I have written a new academic mathematics textbook that I think can become popular, perhaps even very popular, as far as math books are concerned (which I recognize in the broader scheme, alas, is unfortunately not so very popular). What is the best way for me to proceed?
I can of course follow the traditional route and pursue the usual academic publishers, such as MIT press or OUP and so on. But I think that royalties are often somewhat low and prices rather high, so I'm not sure this is the best way. Meanwhile, I have some experience with newer publishing arrangements, such as Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing, which pays an astonishing 70% royalty rate for electronic books (but they limit the book cost to $10). That style of publishing appeals to me and per book, that amount is probably higher per sale than what one might get from a old-fashioned publisher.
My question is, is it a bad idea to put my textbook first on KDP, which would be very easy for me to do myself, before I find a serious academic publisher? Does it help or hurt my negotiation status with them? I think I can remove my book from KDP at any time. I have thought that having a proven sales record on KDP might help my negotiation, by proving my worth, but perhaps this is wrong, and that the big publishers will simply reject me for already having electronic sales in which they are not partaking. Which is the correct way for me to think about it?
Any advice is appreciated.