I know that some of you may think I am prejudiced towards using the self-publishing route as opposed to licensing the manuscript to a traditonal book publisher. A number of my blogs speak to this subject because self-publishing is an option that many don't know much about. I know from experience that this method has a history of paying - off in certain circumstances -
a. Use the book to help promote a business or profession or service of some kind and making full profit from its sale.
b. Use the book as a first-time author as part of a strategy to build a success story sufficiently to attract the interest of a traditional book publisher to license rights to do their edition of your book or new manuscript.
c. After having no success in attracting a traditional book publisher with or without the help of an Agent use the strategy described in point B.
d. Because your manuscript covers a specialized topic and/or small market of potential buyers the strategy of self-publishing, marketing, and selling on your own makes more sense in terms of independence, satisfaction and making money .
In all of the above situations self-publishing can pay off.
Plenty of case studies. Let me give you a few.
-Vince Flynn author of "American Assasin" published by Atria. His very first book received rejections from more than 60 publishers, agents, and editors. He wound up self-publishing "Term Limits" and selling 2,400 copies in three weeks. It went to #1 on the local bestseller list. It attracted an agent (a good one) and a deal with Atria where he has stayed ever since.
-Cathie Beck wrote her sassy-yet-moving memoir "Cheap Cabernet" ten years ago. It made the rounds of publishers by her agent without success. She did nothing with it for ten years and then one day read an article about a self-published author who had won a few awards. This inspired her to self-publish and promote the book and support it with an exhaustive marketing campaign online. It was availabe on Amazon with good enough success that Hyperion published it in paperback in July last.
Wedding Planner Perry Merry self-published "The Best Wedding Reception...Ever!". He began with 1,500 copies and did so well he had another 10,000 done. He placed the book on Amazon while continuing to sell it at speaking engagements and appearances at bridal shows. After awhile he offered it to publishers who do wedding books. No big surprise when you learn it was acquired by Sellers Publishing and published in hard cover last September.
Need more proof? Go to the website for "Self-Publishers Hall of Fame" and see for yourself.
As mentioned I advocate both approaches - self-publishing and licensing. The reality is like many things in live it is good to have options to consider.