E-books and the Independent Publisher

October 2010
by Curt Matthews

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E-books and the Independent Publisher

by Curt Matthews

Many participants involved in independent-press publishing have by now built good careers and successful companies by keeping clearly in mind what they can do really well versus what the big corporate publishing conglomerates can do.

Successful independent publishing is about niche titles, moderate author advances, low initial print runs, modest publicity campaigns, nickel squeezing left, right, and center, and a marketing approach that starts conservatively and builds incrementally if the market signals are positive enough.

Take these methods and turn them on their heads, and you have a description of how the corporate giants work. The way good independent publishers (and independent-press distributors too) get in trouble is by heeding the siren song of big-time publishing: “If I  could only afford the $50,000 advance, or the 12-city author tour, I could be a contender!”   

This is not to say that independent publishers don’t sometimes sell a huge number of copies of some titles. I have either published or distributed hundreds of titles that have sold in the range of 100,000 to 500,000 copies—easily enough to make the bestseller lists if their sales had occurred in a short period of time. But only…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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