You all know that I'm self-publishing an e-book version of Saving the Planet & Stuff in order to give it a life as a back list title. You know because I keep mentioning it here. You can see the cover over to the left. I have done very little since the beginning of July except work on the marketing plans for this thing and copyediting. When you have text scanned to create a digital file, a lot of errors occur. Who knew?
So, I have self-publishing on the mind. Self-publishing was on my mind when I saw Some Hard Numbers at Janet Reid, Literary Agent. Reid writes about writers who self-publish believing they'll catch a traditional publisher's eye. As she points out, they may not be aware of what catches a publisher's eye. It's sales. Big ones. By big, she's talking 20,000 books. Doesn't sound like a big number to you? Many traditionally published authors don't sell 20,000 copies of an individual title. The commenter who pointed out that a self-published e-book can continue slowly selling for years is correct. That's why traditionally published authors like myself are self-publishing out-of-print titles. E-books function as the back list that publishers can no longer maintain. But slow, low sales over many years aren't helpful for publishers. If they were, they'd keep much larger back lists than they do.
Self-publishing was also on my mind when I read A Day in the Life of a Children's Book Editor. What I kept thinking was that all those things that editor talked about doing are things self-published authors have to do for themselves. Proofing, cover copy, cover concepts, cover illustrations, promotion, deadlines, events...And, as this editor said, she didn't do any editing that day.
One of my Facebook friends said she was surprised to hear that self-publishing was a lot of work. She isn't a writer.