Traditional publishers are in business to make money by publishing books that sell great initially and continue to sell well in the years to come. If you are fortunate enough to have your book acquired and published by a traditional publisher, you will probably be required to assign your rights to the publisher for at least 35 years.
Each new book that is published today is usually also released as an ebook which makes the chances of a title going out of print very low. This is great but does not guarantee that the title will be marketed and sold once sales velocity has slowed.
Traditional publishers build their business around the typical sales curve of a print book: put a lot of copies on bookstore shelves, see what sells in the first 90 days, and deal with returns and marginal ongoing demand on most titles. Some books just don’t fit that model—especially if the author is relatively unknown. Demand can start slow but grow if nurtured.
A self-published author retains control over when action is taken to continue to drive sales. However they forfeit the benefits to be gained by capitalizing on a publisher’s extensive network of relationships which are very important for getting as many copies as possible in place for launch and for getting the publicity necessary to raise consumer awareness and spur purchases.
How important is it to make sure your book continues to be marketed and sold over the long term?
Do you have any questions or concerns? Shoot me a message via the About/Contact page and I’ll do my best to help.
The previous post in this series discusses differences between traditional and self-publishing when it comes to speed to market, and the next post discusses the opportunity to impact your success by setting the price on your ebook.