When would I always self-publish my own book?


“Always” is a tough qualifier, but I’d be 99% inclined to publish my own book:

(1) if it was for a tightly-targeted niche market, one that was well defined and had an accessible mailing list for pre-testing before I wrote a word of the text. I just finished posting a 12-blog series on this site about this pre-testing process. The example, fictitious, that I used was “Standard Operating Procedures for Chiropractors.” That’s the kind of market I can serve 100X better than another publisher, without much risk and very profitably. Also see my book Niche Publishing: Publish Profitably Every Time.

(2) if my book was written for a group with which I was closely involved. If I was an officer or even member of the Red-Headed Lilliputian League and the book was benefit-laden and for red-headed Lilliputians, bingo.

(3) if my book has such a narrow market I don’t think any other publisher would be interested. I’d write a sharp, short book zeroing in on the topic—like My Grandma’s Fair-Winning Pickle Recipes—and I’d let the ancillary (or open) publishers print a P.O.D. copy that I could order bound as requested, plus that they (and I) would sell in an e-book version. See details at www.ancillarypublishing.com. Then I’d hustle like a fool finding every pickle devote in my city, county, state, and nation—and get the book reviewed by every reviewer who is into pickles.

(4) if my book met the loose requirements in Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual, I was willing to get it well proofed, I would provide it with a professional cover, and I would be a selling dynamo. John Kremer’s 1001 Ways to Market Your Book will also help there.

(5) if I had a seminar or speaking schedule to audiences that wanted more, detailed information about my topic, and if I could sell the book at or through the presentation (and through some related digital venues, like a newsletter, webinar, and other Web marketing means).

Next week, here, I’ll ask “When would I never self-publish my own book?”

Best wishes,

Gordon Burgett

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