Rainer M. Domingo

What the California Gold Rush and Self-Publishing have in common


I’m not into book marketing. I wrote a book to write a book. I was so happy that I finished it. Marketing it was the last thing on my mind. But here I am. Doing the marketing thing. Like everyone else who can pick up a guide on how to sell a book, I can follow the advice just as much as the next guy or gal. Well, sort of.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve done the bottom of the barrel basics.  I posted my book on a few free sites – GoodReads, BookDaily, BookTalk, and kboards. I also created a facebook page for my book series. But so has everyone else who has been marketing a book over the past two weeks, which doesn’t even account for all the people who have been doing it for the last umpteen years.

What this means for new authors who are trying to get their book noticed, is there are so many new and established books out there, that it’s next to impossible to get a book in front of people – unless of course the author is willing to spend some money. Which ties quite nicely into what self-publishing and the California Good Rush have in common.

As many of you already know, more people made money from selling mining supplies than searching for gold. While the majority of miners went home penniless, all of the store owners made a fortune or at least enough to make a decent living.

The same thing can be said for the cottage industry that has developed to help people self-publish and market books. There are editors, cover designers, interior designers, all the online book stores, those who will gladly accept money to do a review, and those who will help market a book every which way possible. I guarantee all of these people are making more money than the majority of authors.

Oh sure, authors can go the do-it-completely-yourself route, but some of the work requires specialized skills readers have come to expect from high-quality books, both traditionally and self-published.  I know there are people who can design their own cover without spending a penny. But even if the cover can get a reader’s attention, if the book isn’t professionally edited, it’s probably not going to sell very well.

I spent money self-publishing my book and I’m going to spend more promoting it. Not because I want to put money in other people’s pockets, but because I want my book to get noticed and at least try to make back some of my money before throwing the book into the pay-per-month library that shall go unnamed.

I certainly don’t fault anyone for being in the business of helping people self-publish and market books. If people can make a living doing it, then more power to them. Authors on the other hand, need to realize that they have to invest money into publishing and promoting their book in order for it to have a chance of doing well on any level. In the long run, they may never make any of that money back.


Author: Rainer M. Domingo

Visit my blog and read a sample of my medieval fantasy novel "Three Quest Deal"

2 thoughts on “What the California Gold Rush and Self-Publishing have in common

  1. It’s kind of a Catch-22. Your chances of striking gold are slim but on the other hand, there used to be an army (aka traditional publishing) standing between you and the mountain. Tech has allowed us to jump over the army, but we’ll still have to dig. More often than not we’ll come up bust but at least we’re allowed to dig now.

    Liked by 1 person

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