This is what I invariably hear after someone tells me they published their own book. And yes, it is hard. Even if they put out a fabulous book that’s been edited by a gifted editor, they are still competing against publishers who do this for a living, which means they are going to have a tough time making a dent in the marketplace UNLESS they they consider that reality before they even begin.
The end result is that they have a book they can neither sell or distribute because they don’t realize how hard it is to sell them. And that is usually when I get them: they’re defeated after trying to sell their book for a few months, a year, two…
The problem with this is that not only have I lost the first print rights, but the author has already hit most of the places I would have to gain local interest. I also weigh how well the book sold before and the author’s platform.
There are times when I may consider taking a book that has been previously pubbed, but all the stars need to be in alignment – story, huge platform, marketable topic – because “Whoa, I do realize how hard it is.”