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Chris A. Baird | May 5, 2020
Can I self-publish as an eBook and then later approach a publisher for paperback?

When you self-publish as an ebook through major publishing houses can be very challenging. Find out how self-publishing can greatly contribute if you are going to the paperback route.

Start With Self-Publishing

Today's question was, "Can I self-publish as an ebook and then later approach a publisher for a paperback?" This is an excellent question.

Many people have first started by self-publish as an ebook or paperback book and then later decided to have a formal publisher. A publishing house, a recognized publishing house comes in and takes over.

Maybe, perhaps they take the rights by the rights of the book. So we can go from there. Or does self-publishing first hurt your chances of anybody considering taking your book later? So these are the number of challenges that are associated with this.

Check out my Self-Publishing Secret Checklist. It helped me publish 170 plus books on Amazon and other sites. So, take a look at that.

From my own story, I realized I listen to an awful lot of podcasts and read a lot of books. I also followed a lot of the experts in self-publishing. One of the things that became very clear to me was that self-publishing is definitely a great starting point.

It helps you to understand the whole process. It helps you to understand what it is to formulate a book. You can get in contact with your audience.

There's a whole series of positive things. Now, I have never had the desire to go over to traditional publishing from self-publishing. Maybe a lot of it is because of the horror stories that I heard from the people who maybe even going the other route.

Check out this related article: Which Is Cheaper Traditional Or Self-Published Books?

They started with the traditional publishing and then they changed their mind. They decided to go for the self-publishing route afterward. So the answer is yes, it is an option.

You can go from self-publishing and this is perhaps even the best way to go about doing it. The reason being is because, for many of the major publishing houses, they have no intention of actually pushing or promoting your book.

They may put it out there for a little bit. But in terms of a lot of the promotions and stuff, you'll be responsible yourself for that. So this is usually not a very good idea.

It Takes A Lot Of Convincing

The major publishing houses may not even accept it in the first place since they accept so few numbers of books. And as gatekeepers, they decide which books.

Remember, all books like Harry Potter, Steven King's books, and even Moby Dick took several rejections when they first tried to publish their books. The gatekeepers are not necessarily great at knowing what is a good book versus what is a poor book.

Even once they get the book, it's not clear that they will fully know what to do with the book in terms of marketing and such. But they are really not going to want to take a chance sometimes on a book unless they know it's going to make money.

They want to see that you already have a following. But how are you going to have a following if you haven't actually published any books? You don't have an audience.

Once you self-publish your book as an ebook or paperback or audiobook, then after that you will be showing people that there's a desire, a demand for the books that you have. This is a fantastic way to start things off.

They will see that you are selling books. The next thing is afterward you can sell the rights to the book. Then use the major publishing house to come out with additional books in the series that you have been doing.

Check out this related article: Best Way To Get Publishing House Attention?

But generally, they are going to wait to see that it is working. It is going to push you to sell books in the categories and the genres and such that people already want to buy. And you would have built a following.

People will be buying your books on a regular basis so you will have that behind you. Maybe even some of the major publishing houses may approach you. So the doors will not be shut on you for self-publish as an ebook or paperback for that matter but rather only be open.

You may prefer self-publishing. Many people have found that once the major publishing houses own the rights, they can control what types of promotions will happen for your books.

Prove That You Are Worth Following

They can control the pricing. You only make 10 or 11 percent of royalties off of the books that sell as opposed to 70 percent which you get off your ebooks when you are selling them on Kindle at the right price range between $2.99 and $9.99.

In addition, for all the books that you've got on the market, some people even prefer to buy them back from the main publisher. The final thing I would just point out is the fact that you had asked about ebooks first and then do it as paper.

You actually can do all at the same time. I would recommend you do as an ebook as a paperback on Kindle Print, IngramSpark as a paperback, also Lulu for hardback, and ACX for your audiobook. Pushing it out there, you want as big of an audience as possible.

Our goal is not to see how few people we can reach with our ebooks but how many people. The more money we have, the better the quality of the books we can be able to produce that's coming in. Then we are going to be able to show these publishers that we are worth following.

Also, if you've got a blog and you've got Youtube, you've got all sorts of stuff that you are using to build popularity for your books. So that people are willing and wanting to buy those books.

Check out this related article: Does Self-Publishing Hurt Your Chances To Become Popular?

That's going to show the traditional publishing houses that you are worth the time and the money necessary to take it through your particular route.

What have you found? Have you found that by publishing an ebook or self-publishing somehow made it harder for you to get your books accepted?

Has anybody ever turns you down because they said that "we see that you self-publish and now all the books on the market and lots of people are buying. We see a huge following on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and on Pinterest and all of these places and so clearly we're not going to want to publish your books."

It's hard to see how that would be the case but I would be interested. Or maybe you have also decided that this isn't for you. So if that is the case, go ahead and leave your comments below.

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