Twenty percent of best selling books are from small indie publishers like BFB, as well as the vast majority of ALL books. The big publishing houses have become the niche publishers.
THE ONCOMING FLOOD
Mainstream publishing houses still control the power, prestige, and publicity of the industry, but that “main stream” they are standing in is called technology, with its rushing current quickening and gaining strength every day.
Now, those indies you see fishing and swimming along the shoreline won’t get washed away by the water. Empowered, they will still be there tomorrow and tomorrow, unlike the bloated Don “Status Que” Fanucci in Godfather II, who chants “domani, domani, domani,”before being annihilated by the new wave.
For nearly ten years now, BROWN FEDORA BOOKS has been gently side-riding that new wave, giving those beachfront authors the opportunity to publish their books—books printed with pixels, printed on paper, printed with care and love. None of us have gotten rich (as of yet), but there are a million other authors out there in the blogosphere doing the same thing we are, and the money exchanging hands far exceeds that touched by the big publishing houses.
Of course, the money doesn’t matter, it’s the books. Admittedly, most of the tidal wave of books coming out of indie publishing rank as drivel or worse, but hidden within those stacks of paper and packs of pixel are the best books being written. The absolute best.
First off, you should be commended for writing the book, that’s the ONLY important part.
Now comes the hard part, or at least the part that’s no fun.
You basically have two choices: Independent publishing with Amazon’s KDP program, or mainstream commercial publishing.
With Amazon KDP, your book gets out immediately, you have complete creative control, the book is available worldwide, the royalty payments per book could not be better. You’ll have both a paperback and an eBook out.
BUT…you’ll have a hard time marketing and selling the book, getting reviews in periodicals, etc. If your primary reason for the book is to make money, it’s a tough path, although it’s been done.
So my advice would be to try some literal agents first. They’re very hard to get interested, but if they do, and if they are good, they will get you a commercial deal that can get you some publicity and sales. Along with some money.
Remember, no reputable agent charges a fee. They believe in your book and take a cut (12%-15%) of its profits. Write a one-page query to the agents listed below (they’re good one), covering: 1. the main idea of your book; 2. what makes it different from the other books out there; and 3. what niche of buyers it is aimed at.
You can find more agents listed on line, if these two turn you down. Just Google something like: “Literary agents handling business books.” The list will be long.
If you have tried a bunch of agents with no success, I would go to Amazon KDP.
Best of luck with this, be patient, don’t give up, and most of all…
My last blog was an essay about the joys of independent publishing.
Two literary critics were talking and the first one said, “F. Scott Fitzgerald died a broken man, because The Great Gatsbywas a commercial and critical flop.”
And the second said, “Yeah, but he knew he wrote a good book.”
Don’t let those agents and acquisition editors and big house publishers get to you. They’re mostly nice, overworked people, but they’re 20thCentury dinosaurs, breathing in the volcanic ash of technology and slowly going extinct. Fugetaboutit.
Technology has set us free. Just go to somewhere like Amazon KDP and publish your book. It’s free, easy, you have complete creative control, the royalty rates are great, and you get immediate worldwide distribution.
Why are commercially successful writers like Lee Child and James Patterson and Stephen King still giving publishing houses a cut of their spoils? I have no idea. Loyalty maybe? Inertia?
No, you won’t be the next King of book sales. You won’t get reviewed here in The New York Times and you probably won’t get rich and famous. But you might. I have a friend who publishes independently (Don’t call it “self-publishing,” it’s Independent Publishing) who has sold over 30,000 books. Another friend often gets on The Timesbestseller list. Another has had a major movie made from her book.
Will this happen to you? Probably not. I know it hasn’t happened to me. But that’s not important. There’s only one thing that matters:
You wrote a good book.