By Jennifer Holder
When I worked in a New York publishing house, we knew the value of self-published authors. Many who arrived in our submissions box offered big promises that they themselves had been unable to fulfill. But others arrived battle-scarred, with their determination and hard work reflected in solid sales figures (yes, big houses can track sales on self-published books). They had large followings for seminars, their innovative idea or insight had been tested – with great response – on thousands of people, and a lot of folks wanted to pay attention to them on social media (including us!).
Many authors regard self-publishing as a last resort. Once the rejection letters from agents pile up & up & up, they give up and decide to publish and promote the book themselves. But I’m here offering professional testimony – self-publish, do it well, and you can be signing that book deal with a major house, with foreign publishers, with screenwriters adapting your book, with massive venues who competed to host your sold-out seminars or book talks and signings. (I’m playing with you a bit – I know what writers dream of when they place the last period on their manuscript because I’ve done it too!)
So begin viewing self-publishing as a first step on the road to reaching your goals and living out your aspirations. Just be committed to it. Put in the effort to build solid, trackable sales figures and follow through on your marketing plan. You can become a sure-bet. And in an industry as risky and volatile and surprising as publishing (sure-things can be misses just as surely as unknowns can become a phenomenon) – your track record for success will be greatly appreciated.
Jennifer Holder is the founder of Full Bloom Publications which specializes in shepherding self-published books from conception to promotion in ways that attract literary agents and major publishing houses. She sees self-publishing as only the beginning of her authors’ publishing paths.