In the comments section of our previous post, "The Times They Are a’Changin’" a reader, BK, said she’d like to hear from someone who has published both traditionally and by self publishing during the last two years.
Well, I’m the only NovelMatters author who has gone both routes in the last two years. I’m not comfortable doing dollars and cents, but I can tell you from my experience some things you might not have considered.
Two years ago Zondervan released my non-fiction, The Mormon Mirage, and Moody published my fiction, Latter-day Cipher. They both had given me advances against the royalties that the books would subsequently earn at the rate of over 10 percent (I'm being deliberately imprecise here) on each copy sold at full retail price. So—until the point of “earning out,” technically I earned more than that percentage. Meanwhile, the publishers took the financial risk and paid for typesetting, cover design, editing, my book trailer, advance copies sent to reviewers, print advertisement, contacting radio and television stations, and many other elements of my books.
All of those became my job when my agent concluded that there was no interest from publishers in another nonfiction, The Hinge of Your History: The Phases of Faith. But I knew there was tremendous interest in this book because I spoke on it so often. So with my agent’s blessing I self-published it last fall through Amazon CreateSpace. My profit on the books I buy and resell is more like 70%. But, again—all the manuscript and cover preparation was my job. All the publicity is my job.
But you know what – I’m loving it. The sales on the initial printings (which all sold from two speaking appointments, one newsletter blast, and announcements on NovelMatters and Facebook) have given me the funds to create some neat promotional products I’ll sell/give away when I’ll speak next month before 900 women at the Women Walking With God conference in Wichita Kansas.
Here’s a picture. From the top going clockwise: the back of my book, the front of my book, a pen imprinted with my website address, two wristbands that read, “It’s a Contradiction!” and my website address, a pocket-sized notebook, a bookmark that has the cover image on the front and a list of my most popular speaking topics on the back. Center: a checkbook cover with the “hinge” image crossing from front to back (just as the book has.)
I’d like to give away some of these promotional products to a NovelMatters reader. I will choose from the people who make comments below. If you can answer any of the following questions (have read the book), you will be entered twice:
What is the "hinge" of the book title?
What are the four layers that span the spines of the book and the checkbook cover?
What are the three phases of faith?
What is the meaning of the phrase, "It's a Contradiction!"?