This week my agent Rachelle Gardner answered a question that pops up again and again: If you self-publish, will that ruin your chances of ever getting published traditionally?
Yet while we all hem and haw over whether to shoot for traditional publishing or use our platform to self-publish — and which is better for our future as professional writers — we’re overlooking what really matters: how many books we sell.
If you publish traditionally and sell few books, you hurt your chances of getting another publishing deal. If you self-publish and sell few books, you hurt your chances of getting a publishing deal.
If you publish traditionally and sell a ton of books, you’re setting yourself up to land another deal. If you self-publish and sell a ton of books, you’re setting yourself up to land a traditional publishing deal (if you want one).
What I’m getting at is this: Rather than focusing on the mode of publishing, we should focus on selling books. Because whether you sell books is what will help or hurt your chances of future success, not how you publish.