traditiona v self publishing

How Will a Traditional Publisher “Sell” My Book?


Dear Editor…

I am interested to know how traditional publishers “sell” authors books? With the options of self-publishing these days, I like to weigh the pros and cons of both worlds. Can you answer this question?

Thank you,

Dear Elaine…

To sell books, traditional publishers use sales reps to engage national distribution channels like stores and organizations; established review and award networks; dedicated marketing staff experienced in specific markets; and strategic marketing budgets. Each pub season, some “lead” titles spearhead a house’s campaign, but ideally every book has its own marketing plan that includes submission to general and customized review outlets and awards, plus development of book-specific opportunities. The house may pursue cover blurbs from famous people to tap their fanbases, and in the case of picture books can pair your text with a well known illustrator to increase market recognition and thus sales. They pay to bring some authors to regional book events; full tours are reserved for high profile cases. Sales reps walk buyers through the catalog, offering advanced books, promo items and displays, and even financial incentives to help stores market the books they choose to their customers. How much trickles down to non-“lead” books? Each house and book differs but the adage remains true: the more ANY author can do for her books, the better.

Happy writing!
The Editor