As you may or may not know my first book was published by Wiley in 2010. It’s called Attention! This Book Will Make You Money and I’m VERY proud of it. People who have read it constantly tell me how much it changed their fortunes and help them grow a strong business and brand off of creative ideas. It’s a great book.
I purposely wanted to work with a major “traditional” publisher like Wiley for my first book simply because I wanted a “real” book. You know, a “real” book is one that is hard bound and is published by a big publishing house. For me it was important because I got to have physically produced books that I could show off to friends, family and more importantly potential clients.
It worked. Attention! launched in August 2010 and I was able to immediately double my consulting fees and book more and more speaking gigs. There’s just something about having a “real” book. Or, at least there used to be. I’m afraid the stigma is almost gone.
Seth Godin knows it. So do many others. The publishing industry is changing. Once I saw how the publishing industry works from the inside, I was able to easily decide that it wasn’t for me, for a bunch of reasons.
First off, it’s too slow. My second book called “How To Catch Happy“, which I just self-published on the Kindle and eBook format (click here for Kindle book, just $.99 for now), was written, edited and published in less than a few weeks of my time, all by me. Wow. What power. This reminds me of why I got into blogging in 2001. It was because of the “instant” part of it. Sure, putting a book into a digital format and self-publishing isn’t that instant, but it’s darn close when you compare it to the traditional publishing format that can take almost a year.
Another reason I’ve decided to cut ties with my publisher and self-publish is frankly, I don’t need them. They slow me down and they don’t help me market. The only real thing they did for me was to cut me a check for writing it in advance, sort of help me edit it (my wife did most of it, true story) and print a bunch of copies and distribute it to some bookstores. I say “some” bookstores because B&N only bought a few copies of my book for about every other store as far as I could tell. Ok, sure, they did more than that (sort of) but at the end of the day I didn’t really see what I needed them for.
Anyway, I could go on and on about the past and what I’ve learned about the traditional publishing business. I won’t. I’ll just tell you that Wiley is full of good people and they helped me accomplish my goal. They still own the rights to Attention! But none of my future books, I’m a free agent again. Perhaps I’d go to the traditional publishing route in the future again if it fits my agenda. Never say never.
Think of this new world we live in now. It’s just like 2001 all over again with blogs. You can now easily create content and distribute it to millions and millions of people as a book! You can even use services like Infinity Publishing, Createspace or Lulu.com to have “real” copies made. It’s totally up to you! Isn’t this exciting?
My plan is to publish books at my own pace. I may push two up every month. Or one in three months. Some short and some long. I don’t know. The point is I can do it when I want, as often as I want.
That’s power. That’s the future.