As part of the jexbo, Self-Published Author Series, today we hear from Ian Coburn, author of “God is a Woman: Dating Disasters,” http://www.godisawoman.net.
Tell us about your self-published book.
The book relives my various dating and sexual misadventures as a touring comedian, sharing what I learned as advice after each story.
Why did you decide to self-publish?
I decided to go in with one guy because I’d have more control. I had a few big publishers who were interested but wanted to turn it into a “pick-up” manual. That wasn’t my goal and directly conflicted with the book’s message. Considering it landed me a gig answering questions for “Lifetime” in a column called, “Ask A Guy,” I’d say I made the right move.
What was your biggest challenge to overcome in self-publishing your book?
Finding a third-party publisher who would give us books for cost. It’s crazy that many printers want to charge you full-price or only 30% off for your own books. You have to give many away for reviews, etc. Are they crazy?! That tells me they don’t believe in their books or authors; they just want to make money off them, as opposed to book sales. We wanted to be on bookshelves because then we would get more media. Media members don’t like to have you on the news, etc, if their viewers can’t by your book at the bookstore, understandably. And to do that, you have to be listed with Ingram. You have to have 10+ books under your imprint to be listed with Ingram, so we used a POD provider who met the qualification. It was our imprint (just one book) but their reputation that enabled us to get listed with Ingram.)
What has been the best part about self-publishing your book?
Control over content and greater profit per book.
What advice do you have for other potential writers and self-published authors?
Do your research. Find what matches with you best. If you use a POD, etc, as a printer for online orders or to get listed with Ingram, get one who charges cost for your books. (WingSpan is the only one I’ve found to date.)
You have to look past all the other “specials” they offer, recognizing them as gimmicks. You have to MARKET, MARKET, MARKET, whether you self-publish or go with another publisher. When you self-publish, you accrue all the marketing costs. If you can’t afford to buy your books to give away for free to reviewers and the media, you can’t market. It literally baffles me why anyone would use a printer or POD publisher who charges more than cost per book.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
MARKET, MARKET, MARKET. If you’re not willing to market, don’t be an author. Authors who don’t market don’t sell. And they make a bad name for the rest of us. The number one problem authors have approaching publishers is getting them to believe they will market because many authors say they will, but don’t. Marketing is hard, continuous, often tedious work that never ends. NEVER.
Thanks for your valuable tips and advice Ian. If you’d like some help on how to market, sell and publicize your book, please write to me here or at http://www.jexbo.com. I’d love to hear from you!