Which is Better: Traditional Publishing or Self-Publishing?

MCS BLOG 11Traditional publishing has a marketing plan that they’ve been using for 90 years. They invest their marketing dollars in specific areas and will continue to stick with that trend.

Marketing the Traditional Way:

~ Target Market Research

~ Book Conferences

~ Events

~ Book Signings

~ Placement of books in big box stores

~ Placement in bookstores, both chain and local (Especially bookstores that report numbers to the New York Times Bestsellers List)

~ Placement of books on the end-caps of bookstores and big box stores

~ Media Coverage

~ Advertisements (Billboards, Newspapers, Commercials, Movie Theatres)

~ Press Kits

~ Book Reviews

~ Reading Samples/Serialization

~ Speaking Engagements

~ Film Adaptation

Traditional publishers weren’t in a rush to switch from print books to eBooks. In fact, many traditional authors own the rights to their eBooks and the publisher owns the rights to the printed books.

As social media and eBooks became a new fad that anyone can do, people started calling traditional publishers “dinosaurs” and complained that traditional ways were dying. Authors decided to go on their own.

Marketing the Self-Published Way:

~ Website

~ Facebook Profile/Page

~ Twitter

~ Other Social Media

~ Blogging

~ SEO (Getting noticed on Google)

~ Local Events

10 years ago, self-published authors needed guidance from literary agents, publicists, and traditional publishers. But now, self-published authors are confident that they understand marketing trends and can discard the “traditional” ways of marketing.

Publishing Facts:

~ 32 million books are in print.

~ 56,000 eBooks are released every 30 days.

To get noticed by readers, which marketing strategy should you use? The traditional model or self-published model?

The answer is to pull from the ideas of both traditional and self-publishing and create the perfect marketing campaign that’s unique for YOU. We call this Untraditional Publishing)

Facts about traditional publishing and self-publishing.

Fact One: Traditional publishing doesn’t put a lot of stock into eBooks, because 46% of readers prefer printed books and 6% of readers prefer eBooks. Traditional publishers would rather eBooks sell more because the cost to produce and distribute eBooks are low, but readers are buying printed books, so that’s where to invest the money.

Lesson: Use eBooks to “test” the value of your book, then invest in printing your best books.

Fact Two: Social media is a great way to keep in touch with current reading fans, but not a way to gain new readers. Target marketing and direct marketing are the most effective ways to sell products, which includes books.

Lesson: Before James Patterson was making millions, he researched which cities his books would sell the most and focused his own money on marketing in those cities. He also stayed away from cities that authors like John Grisham and Stephen King were dominating. This logic saved Patterson time and money while increasing his book sales.

Fact Three: Publishers and authors can’t succeed on their own.

Lesson: The reason publishers hire marketing specialists and sign authors is because that’s what they need to run a successful business.

The reason self-published authors don’t want to do all the marketing that traditional publishers are doing, is because it’s time consuming and expensive. However, self-published authors can use some of the traditional marketing technics to succeed without spending a massive amounts of time and money.

You can succeed by using both traditional and self-publishing methods.

Untraditional Publishing Marketing Plan

~ Use eBooks to test the value of your books, then print the most popular books.

~ Hire someone to help with marketing. Start off with a budget of $30 a month and work your way up to a budget of $250 a month, then $500 a month as book sales increase. Or at least invest 99 cents by purchasing a step-by-step marketing plan for the next year. 12 Month Author Marketing Plan

~ Target research, advertising, and direct marketing are the best approaches to gain new readers in different cities. (There are two blogs to understand this better: The Answer to Book Sales and 13 Facts to Sell More Books.

~ Website, social media, and blogging are the best ways to build a relationship with your current readers, but not the best way to gain new readers. Consider more “traditional” promotions and advertising.

“Authors place limitations on their career when they consider the importance of who they are, rather than who they can become.” ~ Ron Knight

Make sure to sign up for the 9 Minute Reading Challenge and receive FREE promotion!


Ron Knight

Facebook Twitter