What is the most successful way to publish?

I’m a member of a group on Facebook called “Authors & Books & Readers”, and this morning, a fellow member posted this:

“I have a question. Which is the most successful way to publish? Self publishing or by an actual publisher?”

This is a great question and one that I’m sure many of us have had at one point or another. My answer to her? Keep reading:

“You can have financial success through self-publishing. It requires having a thorough marketing plan and building an audience even before you send your book to print. One of the reasons why some authors books don’t sell is because they don’t give their audience good enough reasons to distinguish them from any other author of a similar topic and incentives to purchase a copy. If you’d like to know more [name withheld], just send me a private message anytime.”

There is no one most successful way to publish. Different writers meet their success through different means.


At this time, self-publishing is probably your best choice for taking the success of your book into your own hands. Why? Because the only person you will be able to blame for not selling your book is you. Not your buyers, not a publishing house, not your dog.

You have the ability to define what success means to you. And once you create that definition, you hold the power in your hands to make it happen. If success for you is selling 100 copies by the end of the year, then it’s up to you to make that happen. When you’ve self-published your book, the power is completely in your hands to print the exact number of books that you need, decide how much they should be sold for, where you are going to distribute it, how much profit you make from each book, and – most importantly – what you’re going to do to create the ready and willing audience you need to sell those 100 copies and probably even more.

Waiting for a traditional publisher to (1) maybe accept your book, (2) make edits that you make have no control over, (3) decide when, where, and how to print your book and (4) only give you a small percentage (royalty) on the books that do sell, is probably not the way you imagined things would go. Of course, this method can bring you great success. Yes, you could become a bestseller through a traditional publishing.

But you can become an even better seller by keeping the future of your book within your own hands. The choice is ultimately up to you, however, if you need help in deciding what’s best for you, or if you want to self-publish but just don’t know where to start, why not ask someone who has done it before?


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Being Author Published is a multiple job. You need to be able to wear different hats at different times. It’s difficult, often people believe that it stops when they hit the “publish” button. Not so.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kim-Lee Patterson says:

      You’re right about that Massimo. The work is just beginning when you hit that button.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Faith Simone says:

    I’m just learning how important it is to do the work of constant marketing. What all authors should make peace with is that whether you publish traditionally or independently, you STILL have to market aggressively. Publishing houses generally have many titles and there’s only so much they can do for an unknown author. The pressure is still on the author to promote their own work.


    1. Kim-Lee Patterson says:

      Spot on, Simone. Selling a book is like selling anything else. You have to position yourself in the marketplace, get out there, and let people know why they need to buy your book. Thanks for your comment!


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