Why I went with artisanal publishing

Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki. He called me clueless once. In a nice way. (Photo credit: koke)

By Eric Ralph

There are great reasons to publish your book artisan-style, as Guy Kawasaki (sort of) terms it in his book, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, particularly for a debut author. Here are a few:

1) Marketing is always your problem. You won’t get marketing support from a publisher anyway. Selling your book is your business.

2) Money. Given #1, why not make as much as you can per book? Royalties on ebooks are up to 70%, always (from what I’ve seen) 35% or more. On print books, the royalties can range from 8-40%. Compare to 8-12% from publishers. Even if you get only 20% of the sales, you’re way ahead.

3) Your book is your book. Like your title? Got a killer idea for a cover? Publishers aren’t interested. The artisanal way, you control all of that, plus you can make revisions if needed, and get your book to market on your schedule, not the publishers.

These are great reasons, to be sure, but none is really the reason I went this route (though #3 is close). When I think about it, I went the route I did largely because I have an innate disinclination to do things the usual way. The ‘prestige’ of traditional publishing is a negative, not a positive. This may have been to world’s worst reason to do something, but it’s the way I am. Just when you think I’m going to zig, I zag.


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