1. assassins creed
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    assassins creed Banned

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    creative writing courses and self publishing

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by assassins creed, Aug 8, 2008.

    I have been reading writing magazines a lot lately and in them are a massive adds in relation to writing courses and also self publishing.

    Although I am currently involved in a creative writing course, I would like to find out specifically about workshops or retreats overseas for writers. Do they really help the struggling writer or are they just a way to scam money, out of people who wish to improve on their writing skills?

    As I have never been on one of these workshops and am considering going on one, I would like to know about them first. I would also like to know the best ones available around.

    The other topic is self publishing! Throughout many of the writing magazines there are numerous ads relating to self publishing. I would like to know if this is another tool for the vanity writers. Maybe people in general who have a really good novel with a really nice storyline are using this method because they were rejected by publishers. Also I think the more information we have about this method of publishing, i.e. the pros and cons would be really helpful to everyone wishing to have a book published.

    On the lines of self publishing, what I read from some of the ads are in a way positive. They say you are saving yourself money and time using this method, also they are telling you its cost effective and that they will do maost of the work for you in relation to the publishing end.

    However, I am also wondering if the information they are giving us could be construed as misleading. What I mean by this is; you have been rejected countless times by publishers telling you in their own way that it is not publishable material.

    With this in mind you apply to one of the self publishing companies; they tell you they would be only to glad to publish it for you. They are getting a sizable sum for doing this and also you can have it reprinted as many times as you like. Whether it is one copy or a thousand copies, as long as the money keeps rolling in to them they will be only too obliging.

    Now I am not trying to knock self publishing- far from it. I just am expressing my opinion or rather my fear of seeking out this method, if the need arises. There are plenty of authors who have had a successful career through this method, but selecting the right one is very difficult, with so many out there
    plying for your story.

    All the same, I would value peoples input regarding these two topics, which I would consider to of interest to everyone. It would also broading ones knowledge of these to topics as they are worth exploring.:confused:
     
  2. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Assassins Creed,

    One thing to be aware of with advertisements in magazines, it often reflects the readership. Why else would advertisers pay to be in the magazine?

    Of course the self-publishing (and even vanity) presses (sometimes the vanity call themselves self publishing), are going to place their services in the best possible light. If they didn't make it sound like a reasonable, if not preferable route to the readership, they're money spent on advertising would be wasted.

    I don't know how effective writing courses are with respect to individual writers. It depends on the needs of the writer, the quality of content offered and the expertise of the instructor(s). I know many walk away disappointed, not only for the money spent but also for the time wasted. This, however, isn't always true.

    With true self-publishing, the writer does the vast majority of the work. Writing, editing (or hiring an editor), layout, cover art (or pays for it), pays for the print run, gets the ISBN, does the marketing and keeps the profits.

    Self-publishing (the pros and cons) has been discussed on occasion on this forum. Here is one of the most recent threads: Thread on Self-Publishing/Discussion

    Terry
     
  3. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Boy, I could write a book on self publishing. Fifteen minutes ago, my self-published book The Last Human War was delivered to my house. I am thrilled with how it came out.

    I did NOT go through a vanity press or a POD publisher. I actually built a publishing company from the ground up. Hired the copy editor. Contracted the printer and binder. Set up the actual book using In-Design. Hired a graphics artist for the cover and for the website graphics . . . take a look:

    http://www.lasthumanwar.com

    I purchased a cover design software and learned how to do that. I set up my ISBN and other business affiliations. Established the company's checking account and contracted for web design/hosting.

    Total cost: just over $6000 for the first 1000 books (including a lot of one-time costs like software, graphic art and editing. If I get the first 1000 sold, the second thousand will cost less than $4 per book and will be very profitable. Selling price is $12.99 (actually, that's a book store price as I'm discounting the price to around $10 for direct and internet-based sales.)

    Why?

    Simple. I believe in the entrepreneurial spirit. If my book has potential, then I'm willing to invest my own money in order to get a better return than I would get through a traditional publisher. If it flops, okay. That's part of the world of risk-taking.

    Now. The bigger question. Would I do this again?

    Absolutely not! I just invested an enormous amount of time and effort learning a myriad of skills. Cover layout, printing layout, converting graphic files from one format to another, website design, marketing resources . . . I could have written the sequel in the time I spent learning these things. Don't get me wrong, it was a blast. But, it's NOT writing; it's some other beast. Traditional publishers DO earn their money!

    In about six months, I plan to post a thorough summary of the self-publishing experience, complete with results. (God, I hope it's profitable! LOL)
     

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