March 4th, 2007 by Bob Bly
If you want to establish yourself as a recognized expert in your field, which is the best option for building your credibility — an e-book, self-published print book, or a book with a traditional publishing house (e.g., McGraw-Hill).
Years ago, at a talk to the NYC chapter of National Speakers Association (NSA), my colleague Dan Poynter said words to the effect that the reader doesn’t care who the publisher is — noting that no one goes into the bookstore and asks “Do you have any Random House books?
And therefore, he concluded, whether the book is self-published or published by a mainstream publisher is irrelevant.
I respectfully disagree, and to illustrate my contention that a traditionally published book gives the author greater credibility and status than a self-published book, a quick story:
When I was in my 20s, eons ago, I was speaking at an event. As I rode to the event with my host in his car, he said — a little snidely, it seemed to me — “So, you’ve written half a dozen books?”
Yes, I told him.
The snideness in his voice grew: “Where did you get them printed? I may want to write a book, too.”
“I didn’t ‘get them printed,’” I replied evenly. “My publishers — John Wiley & Sons, Henry Holt, and McGraw-Hill — handle that.”
His eye bugged out wide in what was unmistakably awe, or at least a modicum of surprise and respect: “Your publisher is McGraw-HILL?” he said enviously.
In my opinion, from most to least prestigious and reputation-building, the ways to publish your book are:
A. Large traditional publisher.
B. Small publishing house.
C. Self-published paper book.
Right or wrong, when it comes to impressing others, nothing beats a traditional “bookstore book” — wouldn’t you agree?
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