A Message to Self-Published Authors

The other day I received a call from a self-published author. This gentleman told me that he had published his book through CreateSpace and was looking for someone to sell his book for him.

We spent some time discussing distributors and sales reps and what they could do for him. I told this author that regardless of whom he hired to “sell” his book, he still needed to promote his book. This gentleman told me he knew nothing about promoting or marketing a book.

When I heard this, I guided him to my book, Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace.  I explained to him that I had written the book specifically for people in his position. I informed him that my book would give him instructions on how to market his book.

After all, I wrote the book to help others publishing Christian books. This is the resource I wish I had had starting out in publishing. Instead, I had to learn most of what is provided in this book the hard and painful way: through trial and error and stumbling upon resources here and there over a number of years.

This author asked me how much my book cost. I told him $23.99.

This gentleman then proceeded to tell me that he had just spent over $1,000 printing his book and that he did not want to spend any more money.

As gently as I could, I informed this author that he would be well advised to spend $23.99 to learn how to market his book so that he could begin to recoup the money he had spent on printing the book. Or, he could spend nothing and, a year from now, have all his books still sitting in his garage and not recouped any of the money he had spent on printing his book.

That’s the truth. Every self-published author has a choice. Spend money on marketing and promoting your book and, as a result, actually sell copies of your book – or – don’t spend money on marketing and promoting your book and not sell copies of your book.

The old adage “It takes money to make money” is still true, even in book publishing.

If you have not yet published a book but are considering doing so, you would be wise to budget at least as much money for marketing your book as you do for publishing and printing it.