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Slam-Dunk! My Self-Published Book (through BookLocker) Has Already Earned More Than My Traditionally Published Book! By Shannon Cutts

Slam-Dunk! My Self-Published Book (through BookLocker) Has Already Earned More Than My Traditionally Published Book! By Shannon Cutts

I published my first nonfiction book in 2009. After a whirlwind courtship with a respected mid-sized publisher, and six ensuing months of editing and formatting frenzy, the book was OUT.

As in – In print. On shelves. Online. Everywhere.

The day it went live, I waited eagerly for the deluge of attention and profits. As nothing happened, day after day and week after week, I began to question my vision, my abilities, my audience, my agent’s and publisher’s belief in me, my sanity – everything.

The pressure to sell copies was tremendous…but it often felt like I was the only one working to make that happen. As it turns out, I actually was the only one working on it. About six months into the whole mess, the publisher canned my publicity manager and, in her place, they hired a blog tour management specialist to try to revive interest in the book.

Again, I got SO excited.

Again, nothing happened.

At this point, when I tell you that, a scant five years later, I once again pursued the path of traditional publishing for my second book, you might be tempted to stop reading. Please don’t!

I had only two reasons for seeking a traditional publisher at this point:

Fear. I was frightened of the unknown world of “self” publishing.

Insecurity. I still thought a traditional publisher had super-secret success-activating powers that I, as a humble author, did not.

After a grueling year of working with my literary agent (who had, by now, become a dear friend and mentor as well), she emailed me one day to suggest I consider self-publishing instead.

In her email, she included a healthy list of “pros” as her reasons for suggesting self-publishing:

  • I would retain creative control. This included control of the title and cover art, both of which I gave up (to my eternal regret) with book #1.
  • I would begin realizing sales profits from launch day one. There would be no advance money to pay back before royalty payments would flow my way.
  • I would be able to market MY book MY way to MY audience. I would face no ongoing arguments with my publisher over where my audience could be found and how to use available marketing funds to best reach them.
  • I could market on a dime doing what I do best. As a bonafide introvert, I thrive online – personally and professionally. I’m good at it, too – the online nonprofit I founded in 2009 now serves members in 43 countries and will celebrate its 7th birthday in 2016.
  • I would retain copyright and full rights to use my material in any way I wanted. I would also never have to deal with contractual restrictions on the use of my own words in other complementary products I might wish to create and sell in the future.

After reviewing this list of compelling pros, my sole remaining “con” (the lack of an author advance) scrounged up a white flag and waved it, and that was that.

It was ON. I was IN.

I began to research self-publishing options in earnest, one thing led to another, and then an author-friend suggested I reach out to Angela Hoy at In BookLocker, I found the true-blue-honest self-publishing partner and mentor I had been seeking.

Fast forward to October 2015.

I am standing in my home office, holding a beautiful shiny new copy of book #2 in my hands. Everything about THIS book reflects my vision – the cover, the art, the text, the layout and formatting, the photo gallery – I don’t think I’ve ever been so proud of any project I’ve ever tackled before in my whole life.

Oh, and before I forget – I have already earned more from this second book than I have EVER earned from book #1! Happy author, happy bank account. Now that is what I call a win-win!

My new book! Check. It. Out.


P.S. Post a comment in the field below for a chance to WIN a signed copy!


Can Self-Published Authors Land Traditional Contracts? Heck, Yeah!
Should I Self-Publish or Hold Out for a Traditional Contract?
Top 10 Most EMBARRASSING Mistakes Made by Self-Published Authors, and How to Avoid Them
Do NOT Sneak Your Self-Published Book Onto Bookstore Shelves!

Shannon Cutts is first and foremost a birdie and tortoise mama. She is also a writer, speaker, nonprofit founder, mentor, lover of retro threads, and champion of all things (and beings) recovered and recovering. Love & Feathers is her second book. Connect with Shannon: Connect with Pearl:

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