Would I Use a Traditional Publisher Again?

In the last week, I finalized the manuscript for Exodus, and began the process to distribute the book on August 26th. Everything looks like it will be done on time or before deadline, providing a little time to reflect.

After independently producing my own book, would I reconsider my February statement, and work with a traditional publisher again?

I think I would, not because I like publishers, but because producing a decent book independently requires significant effort. The key word here is independent, and not self-publish. Publishing a sub-par book that lacked writing quality is not an option.

Achieving quality has been more arduous than I had thought. As someone who has not quit his day job and is publishing as a hobby, I have to admit independent publishing requires significant bandwidth!!!

In addition to my own labors over the past eight months, several key parties worked on Exodus. Jessica Dell cleaned up my original manuscript with all of my handwritten edits in the first quarter. Then I hired three different editors, two for development and one to proof the manuscript; Erin Feldman, Jennifer Stevens, and Kirkus, respectively.

From a production standpoint, Jess Ostroff helped me figure out distribution, cleaned up the last round of edits, and has been instrumental in moving the book to market. Aaron Mahnke designed the cover, and Chrisy Shim laid out the advance copy PDF (email me if you want a copy). Justin Gutwein is producing the video trailer.

Getting the picture? A lot of people have contributed to this effort. Yes, modern publishers rarely help their smaller authors do much much with marketing. But publishers offer more than you think when it comes to editing and production.

For someone like me who is already occupied with work and family, the percentage of proceeds yielded may be worth recouping the time. Of course, I don’t know what the results will be from Exodus, but if you asked me today, that would be my answer.

I am still planning on independently producing the next books in the trilogy, but the effort has been significant giving me a new appreciation for what traditional publishers do. If one came a knocking, I would seriously weigh working with someone else. I would have to really like the publisher, and they would have to believe in my vision.

What do you think about independent publishing?

Done with Traditional Publishing

Books to be returned...
Image by Hash Milhan

Brian Driggs asked me to discuss self-publishing after reading my sordid Fifth Estate story. While I don’t want to dismiss traditional publishing altogether, I can only speak for myself. I will self publish my next book.

There are several reasons, but first let’s discuss two reasons to consider traditional publishing:

Prestige

If you are published by a traditional house, particularly one of the majors, there’s a prestige element. Most “published” authors, some business people, and at least outwardly almost every publisher looks down on self published authors.

As someone who attended American University and then Georgetown University, the published prestige is comparable to Ivy League snobbery. And for the record, American challenged me more intellectually than Georgetown (which is perceived as on par with some Ivy League schools).

Traditional publishers will tell you to never self publish, that you won’t ever have a chance of getting published in real life. But then you hear stories of successful self publishers who get signed, people like John Scalzi, Mark Schaefer and Amanda Hawking. Self publishing has become a minor league for traditional publishers.
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4 Reasons to Integrate Marketing Now

Two rivers converge
Image by Chiri_dr

Marketers need to harness media convergence and integrate to maximize the impact of their various communications, on and offline.

Convergence has been brought about by the arrival of mobile and social media. The combination has empowered customers to access the Internet anywhere and discuss it.

The resulting anytime anywhere access to the Internet breaks the isolation of any one type of media form, including radio ads in the car and newspapers in a local subway.

Convergence creates the need to integrate, the process in which all communications from a company or organization — regardless of form — work together to present a unified brand experience for a customer. Integration yields more leads, creating better ROI for marketers. It includes cross promotion of ideas, themes, and calls to action, including participation in social media.

A recent CMO Council study showed that only 9% of respondents believe their interactive marketing efforts are highly evolved and integrated. This online integration issue doesn’t even consider integrating marketers’ efforts in the traditional advertising, public relations and direct marketing disciplines.
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The Converged Media Imperative

The Convergence of Paid, Owned & Earned Media

Yesterday afternoon, the Altimeter Group released a report called “The Converged Media Imperative: How Brands Must Combine Paid, Owned and Earned Media.” Authors Rebecca Lieb and Jeremiah Owyang discuss the increasingly blended media environment of traditional, online and advertising media. In total, consumers face 3000 daily brand impressions.

The report makes a strong call for integration across digital, traditional and earned media, saying that brands that do not integrate are at a disadvantage.

“Marketers who fail to reconcile paid, owned and earned media today will be at a distinct disadvantage,” state Lieb and Owyang.
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