If you think paying for self-publishing is crazy, think again! Celebrated author Frank Schaeffer, who has penned more than a dozen fiction and non-fiction books for publishers like Macmillan and Avalon, shared his thoughts about why he was happy to ditch his traditional publishers for the freedom of self-publishing.
Schaeffer released his first self-published book, “And God Said, “Billy!“ with Outskirts Press after years of traditional, mainstream publishing. The laugh-out-loud novel drags readers into the tilted mind of a Charismatic-Evangelical who essentially sells his soul for a shot at a step up in Hollywood. He loses all — his family, his film career and his faith — only to come to a “miraculous” reversal in the most unexpected of ways.
And God Said, “Billy!” is a book some 17 years in the making, and one Schaeffer might never have seen in print without the support of a publisher that shared his enthusiasm and vision for its potential. Here are several reasons why Schaeffer dumped his publisher and partnered with Outskirts Press — and how you can benefit from doing the same:
- Escape the limbo land of traditional publishing. When one too many of his editors and publishers were bought and sold by impersonal publishing giants, Schaeffer lost the one-on-one attention he once got from people with whom he had built valuable, productive relationships. Only when he hopped to Outskirts Press did he rediscover that.
- Benefit from a publisher that understands new media. With his traditional publisher, Schaeffer found himself doing all the heavy lifting when it came to marketing his book in any venue besides a few newspapers. Now, he can take on only what he feels he can handle and invest only as much money as he deems necessary to enlist marketing help — from self-publishing experts who are familiar with modern marketing venues and techniques.
- Keep more of your profits. Traditional publishers have finally discovered the convenience of print-on-demand. But this doesn’t prevent them from keeping same lion’s share of the profits that they demanded when they still ran large pre-prints and warehoused the hardcopies. With self-publishing, you can print on demand and keep your hard-earned profits to yourself.
- Get the exposure of Amazon. No one’s more tuned-in to ebooks than self-publishers, who continue to gain ground in the book publishing market, particularly in the ebook arena.
- Set your own pace. Self-publishing neither requires you to wait many, many months to see your creation in print, nor rushes you to publish by an arbitrary deadline. Whether you’re a prolific author or a procrastinator, you determine your own publishing schedule.
Schaeffer says that his partnership with Outskirts Press has so far worked out well. “They’ve been more responsive than some traditional publishers,” he says. “Outskirts Press people actually get back to me when I have a question, and they’re setting up the online platforms (like Kindle) for a one-time fee, then directing all income direct to me from Amazon, iBook and Nook. They pay my share of the income from the print edition of the book quarterly.”
Frank Schaeffer is a survivor of both polio and an evangelical/fundamentalist childhood and an acclaimed author of more than a dozen books, including the semi-autobiographical Calvin Becker Trilogy: Portofino, Zermatt and Saving Grandma, and the highly acclaimed Crazy For God and Baby Jack. He overcame severe dyslexia to become a home-schooled and self-taught documentary movie director, a feature film director and producer of four low-budget Hollywood features, which Frank has described as “pretty terrible.” Schaeffer’s non-fiction includes Keeping Faith: A Father-Son Story About Love and the United States Marine Corps and AWOL: The Unexcused Absence of America’s Upper Classes from Military Service and How It Hurts Our Country.
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