While there was a certain amount of control involved in self-publishing my book, The Key to The Men’s Room: What Men Talk About When Women Aren’t Around, I would have preferred publishing in a more traditional manner, but only with serious public relations help from the publisher.
I have enjoyed the sense of controlling my own destiny self-publishing that I recognize I might not have had if I was able to publish with a large publishing house. Being able to make decisions without conferring with a higher-up, so to speak, suited my entrepreneurial background.
After speaking with many traditionally published authors, what I have learned is that there is little if any support once the publisher releases a book. The budgets have been slashed to the bone and a friend who was published with a major house was given $10k and told, “Good luck.” She ran out of money after three weeks of travel and hotels.
I have managed to be interviewed on television several times, initially on my own, and then with the help of a press agent. I have also been interviewed on many radio programs. I doubt a publisher would have been able to do much better.
I would say that self-publishing, at least for non-fiction, is a legitimate way to go. But there has to be the recognition that the world isn’t necessarily waiting to hear from you when you decide to publish solo. My initial approach included having a literary agent who worked the publishing industry until I had a drawer-full of rejections. I left his agency and decided to go it alone. I learned rather quickly that self-publishing has its hazards, but I also learned that like most entrepreneurial efforts, getting a book on the market requires lots of sweat and sales pitches. Self-publishing is not for the timid.
I am scheduled to be on television again in October and seem to sell books after each television interview. Breaking into the big time, Oprah, Good Morning America, The Today Show, requires persistence and some amount of luck. If that show is specifically featuring my topic on their program, then getting on that show is far more likely. That is how I landed an interview on the Weekend Today Show in New York.
My only advice to those interested in self-publishing non-fiction is to gird for battle because every day is just that, a battle. My entrepreneurial background helped enormously because I never saw the task of selling books as an impossible one.