It was the hard way, but seemingly the best way. Book sales theory always had it that if you wanted to write a bestseller, you had to first get a major publishing house on board. If you could get a deal, the rest was gravy. (So much for ‘theory.’)
My veteran literary agent and I were told continually by the major publishing houses that my book was either “too religious” or “too controversial” for broad audience appeal, and that I have no “platform” (whatever the heck that means today). It is very hard for me to take no for an answer. So when I decided to personally publish my first literary book, I felt compelled to test the traditional publishing theory.
First, I secured an account with the Lightning Source division of Ingram Publishing. Second, I went all out in the quality preparation of the book, securing a brilliant, young but hungry editor, and a quality graphic design with help from the world of Twitter and Facebook. Third, I decided to create a “new” marketing theory.
1. Lightning Source – A fairly new model of on-demand printing from one of the largest printing houses in the world.
– Superb material and printing quality.
– Inclusion in their catalog guarantees global distribution to Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all major and independent booksellers.
– Fast turnaround.
– Black and white impersonal customer service (personality much like government instead of private business, i.e. you are a number not a person)
– Black and white policies. It’s their way or the highway. No variations allowed. Period.
– Horrible and confusing website.
– Archaic and old school (can you say unethical?) business practices. Both Amazon and Lightning Source take a huge portion of the revenue, want payment for their bills immediately, but will not pay out royalties for 3- 4 months. In effect, they are sitting on royalty payments earning interest on money that they do not ethically own, in a day when technology provides them means to make instant daily royalty payments.
2. Quality preparation of the book.