Self-Publishing: the International Challenge
post # 439 — September 27, 2007 — a Strategy and the Fat Smoker post
As someone resident in the US, I will confess that when I first thought about self-publishing I was mostly concerned with my own home market. I also assumed that, if the book was good enough, requests for translation rights would come in (and that’s started.)
However, I hadn’t given much thought to countries like Australia, which I visited recently, and which doesn’t translate books from English to “Strine” (The jokey term for Australian English.)
I had assumed (silly me) that, since my books had always done very well in Australia, I would be able to approach the main bookstore chain and discuss arrangements for them to stock a self-published book.
It turned out to be harder than I thought. I tried doing it directly and with the assistance of the Australian Institute of Management (AIM). Nobody has yet returned my calls, emails (or those of the AIM.)
I don’t know what’s going on, and I still have hope that it’s either an oversight or part of the problem with self-publishing. I don’t know how well bookstores are set up to deal with authors who self-publish their books. It woudn’t surprise me if the “filtering system” just blocks things out.
As someone pointed out in an earlier blogpost in this series, when you self-publish, you are not just going outside the regular channel of the publishers, but of the entire “supply chain” reviewers, bookstores, etc. which has been built around dealing with established publishers.
It’s early days, and I’ll keep you posted, but I thought it only fair to report the hiccups as well as the virtues of self-publishing.
Suzanne Lowe said:
David, I’m considering self-publishing my next book also, so I’m quite interested in your journey. But I have to wonder: why work so hard at placing your book in bookstores? Is there really THAT much buying traffic in those venues? Why wouldn’t you spend more time advertising your book’s availability and then do the fulfillment through your website? (And wouldn’t this make international selling easier?)
posted on September 27, 2007