Auria Cortes mentioned a news story about an author who initially self-published a book and then went on to sign a two book deal for more than $2 million.
In the publishing world, this is not a common sight. While it’s true that some self-published authors later get signed on by publishing houses, it’s rare and it’s pretty much always preceded by the author’s book succeeding on its own merits and/or through publicity campaigns.
In this case, the author, Brunonia Barry, and her husband started their own small publishing company, Flap Jacket Press. They even test-marketed the manuscript, then set up a website, hired a publicist, a jacket designer, and marketed the book using the usual tactics of publishing houses. All told, they spent around $50,000. And that doesn’t include the time the author spent editing and revising her manuscript or running it past an editor and readers to see how it read, and then revising some more.
This also wasn’t the first thing Barry wrote – she’d been writing screenplays for years.
Some will read this as a fairy tale ending for those who self-publish and a reason to not bother trying for publication with a traditional publishing house. It should be noted, however, that most self-published authors don’t have $50,000 laying around to spend on marketing, nor do most self-published authors spend as much time in editing and revising the manuscript as Barry did.