“What’s Your Professional Opinion of
This question was asked
recently at www.askyourbookpublishingcoach.com, and now that I have more first-hand experience with it, I’d like to give a definitive
I am, overall, for it.
Having recently been through the process with several clients who recently published books,
two of them with Intermedia, I have to say this: It is time-consuming, nerve wracking, a ton of
It’s also the best way to make a profit on your book.
If, that is, you actually commit to marketing, and ideally, have some sort of platform
A couple of case studies, real quick.
Why They Chose Self-Publishing
One client, Dr. Alex Loyd, coauthor of The Healing Code(probably the most
important book I’ve ever worked on, in terms of potential to change lives—along with my own Abundant Gifts, of course!), published with Intermedia Publishing Group.
They had a major publisher pursue them, but decided to go with Intermedia because, among other things, they
wanted to have more control over the whole product, they already had a great platform (large mailing list and
partners), and they didn’t want to wait for the book to come out.
Instead of taking 2 years or more, the book was published in 90 days. It took me more time
than that to go through the editorial process, but the final manuscript was submitted the end of December and
the book was published within 90 days.
It’s a hardcover book, and I think the publisher (and all of us on the team) did a great job.
See for yourself.
In this case, we went with Intermedia Publishing Group,
an independent publisher as you might call them, or perhaps it’s more accurate to say a publishing services
I talked to another client who self-published for the same reasons: control, timing, and
profits. She was less thrilled with her publisher (which will go unnamed, but is on Mark Levine’s “Publishers to
Avoid” list in The Fine Print of
Self-Publishing). She is considering Intermedia for her next printing. But though
she was approached by “traditional publishers,” she did not like the way they wanted to change her concept.
And—she didn’t want to wait 2 years or more!
Control and timing.
I recently did a consult with another client who is doing true self-publishing, basically
hiring out the editing, design, getting her own printer, looking into distribution channels etc. Because she
already has staff to do those things a publishing services company can do, and has a great relationship with a
printer, it makes the most sense for her to become, in essence, a small publisher
Most authors don't have these kinds of resources, so it makes sense to go with a publishing
services company. But if you do, it may be the most profitable way to self-publish.
Soon, I hazard to predict, self-publishing will be the way to publish. It will come in various forms, but I suspect that in some years—perhaps
not a lot, either—all authors will have to pay at least something toward getting
The Realities of Self-Publishing
What’s the downside of self-publishing?
The biggest one is the cost. The initial upfront cost is several thousand dollars. You could
go for less, but often you get what you pay for. You can even publish for nothing, with Print On Demand (POD),
and that is right for some people. If you don’t yet have a big platform, that could be a way to start. Then you
work like crazy to build your platform, and create other options for yourself.
So the initial upfront costs can be enormous, and there’s no guarantee you’ll make it back.
(This has always been the case. Most books lose the publishers money. Which is another reason that model is
Whether you make it back will be up to you. If you market, you can make much more of a profit
than you would get in royalties from commercial publishers.
Ironically, the other downside is the thing I named as an advantage: Control. You can get
obsessive and perfectionistic. You can lose perspective and insist on the worst cover design. (I have come to
the conclusion that if you as the author hate the cover--it's probably the best one. If you love it, it's
probably the worst.)
Test your cover ideas and your titles! Ask people who would be your audience, not your best
friend or mother. Realize--you need help. Preferably, professional help. Let the publisher give your input!
Insist "fresh eyes" look at your page proofs.
Control can be your worst enemy. Be sure to let other people look at
In fact, you will be so tired of your book by the time it's out, you may not want to
think of promoting it. But take a break while it's at the printer. When you see your "baby"
finally in print--it's going to be quite a thrill.
Self-publishing may well be the future of publishing. It’s getting so difficult to get
published by commercial publishers now that for most authors, it’s the only real option. Do it wisely, and you
will know the thrill of creating something that will change lives and bring you much deserved
1. Save your money!
Look at it as an investment. With this investment mindset, you will be more motivated to make it back. You will
be more careful to examine very carefully just what kind of profit potential is there. . Mark Levine gives very
clear breakdowns in terms of profits from the various “self-publishing companies” (45 of them; does not cover
Intermedia), and if you’re thinking of this route, I highly recommend you get his book.) (You can also listen to
the interview I did with him at www.askaboutselfpublishing.com.)
for your book in your life. Realize that this is a huge undertaking. It consumed my life for several months. The
publishing process requires you look at what seems like countless page proofs, and to make countless decisions.
What will you cut out of your life now to make room for this kind of project? My new, free Author Time Tips
ecourse is designed to help you manage all the extra tasks that are part of writing, publishing and promoting a
book. (Sign up in the upper corner.)
yourself about self-publishing. Get The Fine Print of Self-Publishing: The
Contracts & Services of 45 Self-Publishing Companies--Analyzed, Ranked and
Exposed. Listen to the interviews I did on the
topic (www.askaboutselfpublishing.com with Mark Levine, and www.askaboutpublishing.com with Terry Whalin).
want me to help you think through the best option for you, contact me ( ) and
we can set up a consultation. A little money for guidance up front can save you thousands later. I can’t tell
you how many authors have come to me after a bad experience with a publishing company. I want to save you money
and help you feel happy with your publishing experience!