Indie Publishers have had it rough for a long time. There’s no way to compete with major publishing houses when you’re footing the production costs of your book(s).
However, with print-on-demand, social media, and, perhaps most importantly, e-books, things have changed giving indie publishers a power they’ve never had before. And perhaps, for the first time ever, the upper hand, when competing with major publishing houses.
Joel Friedlander has a great piece at The Book Designer detailing the ins-and-outs of indie publishing and how to take advantage of today’s publishing and marketing opportunities.
Here’s one of the major downsides to being an indie publisher…
The effect of this system is that, for most indie publishers operating on their own, real national book distribution is very challenging. And by very challenging, I mean almost impossible to make a profit at.
The business is truly cursed with the returnability of its products. A book may appear to be profitable, and you may have received payment for hundreds or thousands of books that seem to have been sold. But that picture can be reversed at almost any time. You might look out your window and see a truck pulling up to with many of those same books being returned to you. Of course, this will also come with a debit to your account from whoever wholesaled the books for you.
Read the whole post here.