Four years ago, I wrote a book called Is That All He Thinks About?: How to Enjoy Great Sex with Your Husband. It’s for women (obviously), and I had no intention of ever writing a companion book for men. Because men don’t read.
Well, men who read blogs like the WordServe Water Cooler read, of course, but not the average Joe I know.
Then I started getting a bunch of e-mails from guys who had read Is That All He Thinks About? and specifically requested their own version.
So I wrote a comic book. (Not really.)
I started playing around with words. Then I started writing hard-core. Then I asked guys to fill out a husband survey. 130 surveys later, I had committed to doing this thing.
But despite having four published books under my belt, I decided to go the self-published e-book route this time around. Why? Here’s why:
1. The timeline. From the minute I submit a proposal to my agent to the time I see my book on a shelf, a minimum of one year will have gone by (and most likely, much, much longer than that). My e-book took less than three months from the time I started writing it until it was in readers’ hands.
2. The style. I had a certain vibe I was going for in this book. Very conversational, at times a little slang-y. It was important for me that I be allowed to write it just like I wanted it.
3. The money. All the proceeds from the e-book are going toward a family mission trip (me, hubby, our 3 girls) to Cambodia this winter. I can sell an e-book for just $2.99 and still make more than I would on a “real” book. And I get paid instantly (or within six weeks).
4. The experiment. Two of my four books haven’t sold well, making it hard for publishers to take a risk on me. Maybe I’ll be traditionally published again someday, maybe I won’t. I think I wanted to see if I could make it in the e-book world (I dream of selling millions of copies and having publishers knocking my door down).
5. The audience. This is a book for men (husbands) and it’s about s-e-x. If I were a guy, I’d feel better about buying a book like this from the privacy of my own home than in a bookstore where anyone could see me.
So, why isn’t everyone rushing out and self-pubbing e-books? Well, they kind of are, but here’s why you should think long and hard before you do:
1. The stigma of self-publishing. I can’t predict the future, but I feel like it’s still going to be awhile before people take self-pubbed authors super-seriously.
2. The weight of promotion. When you self-pub, it falls squarely on your shoulders. Not that being traditionally published is a ton different in some cases, but the only way anyone finds out about my e-book is through my own efforts.
3. The risk. What if it bombs? What if I barely sell any, and it just adds to my previous sales history woes?
4. The work. It takes a lot of sweat and tears (no blood in my case) to produce/publish an e-book. Thankfully I’m married to a web designer/genius. He did it all for me (thanks to Mary DeMuth for her helpful tips) and says he needs a big long break before he’s ready to do another one.
5. Incomplete sales records. My e-book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.com. But I also sell it through a website. And give away copies for free all the time. I really have no way of knowing how many people have read my book.
So, let me ask you this:
1. Which “pro” excites you the most?
2. Which “con” scares/depresses you the most?
3. What are some other pros or cons you’d add to the list?
Post Author: Marla Taviano
Marla Taviano—a lover of words, Scrabble tiles, and giraffes—dreams of traveling the globe with her web-guru husband and their three young daughters. The author of six books, Marla writes and speaks on enticing topics like sex, loving the poor, and how to visit 52 zoos in 52 weeks on a shoestring. Her heart breaks for those in poverty/slavery around the world, and she wants to use her platform to ease their suffering. Marla lives in Columbus, Ohio and met her Wonder Agent, Rachelle Gardner, at a Starbucks by the Denver Zoo in 2009.