Hot Off The Press

The Last Word

Several options exist for self-publishers who manage to pull off a successful project. A major publishing house might wish to snap up your publishing rights--at a tidy profit to you.

Some books lend themselves to lines of related products. The Grudermeyers, for example, also publish a line of audiotaped seminars. Saltzman is marketing Jester dolls and is discussing the possibility of producing entertainment tie-ins.

Raccah launched Sourcebooks with a single self-published book. Today, her entire focus is on
publishing the works of other authors--and quite successfully. "We have signed a tremendous number of very strong authors because we're able to give them the attention and service they want," says Raccah, who expects sales at Sourcebooks to double this year.

Raccah warns would-be publishers that this is not a business for the slight of brain. "The knowledge you need is very scattered, and it all calls for a high level of expertise," she says. This is true whether you're talking about intellectual property or distribution rights, foreign rights, movie rights, promotion, editorial, design--the list goes on and on.

Yet the effort can be more than worthwhile, both financially and emotionally. When the right combination of dynamite content, eager market and active promotion really clicks, self-publishers do more than prosper. They get the last word.

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This article was originally published in the March 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Hot Off The Press.

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