Best books for self-publishing

A random survey of the self-publishing industry continues to show that practical non-fiction books sell best, among all types of books.

Most difficult to sell, self-published, are fiction and children’s books. Why? Because it is difficult to reach that market without in-store promotions, marketing budgets, national exposure, and a full-time publicity campaign.

You may be surprised by the following recommendation to use ebooks for fiction and children’s publishing. It comes from Aaron Shepard, a long-time self-publishing pro:

“Mainly because they solve the single biggest problem remaining in self publishing: what to do with fiction and other discretionary books. POD simply doesn’t work well for self-published fiction, because at the typical price of a printed book, few readers will take a chance on an unknown quantity. So, the self-published novelist can seldom compete.

Ebooks, though, change the equation, giving the self-published author one huge advantage. Big publishers have to price their ebooks fairly high in order to support their establishments. Self publishers don’t. They can price their books low enough that readers are willing to take that chance on them.

So, even though I probably won’t write much about ebooks, I do believe they are the way to go if you publish fiction, children’s books, or any other kind of book for which readers have a wide choice. ”

I will be discussing this topic at length in my May 5, 2011 presentation for Off-Campus Writers Workshop in Winnetka, IL. Non-members are welcome to attend. More info at


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