1. Motamat
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    Motamat New Member

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    Concerns in Independent Marketing

    Discussion in 'Marketing' started by Motamat, Jun 11, 2015.

    I have posted this threat in multiple forums and I know it mainly focuses on publishing issues, but I really want to hear what all writers have to say and from prespectives and views.
    Being an aspiring author, I have faced many of the challenges that come along with writing and trying to get a book published. I am young and am just starting to dip my feet into the authors world of publishing and this has brought up some questions and concerns about being an independent author and publishing options. I would love to hear from fellow writers and independent authors and see views other share on these. Below, I have included some questions and concerns that I've developed and I am really interested as to others opinions and thoughts on these.
    Independent Authors:
    Many other writers I have talked to and know are commonly torn between wanting to get their book published by a big publishing house but have some hesitations. With the many options provided in todays technological world, there are many self publishing options. With all of the different stories I have heard, I have come up with the general theory that there are many authors who aspire to have a successful novel or book but don't necessarily want to go through a big publishing company (ie. HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, etc.) because they want to keep most of their rights to the book and independence associated with their book which makes independent publishing seem idea. On the other hand, I have concluded that there is not enough support with independent publishing when it comes to things such as editing and marketing, making it difficult for the book to become successful or popular or to profit from it.
    Personally, I write because its my passion and I don't expect to write a NY Times Bestseller and make millions of dollars but I would like to see some success in something I put my heart and sole into and have it out there for others to enjoy.
    So fellow writers, what do you think about this theory that I have drawn up? How do you feel about independent publishing and working through large publishers? What are your concerns and opinions about independent publishing? Is the independent route more appealing/Would you be more willing to go to the independent route if it provided more support and marketing options?
    Please feel free to express your views on this. I enjoy hearing what you all have to say
     
  2. NiallRoach
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    NiallRoach Contributing Member

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    If support was provided in the 'Independent' route, said route wouldn't be independent.
    I've toyed with the idea of self publishing something, but I would never do it for a novel. I couldn't market it properly, for one thing, and the complete lack of gate keepers make things generally less appealing to me.

    I'd rather spend longer and have something trade published, with the knowledge that I produced something mainstream-publishable, than self publish something and not.
     
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  3. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    What he said--except I haven't even toyed with the idea of self publishing.
     
  4. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I reckon if you're young, and if you're writing for an identifiable market in a manner that will likely attract an agent's attention, and feel your book 'fits' with certain publishing houses, then by all means try the traditional publishing route. You have nothing to lose except time and tiny tufts of hair. If you succeed it will be worth the effort.

    If you are writing 'outside the box' and are on the elderly side, however, then go for self-publishing. Life is short.
     
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  5. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think it has to be an either-or situation. I work with big publishers, small publishers, and I self-publish, and I really like having all the options.

    If you anticipate writing only one book, this is may be a question to agonize over. But if you're planning to write lots of them, don't worry too much. Exploration of the publishing world can be just as much fun as exploration of the writing world.
     
  6. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would say that you can hire editors, and cover artists. It's possible to market, so those should not be the concerns that hold you back, although the marketing can be a major draw in time...and it is even for those published by a major house or a small or medium publishing house.

    I'd finish your project, novel and keep researching as you go. Some authors give the agent/publisher route a shot, especially while they're writing another novel. If it doesn't work out, they try the self-publishing waters. Other authors do straight to self-publishing, and stay there...or work with publishers afterwards. Just as some start out with a publisher, and shift to independent, whether by choice or because they're not able to get a contract for their next novel.

    I could go on with the combinations, along the lines of what BayView indicated. I am currently with a smaller publisher and it works for me. Is it the right choice for you? Who knows.

    Finish the project and see what the publishing landscape is like. It's bound to be different in a year or two than it is today.
     
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  7. Jones
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    Jones My body is ready

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    I don't know if this helps you any, but I've self published one and now I'm trying to shop my second. I've had a couple of agents show interest, but I've gotten input that these days, it really helps to have a built in "platform" even going the traditional route, particularly with the smaller houses. So I guess it can't hurt to try to shop, but if you're just not getting much response, it might do you good to publish, self promote, and try to get some sort of a following to help out your next project.
     
  8. Annihilation
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    Annihilation Active Member

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    I'm in the same position as him but I have no idea where to find a literary agent or publisher. Can you help by any chance?
     
  9. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Annihilation,

    A lot depends on your genre, as to whether you'll need an agent to approach larger publishers, if that's your goal. I write mainly fantasy and SF, and have a better grasp of those markets than any other ones.

    A place to start is going to the library and/or bookstore or online and discovering publishers that publish works similar to what you write. You can also research via a Writer's Market. It's a book that's published annually, and usually libraries have a copy. Even if it is a few years old, that won't make much difference. They can give lists of agents/agencies and publishers.

    No matter where you find the publisher/agent, do your research, especially before signing any contract...but you have to get an offer before contracts become a concern. I have no experience with agents, so I cannot speak to that except via 2nd hand knowledge. With a publisher, if you land a major one, you should be able to get an agent (if you didn't have one first). For a smaller publisher, probably not.

    But I would not go with a publisher without looking into them, including reading/examining at least one or two of their recently published works. It'll give you a solid idea about their editing/covers/quality.

    I know that's pretty general information.

    Terry
     
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  10. Annihilation
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    Annihilation Active Member

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    Thank you, I'll defiantly look into this. Is your book sold at Barnes and noble? And how much does it cost to do covers or editing?
     
  11. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    Independent publishing doesn't appeal to me at all. You could do it right now and hire someone to do your marketing but, for me, it would still be stressful and take much more time and energy that I'm willing to invest. I want to just write and have someone else make the marketing decisions, telling me where to go and what to do.
     
  12. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Annihilation,
    My books are not likely to be stocked at the vast majority of B&N stores, although you can order them via B&N stores. (My books, along with other WF member books, are available via the WF bookstore: http://www.writingforums.org/bookstore/)

    My publisher takes care of editing and the cover art and title work. That's part of the reason a publisher gets part of the sales profits. They invest in the book up front. Publishers often provide an advance to authors, but many smaller publishers, especially only ebook publishers do not.

    With self-publishing, the author has to do all of that him/herself, or better yet, hire individuals with the skills to do perform the editing and provide cover art, layout and such. Plus all other items, such as ISBN, ARCs (advance review copies), review copies and more fall upon the self-published author's shoulders. But, the self-published author earns all of the profits (if any) from sales.

    Covers can go anywhere from free (if the author can do it him/herself) up to thousands of dollars, depending on the artist and what is requested for a cover. Created art, as opposed to stock photos and images, is far more expensive. Editing costs vary as well, but in general, you get what you pay for. I am no the person to ask about the cost of an editor (based upon direct experience) but you're looking a lot more than a few hundred dollars for a decent sized novel.

    Some self-published authors have horribly edited works, but still sell well, but that is the exception to the rule. Some have horrid covers, and still manage to sell well, but again, that is the exception to the rule. Of course, well-edited novels (both self and traditionally published) with quality cover art can languish without much readership as well. There is no guarantee. You can only do what gives you the best chance to connect with readers and build from there.
     

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