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  1. anthonyD
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    anthonyD New Member

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    ebooks - potential free distribution?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by anthonyD, Apr 3, 2009.

    Ebooks - potential free distribution?

    Hello all,

    I recently completed a comedy project with a friend – a book which was fun to write.

    I have tried for print publication, but have now had enough of pursuing this; we did send it to a number of agents/publishers – two requested the full manuscript, but nothing more.

    My thinking is now to publish the book as an ebook – for free.

    I hoped that this would be simple and easy to do – a neat way of liberating writers?...

    I wonder if anyone has any advice on how (and where) to publish an ebook for free?

    As I used to work in publishing, copy-editing/typesetting wouldn’t be a problem.

    From having a brief look, it seems that many ‘free’ ebook websites ask for a) money to advertise; or b) a publisher.

    Any thoughts at all?

    Many thanks

    Anthony
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Publishers have a pretty good idea of what will appeal to a large enough audience to be worth publishing, and what is not.

    As an unpublished author, you are giving up far too soon.

    eBooks are a new distribution medium for writing that has already met the criteria for print publication; most are published in print before being released electronically.

    Because you have been in the publishing industry, I would think you'd have a greater appreciation of the real work and skill involved in copy editing and layout/typesetting, and the many other details involved in a successful release.

    There are no real shortcuts.
     
  3. anthonyD
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    anthonyD New Member

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    Thanks for the reply. Does anyone else have any thoughts on this at all?

    Ultimately, if print publication is unlikely (which in my case, after making a number of approaches, it seems so), it seems a good idea to just get the copy out as an ebook - free distribution being preferred to no distribution.

    ebooks are not all pre-published (in print) works – and I am sure there is opportunity.

    Essentially I would like to rid my hands of this project!!

    I worked in academic publishing, and so appreciate the importance of in copy editing / typesetting. I also learned the idea that publishing is a very flawed industry – Toole’s experiences being an exemplar –

    Perhaps I am now too pessimistic about print publication options – I have tried a number of options, and feel that rather than trying to ‘flog an old horse’, I should just release one.

    Cheers

    Anthony
     
  4. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    If you're really only wanting to self-publish... I'd try lulu.com

    I don't know if they offer an e-book type of self-publication, but they do offer self-publication.
     
  5. Peeps
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    Peeps Member

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    ebook publishing ideas

    Hi Anthony

    When you talk about ebook publishing are you talking about the book being put into an ebook format (PDF, ePub, Mobi etc.) or are you talking about somebody promoting it for you, or perhaps both.

    You may find it useful to buy a book or two about 'Bum Marketing'. No this isn't something rude! If you haven't come across Bum Marketing, it is basically ways to promote your content for no or very little cost. e.g. write articles around your subject and put them in article directories.

    Have you tried Createspace.com (belongs to Amazon)? You can create a book very cheaply and also get it listed on Amazon. As well as good publicity, it could increase the profile of your website with Search Engines.

    You could also try and sell an ebook through the use of sites such as Clickbank where you give affiliates a percentage of a sale for promoting your book. I would have to say that a large proportion of books sold this way are 'How to' books.

    Good luck

    Peeps
     
  6. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Send it to cracked.com, they're always looking for new comedy writers, and a number of their staff writers are working on books and screenplays as a result.

    I mean they're getting published, if it wasn't clear :D
     
  7. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    NO! Lulu is the biggest scam out there imaginable.

    On your idea though.

    My partner is a published writer, he has quite a few publications now and has just gotten into print with a few places. A piece of his that was published when he first started out, he has now got up on his own personal website as a free chapbook download. (it is an ebook you can download for free).

    Now, while he has this piece down-loadable for free, it has been published previously, and he received payment for it.

    My advice to you, as hard as it can be to keep getting rejection after rejection, keep submitting. Your piece might actually be publishable, but you might not have found the right market for it yet, or it may require a little bit of extra work.

    Go through the piece, check for overuse of words, over use of was, were, where, as, etc. Make sure you haven't over described parts of the story. Go over the piece for a month to go over it again and then resubmit it to another publisher and wait. If they reject it, submit it to another publisher and in the mean time, work on another piece.

    Do not release the work for free, because ultimately, you could be robbing yourself.

    But like I said initially, AVOID LULU
     
  8. Chutzpah
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    Chutzpah New Member

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    Interesting thread!

    Would you find a site that allows you to upload ebooks, set a price to sell them and get reviewed helpful? Or popular? Or have potential?

    As the author, you could choose how you used it. You could upload free books, or upload books to be downloaded for a fee, with the possibility of having excerpts up to tempt the 'customer'.

    Obviously it wouldn't make you a living, but with e-book readers beginning to take off (and with the electronic formats of published books not being much cheaper than their hard copy equivalents) I think it could be popular in the future.

    I think the site itself could look to make money from a cut of paid-for books and advertising.

    Maybe not yet, but in a few years...
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Vanity press is still vanity press.

    What makes a vanity press? The fact that the person who writes the story is the one who decides whether it's marjetable. It's a flawed process.

    One of the greatest values of traditional publishers is that they won't just tell you what you want to hear. They tell you what you need to hear. They make you work for the right to publish.

    A bonus is the fact that they know the business of publishing, from top to bottom. They know the hidden costs, they know the people to get it done, and they know what stands a good chance of selling, and what just isn't ready.

    Their agenda is to pull the plug rather than keep pouring money into a bad bet. They aren't distracted by ego.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    why do you need/want an e-publisher?

    if you really just want to give it away, why don't you just put it into e-format yourself and offer it for free on your website?
     
  11. Gulfvet91
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    Gulfvet91 New Member

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    So what you're saying, Cogito, is that the publishers hold all the bananas and we lesser apes must kowtow to them if we expect to get any? I thought I read that publishing was moving to the web and away from the traditional. I mean what good is being on the web if we are all still at the mercy of people who think that a book has to be published as ink on paper to be of any moment? I bet you hang out with people who categorize books according to how "important" they are. I say, Viva la revolucion! Let's make indie publishing the norm!
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    What I'm saying is that publishers know their business. They are in it to make a profit, and have an excellent sense of what will and will not sell. They have resources, and they have experience.

    Electronic publishing eliminates many of the costs asociated with physical print media, but you are competing with so many other amateur authors that you are still at a huge disadvantage. Traditional publishers are testing the waters in the electronic market as well, and they still hold the advantage in marketing and distribution channels.

    It's a competitive business, and you are expecting to get noticed in an ocean of other idealistic but inexperienced writers. Good luck.

    Publishers aren't the enemy. They provide a service, including the fact that they demand high quality of writing from you. They keep you honest.
     
  13. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have you ever heard of a self-published book that did well? I can only think of one off hand, "The Christmas Box."

    That said. I'm also told that Dune had to be submitted over twenty times before it was accepted.
     
  14. Peeps
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    Peeps Member

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    Hi Anthony,

    When you say "publish an ebook for free", are you wanting somebody to put it into the main ebook formats, wanting somebody to market the ebook or both for free? :eek:

    Or is it just basic advice on software, marketing etc.

    Peeps
     

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