26 Reasons Why Now is the Best Time to Be a Publisher or Self-Publisher by Michael Larsen

  1. 26 Reasons Why Now is the Best Time to Be a Publisher or Self-PublisherPublishers have more options for publishing than ever: e-books, print-on-demand, offset printing, downloads, audiobooks, podcasts, blogs, websites, a series of articles or videos.
  2. Books can generate more profits than ever. People are buying content in more forms, formats, media, and countries than ever.
  3. Publishers can coordinate publication worldwide. They can plan the timing and marketing of their books and subsidiary rights to maximize their books’ impact and build their authors’ brand.
  4. More people are writing and publishing books than ever, so publishers have more opportunities to find authors. Publishers are always eager to find new authors and help them get the recognition and rewards they deserve. It’s the best part of the job.
  5. If your first book sells, your publisher will want to do a series of related books that sell each other. If you’re passionate about writing and promoting a series, publishers will help you build your career book by book.
  6. Publishers have more models to help them choose what to acquire and how to build books and authors. They can acquire the books and writers most likely to succeed.
  7. A book that serves readers’ needs for information, inspiration, beauty, or entertainment well enough is unstoppable. Social media empowers books to    become bestsellers, regardless of who publishes them or how.
  8. There are more subjects than ever to publish books about. To keep earning, people have to keep learning, so the need for all forms of information continues to grow.
  9. Publishers buy most nonfiction with a proposal. This enables them to help shape a book so it will work best for the author, the house, the trade, the media, and for readers.
  10. Publishers have more ways to build a book’s and author’s visibility. When they buy a book, they start advising writers about platform and promotion.
  11. Publishers have more ways to test-market books than ever. They can help writers maximize the value of their books before they publish them by proving they work.
  12. Publishers develop a knack for doing certain kinds of books well, so they keep getting better at doing them. Publishers are wired to the fields they publish in and help connect writers to their field.
  13. Like agents, publishers take a chance on new writers, hoping the relationship will grow more creative and profitable as the writer’s career develops. Publishers take the long view: they try to judge a writer’s potential to continue producing books, each better and more profitable than the last one.
  14. Publishers are perpetual optimists. 75% of books don’t earn back their advances, but publishers keep trying.
  15. Money doesn’t rule publishing; passion does. If publishers believe in a book passionately, either because they love it, they think it will sell, or because of its social or literary value, it must be published, they’ll publish it.
  16. Books can succeed faster than ever. One of our authors, Cherie Carter-Scott, appeared on Oprah, and that afternoon, her book–If Life is a Game, These are the Rules–rocketed to the top of Amazon’s bestseller list. Then it shot to the top of the New York Times
  17. Books are more accessible than ever. It’s faster, easier, and often less expensive to buy and read books anywhere with access to the Web.
  18. Technology is the greatest publishing tool since the printing press.
    • Technology helps every part of the publishing process, making it possible for books to succeed faster and easier than ever.
    • Publishers can sell books and subsidiary rights more efficiently.
    • They can print, reprint and distribute books faster.
    • Publishers promote to the trade and the public online as well as off-line.
    • Publishers digitize manuscripts so can they repurpose them in other formats.
    • Schedule reprints based on sales, which lessens returns and helps ensure stores have a steady supply of books
    • Acquire books that readers want and avoid those that don’t sell
  19. Publishers know more about how books are selling than ever. Nielsen Bookscan, which accounts for 75% of sales, which enables publishers to know how competing books are selling.
  20. More freelance professionals than ever are available to help publishers. Besides freelance editors who may have worked for the house, there are collaborators, ghostwriters, copy editors, cover artists, publicists, and media trainers. 
  21. Backlist books sell more than ever. The more people know, the more they want to know. If readers like one of an author’s books, they want the others, and e-books make it easier and faster than ever to buy them. Backlist books continue to sell through classroom adoptions and as new readers discover authors.
  22. Independent bookstores are thriving. Bookstores are essential portals of discovery for books, and indies are better booksellers than chain stores. Indies sell less than 5% of books, but they can make books by new authors bestsellers by handselling them.
  23. Publishers have more ways than ever to promote their books. They can fine- tune their efforts to suit their books and authors. Big houses have a speakers’ bureau.
  24. There are 40,000 publishing houses, and new ones continue to emerge. The industry is always open to new imprints. There are obstacles to success, but none to enter. Starting a publishing house is easier than ever. New houses can build a list, a stable of writers, and their business in whatever way best enables them to fulfill their mission.
  25. A global reading explosion is coming. Six of seven people on Earth have access to the Web. As the world goes mobile at an accelerating rate, sales of books in English–the international language of culture and commerce–and in translation will flourish in the Pacific Century. Most people will read on smartphones, but ebook sales will build pbook sales.
  26. Publishing people enjoy the pleasures of the literary life: reading, browsing in bookstores and buying books, building a library of books they love, helping authors get the recognition and rewards they deserve, getting good reviews and winning awards, serving their communities, having readers worldwide buying and loving their books, basking in the recognition of their colleagues.

If you like this blog post, you’ll love our publishing courses! Learn more about our courses for authors here

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