After 10 months of DIY book marketing, I’m ready to try something new, I think. I have been given the chance to republish my book through a hybrid publishing service and let them direct my marketing efforts. In exchange I give them a share of whatever profits may be forthcoming.
Mostly this seems like a good idea because while I’m good at a number of things, I’m not actually a very good marketer, and I don’t want to learn to be a good marketer. I want to make the most of the talents of other people who are already good at it so I can use my time to write books and do stuff with airplanes.
I’m also mindful that while this would mean I would have to share my proceeds, 60% (or whatever my share is) of many books sold is a lot more than 100% of 7 books sold, which was my total for September.
The thing about indie publishing is that you can write the best book on earth, or even a really good book (and I believe mine easily falls into the second category) but if you can’t get people to know about it, you’re never going to have high sales numbers. Or even sales numbers high enough to turn a profit and not have your accountant yell at you for writing off business expenses for a business that doesn’t meet the official IRS definition of a business because it’s not profitable.
There are just too many indie books out there and the reader has no way of knowing which ones are worth reading. Reviews help, but they don’t put books in front of people, they just let them know that the book is good (or bad) once they find it.
The other thing is that while I think I have a decent eye for stuff, I’ve gotten feedback from real marketing people that my cover is pretty good, but isn’t as inviting as it could be. I didn’t design my cover, but I chose what was designed by someone who claimed to be a professional, but who, I now realize, had some outdated ideas (or was too cheap to buy fonts, not sure). But, this is something I never could have figured out on my own because, see above, I’m not a marketing person.
So, pretty soon I will need to decide: keep slogging away on my own, or fall into the embrace of this hybrid publisher? I’m about 80% of the way to a “yes” decision, because I can’t see much of a downside. I mean, really, what’s going to happen? I might sell some books and lose my natural humility? I might make some money and lose my status as an artist who does it only for the creative glory?
The one slightly scary thing is that I would give up rights to the book for a certain number of years, but, according to my research, a finite contract is actually quite generous, as many traditional publishers maintain rights in perpetuity and some even try to rope authors in to turning over the rights to their back catalog (not that I have a back catalog) and future works, all in perpetuity.
I would love to hear from others who have wrestled with this question, or anyone who has an opinion. I love comments!