I have been committed to self-publishing, author directed publishing, or whatever you may call it for a while now. I can pinpoint it to the day I took a Basics of Self-Publishing class at the IWC, taught by YA author Robert Kent. November 4th, 2018.
In that time, I have posted a few times on my decision to forgo the Big Five route. I haven’t regretted the decision and kept writing and working on all the rest of the stuff that goes with author directed publishing. Yet, the choice remained a kind of theory….until this weekend.
I have had successful book selling events before at bookstores and coffee houses. I have had events not selling books at bookstores and coffeehouses.
No one between me and the book buyers
This weekend I was in the Cincinnati Music hall with nearly 100 other vendors. This weekend I experienced clearly why it makes sense to take one’s books directly to the readers. I was the only guy selling books. Hundreds of festival goers passed my table over the weekend. Some stopped to talk. Some stopped to buy. And some passed by an hour later showed up to buy. Others ignored me entirely. All of them had the option to do exactly what they wanted to do about my books.
They did the same with Seven Hill Coffee. Boston Stoker Coffee. Evolve Pastries. It Spells Good Pastries. Sky the Tea guy was given the same treatment.
You can’t get more direct that someone talking in to you in person. Perhaps even picking up your book, reading the back cover, admiring the interior design. They did the roughly the same with the other 100 vendors and their products.
Don’t see the point
If I were to ask each person who decided to buy one of books to drive to New York first and let a Big Five Publishing house to approve the sale, I have a feeling my sales would vanish. So why let them? Boston Stoker doesn’t have to get the SCA to sign off on their offerings. Neither did Seven Hills or Tinker. So why should I?
Before print-on-demand publishing, authors had no other realistic choice but to use traditional publishing houses to get their books to readers. Now that has changed. Big Five and even boutique publishing house still have a place of course. It just wasn’t at the Coffee Festival.
Tags: self publishing, selling books, Writing novels