Untraditional Publishing is Born!

UP Blog(This was my very first blog, back in Oct of 2009. See if it relates, now 6 and half years later.) Do you remember the days when authors used to write a book, do several redrafts, research literary agents, write query letters, write a synopsis of the book, write an outline, and write chapter samples? By this time, the author’s book was polished. This process also helped the author discover their market. A polished book and established market is what literary agents and traditional publishers like to see.

After eighty years of ruling the industry, traditional publishers are now fading to an afterthought. Most authors will tell you that traditional houses dug their own grave, because the selection process was like winning the lottery. However, at least literary agents and traditional publishers forced authors to work hard on their book, settling for nothing less than perfection.

Now, self-publishers are running the industry. This is the result of authors changing and traditional publishers not changing. Companies like Author House and Lulu are publishing five to six times more books than Random House.

Are these sellable books? Absolutely not.

The president of Lulu admitted, “Most of our books are unmarketable, especially our poetry books.”

Why are these companies putting out unsellable products? Because their money comes from the author, not the reader. A print-on-demand company called Blurb, hit revenues of $30 million. I can bet that their authors have yet to make $30 dollars.

Because of “Self-Destructive” publishing, the purity of books has been tainted. That is not fair to authors, but more importantly, it is not acceptable to the readers. Before things get out of hand, something needs to be done about this epidemic.

Authors need to stop paying for a dream, because those dreams do not have value. Amazon is not a marketing plan! Placing an ISBN number on your book does not ensure success.

Right now, authors are left with two choices: Pay for publishing or Wait for publishing. Neither is attractive to authors who have a true gift and are willing to sacrifice to improve their craft.

There is a third option, which I call, Untraditional Publishing. Here are the keys:

  1. Create a marketable book.
  2. Develop a market for the author.
  3. Build a sizeable audience.
  4. Generate steady cash flow.

The author has to write a book that is attractive and enjoyable for readers. Put in the time to do the redrafts and have others look over your work. Allocate your money to creating a marketable book, rather than self-publishing. Then, build a sizeable audience. Generate funds so you can invest some more. (And pay the bills!)

We need independent authors, not authors who are dependant on others for their dreams. If an author pays for self-publishing before a market is formed, then that is putting the cart before the horse. If an author queries a literary agent or traditional publisher before the author establishes a sizeable audience, then a rejection letter is inevitable.

Once an author has gone through the Untraditional Publishing route, the author can make decisions that are more traditional without the fear of time or money looming over their head.

To develop your Untraditional Publishing career, do the following:

  1. Read (Everyday.)
  2. Write (Only when the ideas are flowing.)
  3. Publish (After you have established an audience and funding.)
  4. Market (Before, during, and after you are published.)

Those that can achieve this will have a great deal of success. It is a privilege to be an author. Forget about ISBN’s, Amazon, and having your book in the Library of Congress. Invest in marketing yourself and your book. Build an audience and sufficient cash flow. This way, you are not dependent on publishers for your success.

Authors are now in control of the publishing industry. Let us start acting like it.

Ron Knight

If you want to sell more books and rise as your own Untraditional Publisher, visit 12 Month Author Marketing Plan.

Ron Knight

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