Monday, October 04, 2010

Book promotion and self-publishing.

As a book publicist, I'm fielding a whole lot of questions about book publishing these days. People seem to understand that, while landing a publishing contract with a mainstream publisher is still the Holy Grail, it's also possible to self publish without stigmatizing the book project -- and while enjoying all the benefits of publishing a book. A self-published book, of course, can serve as a calling card, help disseminate messages, build credibility -- and, perhaps, even generate some revenue, over time, given a successful book promotion campaign.

The funny thing is that, as a book publicist, I have learned that self-published books have become more and more legitimate for the past, oh, five to ten years. These days, I don't see much of a difference in the media's response to a self-published book and their response to a traditionally-published book. As long as a self-published book enjoys national distribution, and as long as it's professionally edited and competently produced, it enjoys as much respect as a traditionally-published book.

I'm also delighted to find new ways to self-publish books through trusted venues, and I'm especially pleased to pass along this opportunity. The online version of Barnes and Noble has created PubIt! to allow all authors (and self-publishers) to make their ebooks available for purchase online at Read about the official launch of PubIt!, and find the links you'll need to self-publish your own ebook via PubIt!, at Publishers Weekly's site. For me, one of the best pieces of news is that Adobe's InDesign now lets you convert your file to the .PUB format which is exactly what PubIt! requires.

And, yes, you can launch a successful book promotion campaign that revolves around an ebook. You have to be a bit creative, since your ebook's book publicity campaign probably won't include book signings or book reviews. But you have every reason to expect that, as an expert in your field, you can garner interview opportunities using your ebook (and a solid media kit) to establish your credibility.

It looks as though PubIt! is also planning a service that will let authors self-publish traditionally-printed books, too, in the near future. I gather that this upcoming service (if, indeed, it does come up) will go head-to-head with Amazon's CreateSpace service. (Note that Amazon, too, lets authors self-publish their ebooks very easily, too, as long as it's in the Kindle format. And, fortunately, there's a new plug-in for InDesign that can convert an Adobe file into the format required for a Kindle. How cool is that?)

Kudos to and to Amazon for turning experts with books to write into authors with published book. And how exciting for this book publicist to be able to venture into the new world of book promotion for authors who publish directly to the bookselling streams -- and bypass the traditional publishing channels that used to have the power to defeat would-be authors before their words were even set to paper.

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