk of selling a self-published book (or even a traditionally published book), unless it is returnable. Let me be clear: If your book is not returnable, bookstores and distributors are not interested in trying to sell it. (In future posts, I will review and compare book returns programs that self-publishers make available to authors.)

Action point: Make sure your self-published book is returnable. This may require the purchase of a bookstore returns service (All self-publishers–Xulon, Winepress, Author Solutions–offer a bookstore returns service.)

4. Nobody is interested in trying to sell a bad book–and too many self-published books are bad books. So even if you have a very good book, it may be considered “guilty by association.” I often wonder why people will spend a few thousand dollars to self-publish a book that is poorly conceived, badly written, ridiculously titled, and packaged with a hideous cover.  But they do it. And because they do this, there is a risk that your very good book could suffer as a result.

Action point: Write the best book possible.

Here is the encouragement:

Bookstores and distributors are excited about getting great books (even very good books) into the hands of buyers. It makes no difference whether that book is self-published or traditionally published.

A great book will always sell well, if it is marketed effectively. There are marketing strategies for getting your book beyond the self-published stigma. 

Here is the challenge:

Write the best book you can possibly write. Get professional help with this if you need it. (Every first-time author needs the help of a professional writing coach and editor to help them shape, develop, and edit their manuscript.) Click here to see our website for the help we provide: Christian Self Publishing Association

Are you wondering if your book is great, with potential to sell well?

Editorial Review and Evaluation. Click here to find out more about getting your first draft, or early draft of your manuscript reviewed and evaluated.

360 Manuscript QC Review and Rating. Click here to find out more about getting your final or nearly final draft reviewed and rated.

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