Back in Episode 61, we talked about what it’s like to work with publishers and the differences between legitimate, illegitimate, and vanity presses. But in today’s episode, we talk with an author who has gone the traditional publishing route and self-published. She has also set up her own publishing company.
Anna David became well-known as a freelance writer for magazines and newspapers. When her first novel was picked up, her publisher, unfortunately, ended up in the midst of a scandal, and the book was published under a fake imprint.
Although she received plenty of press, the book did not sell well. This was back in the early 2000s, before everyone, it seems, was on social media. But Anna also realized that unless you are a major celebrity, publishing houses will only do so much for your book.
The only reason one would endure that process of the endless wait for the book to come out and a lot of red tape is to get support of a publisher, but you don't.
She found even if the publisher is paying you upfront for the book, you still have to know how to market yourself. She also says it’s important to focus on owning your audience and making sure it’s not an audience you’ll lose should you decide to switch to another publisher or self-publish in the future.
Anna has now become a publisher for others with her friend Kristen McGuiness. She helps new authors establish a writing presence, and she also helps authors with their writing and marketing.
One of the most important lessons to take from this episode is just because you’re able to land a contract with a publishing company, it doesn’t necessarily mean success. Even with traditional publishers, it’s still important you know how to market your book yourself.
Bio of the Author in the Case Study:
Anna David is the New York Times and #1 Amazon bestselling author of two novels and five non-fiction books about addiction, recovery and relationships. She speaks at colleges across the country about relationships, addiction and recovery and has been a featured speaker at three different TedX events.
Through her publishing company, Light Hustle Publishing, she helps industry leaders establish their credibility through books and, in the process, write their way to a bigger business. Through her online academy, podcast, storytelling show, workshops and retreats, she helps emerging writers tell their stories, get published, sell books and build their audiences.
Resources Referred to in this Episode:
- Anna David’s Amazon Author Profile
- Anna David’s Publishing Company Light Hustle Publishing
- Anna David’s first book Party Girl
- Should You Try to Sell a Book or Self-publish Quiz
- Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi)
- Joanna Penn
- Jeff Goins
- Kristen McGuiness
- Annie Grace
- Book Marketing Show What Publishing Companies Are Really Like (Insider Story)
- Kindlepreneur How to Start a Book Publishing Company