I thought about an exchange with a newspaper editor a few months ago. It’s bothered me, so I wanted to share a few thoughts.
The most recent book I “self-published” has performed better than books I published through a “traditional” publisher, which did not market my books or place them in the right retail outlets.
The fact that I self-published my book didn’t seem to dissuade the Georgia Archives from having me speak at their monthly lunch session about Georgia history.
I only mention this to say that publishing with a traditional publisher doesn’t guarantee anything — and it certainly doesn’t mean a book is any more credible, accurate or successful. I learned that the hard way by going the traditional publisher route.
When that didn’t work, I charted my own course. I knew I could do it better, and I did. I have self-published four books that have outperformed those I published through a traditional publisher.
I recognize that some are more niche topics than others. But it shows you that when you have passion for a subject, you can be more successful than a well-seasoned publisher that claims to have their processes down to a science.
At least when I publish a book, I don’t have to wonder whether the publisher will send royalties or opt to hold them against the terms of their contract.
I don’t expect the local newspaper to highlight my book (though it did when it mentioned my appearance at the Georgia Archives), but I think there should be a better metric for whether or not to cover a book.
It doesn’t need a “traditional” publisher to be interesting.