What is considered success when publishing a book?
For some people, selling 5,000 copies is success. For others who self-publish, getting a royalty publishing house to pick up the title and publish it is success. Still other authors consider success simply having people send them notes stating that the book touched or changed their lives.
I have spoken to a number self-published authors who self-published in an attempt to get a royalty publisher to pick up their book. Some ask me for the chances or statistics of this happening. While I do not have hard figures or data, I do know that it does happen.
While the vast majority of self-published titles do not get picked up by larger publishing houses, some do. Tom Cowley’s book is one example.
Tom started Eagles Nest Press (and became a member of Christian Small Publishers Association) and self-published his book A Biography of Jesus. This book was an outgrowth of Tom’s studies in earning his Doctorate of Ministry. Tom published A Biography of Jesus in 2005 and put quite a bit of energy into promoting the book through speaking in churches around the country.
Just this year, Tom’s book was published by Paraclete Press. It was given a new subtitle and a new cover. In addition, it has been given a whole new marketing push by the new publisher. Tom’s book was not published by Paraclete because it was a best seller. It was published because the publisher saw a need and a market for this book.
If you are a self-publisher who desires to have your book picked up by a large publishing house, take heart. You know not God’s plans. Your book may follow the path Tom’s book took. If not, it will still accomplish God’s purpose for it.