Saturday, May 9, 2015

What do publishers know?

Newspapers want us to believe that they are truly objective.

Politicians want us to believe that they are truly working for the Greater Good of everybody.

And publishers want us to believe that they truly have special knowledge and power to select just the best and just the right books to publish, which makes a book selected by them a Good Book, and a book not selected a Wrong Book, naturally.

This of course make self-publishing suspect: if the book is good, why couldn't it find a publisher?  Good question, but let's consider some evidence:

  • Chicken Soup For the Soul, the publishing super-success, went through denials from publisher after publisher, month after month, until the authors in desperation collected 20,000 promises-to-buy.
  • Dune, one of the world's most famous and successful science fiction books, was rejected by sixteen publishers. The author's wife picked up the manuscript from the trash and convinced him to send it out again
  • And of course: Harry Potter, the best selling, ultra-super-duper successful and influential novel series of all time, went through rejections from about twenty publishers before it found one who could see its merit!

The conclusion is inescapable: publisher, despite... well what do they have going for them? Only their own word, I'd guess... have no more idea what is a good book or what will be successful than you or I do. They have money, but these days they don't even promote your book, you must do that yourself. They may or may not pay an advance. But on the other hand, most authors get less than 10 percent of the earnings of the book. If you self-publish, the lion's share of earnings is yours, as it should be.

1 comment:

TC [Girl] said...

Good to know; I'm sold...thanks!! ;-)