by Rob Eagar
I am one of the few original self-publishing success stories. And, I did it way before the advent of e-books, Amazon, and social media. Over 10 years ago, I left corporate America as a sales executive to pursue what seemed like a ridiculous dream to write a book. I had no publishing contacts, no name recognition, and no desire to wait two years to get published. So, I chose the D-I-Y “do-it-yourself” approach. I worked tirelessly on my manuscript for a year. Then, I hired my own editor, page layout designer, graphic artist, and printing company. Long story short, I put my sales background to work and wound up selling over 13,000 copies, spoke to more than 35,000 people, generated a consistent six-figure income, and eventually signed a nice contract with a reputable publisher. Ten years later, that book is still selling in bookstores acrossAmerica.
What was the key to my self-publishing success? I took great pains to avoid appearing self-published. That’s right, I did everything I could to make people think that I had been traditionally-published. My manuscript was continually edited until my wife, the VP of Quality Control, deemed it “a real book.” My book cover looked amazing and received great feedback. My book was printed on high-quality paper. My first website was created by an experienced professional. My marketing materials all featured the same brand. I succeeded because didn’t let a D-I-Y mentality give me excuses to cut corners on quality.
Today, I see too many self-published authors sacrificing quality to get a book done quickly and cheaply. Maybe that explains why the average self-published books only sells 150 copies…total. That’s a lot of hard work flushed down the drain.
Anyone can be a maverick and write their own book. But, not everyone can be successful. I’m all for the entrepreneurial spirit, saving money, and enjoying the fruits of your labor. However, unless you’re gifted in every area of publishing, spend the extra money to utilize professional freelance editors, graphic artists, and web designers. Don’t D-Y-I (Do-Yourself-In) with a D-I-Y mentality. If you choose to self-publish, do it right from the beginning and create a book that becomes your own success story.
About the Author
Rob Eagar is the founder of WildFire Marketing, a consulting practice that helps authors and publishers sell more books and spread their message like wildfire. He has assisted numerous New York Times bestselling authors and his new book, Sell Your Book Like Wildfire, will be published by Writer’s Digest in June, 2012. Find out more about Rob’s advice, products, and coaching services for authors at: www.startawildfire.com