5 Surprising Facts About Marketing and Publishing for Aspiring Authors

Self-Publishing and Marketing Your Book

The bookselling industry now favors independent authors in many ways, and authors can market their books without publishers very successfully. Gone are the days when the only route to success was through a traditional publisher. But before you start, it’s crucial to understand the facts about independent publishing, how to sell books, what it takes to publish one, and marketing to reach target readers. Each phase of the process has importance, and writers who become successful authors are careful to do what it takes to succeed. If you’re considering diving in and becoming an author, read on for some insight that’s excellent food for thought.

Here are five surprising facts about book marketing today that show just how lucrative indie publishing can be:

Facts about self-publishing and marketing books.

    1. The majority of book sales are not from best sellers.
      It surprises most people, but think of it: the New York Times bestseller lists generally include 15-20 titles each, out of hundreds of new releases doing lively sales and thousands more that earn their authors a reasonable income. Authors can be highly successful without breaking into a bestseller list.
    2. More than half of Amazon’s book sales are from books you won’t find in a bookstore.
      This astonishing fact was first brought to the public in Chris Anderson’s book The Long Tail. He pointed out that, at that time, Barnes & Noble had 130,000 titles available in its stores, but Amazon.com made a slight majority of its sales from titles the bookstore didn’t carry. Once again, we can see a considerable market for books that may not be considered “mainstream” or a kind that traditional publishers may not invest in—and yet they make good money when they go to print (or ebook).
    3. People trust their friends more than they trust ads.
      This fact has been confirmed over and over in studies. While ads can influence buying decisions, a recommendation from a friend goes a lot further. This fact has been used to good effect by independent authors who build followings of loyal fans. These fans’ reviews and recommendations then drive sales with modest marketing budgets.
    4. Authors can make more money independently than with publishers.
      Again, this surprises many people, yet it’s often true, depending on the author and the title. A typical book contract gives a moderate advance of $10,000 or less, and if the publisher recoups this, the author then starts receiving a small percentage of sales as royalties. By going the independent route, an author makes a much higher profit from book sales. The math is simple unless a publisher offers a particularly attractive book marketing package.
    5. Many experienced, published professional authors are switching to independent publishing.
      Given the prospect of controlling their intellectual property, keeping all rights, and making more money, more authors are leaving their publishers to switch to indie publishing.

Smith Publicity is a leading book marketing agency that has promoted thousands of books and authors from every genre, both traditionally and self-published. Contact us to learn more about book marketing as a self-published author.