Take Advantage of the Moment: A Lesson in Self-Publishing

Jim Moret’s story isn’t that of the typical self-publishing author. He’s not an unknown: Moret is a chief correspondent for Inside Edition, a frequent guest host on Larry King Live and a contributor to CNN. And he had no trouble attracting the interest of a traditional publisher: Publisher’s Weekly reports that his memoir, The Last Day of My Life, had 4,000 copies on backorder after a second print run totaling 15,000 copies. But the rights had reverted from his original publisher, the now defunct Phoenix Books, and instead of having his agent, Mel Berger at William Morrow Endeavor, try to resell it, Moret decided on an accelerated approach: self-publishing.

You see, he had taped an episode on Dr. Phil McGraw’s television show, set to air July 9. He wanted to have books ready to be sold for when the episode aired. The turn around for a traditional publisher, had Moret’s agent been successful in selling the memoir quickly, wouldn’t have allowed this to happen. But when the book is ready to go–written, edited and formatted–printing a 5,000-copy run is a snap for a self-publisher. So that’s exactly what Moret did, and he’s been so successful in taking advantage of his moment in the limelight that he is considering a second self-published printing.

As Publisher’s Weekly points out,

The fact that he subbed for Larry King this week and that CNN shows a graphic of the cover when he does news stories hasn’t hurt. After going up to #31 on Amazon immediately after Dr Phil, the book has since settled into the top 300.

But the lesson is nonetheless an important one for entrepreneurs wanting to sell a product at the peak of their success: taking advantage of the moment isn’t just smart, it’s essential.

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