Monday, August 3, 2009

Guest Post: Phyllis Zimbler Miller author of What You Should Know About the Launch of an Online Information Product

Phyllis Zimbler Miller, author of the new e-book What You Should Know About the Launch of an Online Information Product, stopped by to share with us a some great information about publishing options.

How Many Times a Week Do I See Someone Ask the Question: Traditional Publishing or Self-Publishing?

I’m an Internet marketer, which means that I use the Internet to promote my company and my books.

One of the ways I do this is to be active on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. And on LinkedIn I’m active in several book-related groups.

I’ve lost track of how often I’ve seen the question asked regarding traditional publishing or self-publishing. And here’s what amazes me about this question being asked:

The aspiring author doesn’t add the particulars that could influence the question’s answer. These particulars include:
  • If you want a book published as soon as possible to help with your business credentials, such as being a weight-loss coach, probably self-publishing is the answer for you. Get that physical book available to use to promote your services. Just be sure that you have the manuscript professionally copyedited and a book cover design that looks good when reduced to the book cover photo on Amazon.
  • If you are young and have years and years ahead of you to get rejected before you are “discovered,” go ahead and swing for the fences of traditional publishing. Attend writing conferences, network with potential agents, use the Internet to position yourself so that agents and publishers may find you.
  • If you are older and want to share your first published book with your grandchildren, self-publishing also may be a good idea. This is because it takes stamina, unless you are incredibly lucky, to get an agent and then a publisher, especially for a fiction book. (If you’re writing nonfiction based on your own credentials, you might have an easier time.)
And, of course, there are other considerations, some of which are outside your control. For example, as more and more books are self-published, how does this affect book slots at traditional publishing houses? (Your guess is as good as mine.)

The one thing that, to me, is the more important question is: No matter whether your book is traditionally published or self-published, are you prepared to do the ongoing promotion that it takes to get a book noticed in this cluttered marketplace?

If the answer is no, it’s probably best to just email copies of your manuscript to your friends and/or grandchildren.

In fact, even if your book is traditionally published, if you’re not a famous author already your book will probably get very little promotional help from your publisher’s publicity department. Therefore, you have to be prepared to promote your own book whether it is traditionally published or self-published.

If you still plan to post this question of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing on Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn, do include your specific circumstances and goals so that you will hopefully get more informed responses.

And, remember, in today’s print-on-demand world you don’t have to wait for anyone else to say yes to you. You can say yes to yourself.

About Phyllis:

Author Phyllis Zimbler Miller’s company has just launched the Miller Mosaic Internet Marketing Program to help people promote their brand, book or business online. You can learn about the program at She’s also a National Internet Business Examiner at and active on Twitter at . Her new ebook What You Should Know About the Launch of an Online Information Product grew out of her articles about the launch of the Miller Mosaic Internet Marketing Program.

Thank you so much to Phyllis for joining us today!


Lit and Life said...

nice to get some specifics on this topic

Phyllis Zimbler Miller said...

I do hope this information helps because it isn't a question with a one-size-fits-all answer. Each person's situation impacts the choice.


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