SPS 052: Traditional vs. Self Publishing: Dropping The Mic On Which You Should Choose with Ruth Soukup (And How I Sold 500,000 Copies Of My Self Published Book)

One of the most asked questions when it comes to publishing is whether to go the traditional or self publishing route. Ruth Soukup has done both and is here to share both her experiences and her recommendations. 

Ruth is a New York Times Best-Selling author, founder of Elite Blogging Academy, and host of the Do It Scared Podcast amongst so many other things. After blogging for several years she decided to write a book and so started her journey into publishing.

A friend of hers referred her to an agent and after paying thousands to have a book proposal written up, her blog exploded. While she was in the process of pitching one book, she decided to write and self publish, How to Blog for Profit. She kept being asked the same question over and over again and the book was born.

She received amazing feedback on the book and later built Elite Blogging Academy to further help her audience learn to create a source of income from their blogs. By the time her traditionally published book came out, she’d written and self published another book.

Ruth signed a contract with her publisher for two books and after she fulfilled her obligations, swore she would never go the traditional route again.

Later on she did end up going the traditional publishing route one more time, but is now completely done with it. She has more control over her self published books and she receives almost 100% of her royalties. 

Listen in as she shares her experiences from both sides of the publishing world and why, for her, self publishing makes the most sense. She stresses that the way in which you publish your book needs to align with your overall goal for that book. 

Is your book meant to be an introduction to your company or are you publishing so that you can be labeled an author? Do you plan on writing more than one book and want to be able to use earlier books in your marketing? Are you building a business rather than JUST becoming an author.

If you’re on the fence about which publishing journey you want to take, then you need to listen to this episode. Ruth lays it all out there so that you can truly make an informed decision!

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Show Notes

  • [00:41] Welcome back to the show New York Times Best-Selling author Ruth Soukup.
  • [03:24] What’s the difference between traditional and self publishing? 
  • [04:27] If you want to do traditional publishing, you have to have an existing platform.
  • [07:41] During the process of trying to propose her book to a publisher, her blog exploded and she wrote a new book and self published it.
  • [09:59] Traditional publishing is a much longer process than self publishing.
  • [10:56] What was the most difficult part of the traditional publishing route? 
  • [13:23] The experience has gotten worse and worse with each new book.
  • [16:26] Were her self published books outselling her traditionally published books? 
  • [18:16] All this said, why did she decide to traditionally publish a third book? 
  • [20:23] One thing traditionally published books do is make it easier to make the lists.
  • [23:08] Learn more about “list” practices and why they mean nothing. 
  • [24:37] Why will Ruth never traditionally publish again? 
  • [26:56] How you can use your book in your buyer’s journey when you self publish.
  • [29:45] Which path does Ruth recommend for someone who has never published a book?
  • [31:48] Is there a good reason to traditionally publish? 
  • [35:25] How has How to Blog for Profit helped boost Elite Blogging Academy?
  • [38:21] Putting the book before the course has absolutely worked best for Ruth.
  • [39:33] Has the free + shipping funnel been successful in generating leads for EBA? 
  • [43:33] If you want to see Ruth’s funnel go to www.elitebloggingacademy.com/book.
  • [44:29] Which marketing strategy has moved the most copies of her book?
  • [46:43] Ruth gives one last amazing tip to take away from this conversation.
  • [48:05] What advice would she give to the earlier version of herself? 
  • [48:56] Connect with Ruth.

Links and Resources

Ruth’s Books:

Chandler Bolt

Chandler is the host of the Self Publishing School podcast & the author of 6 bestselling books including his most recent book titled “Published.”. He’s also the founder & CEO of Self-Publishing School, the #1 online resource for writing your first book. Self Publishing School made the INC 5000 in 2018 (#2,699) as one of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the US. Through his books, podcast, training videos, and Self-Publishing School, he’s helped thousands of people on their journey to writing their first book.

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