1. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Interesting article on self-pubbing

    Discussion in 'Self-Publishing' started by chicagoliz, Apr 4, 2013.

  2. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Mostly anecdotal again, though, and from people who have been successful, who obviously are willing to talk about it. Again, if people want to self-publish, they should understand what it entails. It's not the 'wave of the future' for writers in general, because there are a great many writers who have no interest - or talent - in being publishers, in putting all that time and energy and money into publishing. They'd rather be writing.

    It's not the wave of the future. It's an alternative route to be considered.
     
  3. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with you, Shadow. What I found most interesting was how much money it's even possible to make. It's certainly not for everyone, and at this point it's not even my first choice.
     
  4. Yotam
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    Yotam Member

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    i actually thought about self-publishing today. in my case i see it as a last resort that i hopefully will never need.
    for any of you who plan to go for it i think kickstarter will be a great help in raising money - be best to take examples from other book projects before starting your own.
     
  5. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I really question how successful a book published via kickstarter will be. But I wish the best of luck to anyone trying this route.
     
  6. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I was surprised at how much money some of those writers are making. It was much higher than I expected. But I'm with you guys on this; traditional publishing is my first choice.

    On a side note, it seems like romance, sci-fi, and fantasy are the most popular genres for self-published writers. I haven't heard of anyone making a lot of money self-publishing general/literary fiction (maybe I'm just not looking hard enough).
     
  7. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    Why? It's self publishing except you pre-sell some books.... It's just a platform to get funding and promote yourself. So really, if an author released their debut novel twice (parallel dimensions or something), using the same marketing methods, but added kickstarter for one.The Kickstartered novel would be slightly more popular.

    Look at the rate e-reader and e-book sales have been increasing over the last five years. Kindle, .PDF and their imitators are the modern-day printing press.

    It's hard for us to see because books have sentimental value. But kids these days (shakes walking stick) could potentially be the last generation to value print-media simply for what it is. Which is what we do. After pinch of research and a quick number crunch, I've concluded that to print the twilight saga, about 7 million trees were destroyed. I wouldn't be at all shocked if children born in as little as one hundred years time want to know, "Dafuq was dey all tinkin?"...Because that's how future-spawn will speak.

    Whether we like it or not, printed novels will inevitably be a novelty, like modern bands releasing vinyl. Whether it happens in fifty years or five thousand, it will happen.
     
  8. swhibs123
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    swhibs123 Active Member

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    nevermind...
     
  9. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    Response to Swhibs :S.
     
  10. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    But we're not talking about e-publishing. We're discussing self-publishing. E-books are only a format and definitely not exclusive to self-publishers.
     
  11. lettuce head
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    lettuce head Active Member

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    What a fascinating article. I find him very convincing and well spoken on the subject. Assuming one can provide a quality story that has been well edited, having multiple titles is what lifts the paycheck. Create a new title every year and before you know it you could be gathering up a following of readers who want more.

    I have some months to go before my first novel is completed and I plan to submit to publishers. At the same time I'll be looking in to what Hugh Howey talks about in that article. I might be able to kick out a novel each year.
     
  12. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    You could very well be right, AVCortez. I just don't see people contributing money toward a book, especially when one could self-e-pub with virtually no start up costs, so it's not quite the same as with some other items that need R&D or need to be manufactured. I'm sure there are some, because I know some writers are trying to go this route, but my guess is that it's not going to be common or enough for most people. I could be wrong, though. I'll be interested to see how many authors are able to make a go of it this way.
     
  13. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Of course, to some extent, this is true with traditional publishing, as well. (That is, in many cases, needing volume to earn a really good living.) It did seem like some authors were making a pretty substantial amount of money, and I wonder how common that is, and how long it can last. I wouldn't go into writing/self-publishing expecting this to be the result, but it's interesting that it does seem to be possible.
     
  14. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    Kickstarter's 2012 figures.

    Publishing: $15,311,251 was pledged by 262,732 thousand people over 2012.
     
  15. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Interesting. I would not have thought it would have been that much. I will be interested to see if the funded projects succeed and whether the funding levels are sustained or increase.
     
  16. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    You'll have to define succeed for me. By definition, if they reach their target, they have succeeded. If you ask me it's going to go up again dramatically this year, and possibly next. Once it becomes as well known as twitter or instagram, it will plateau. There are a lot of people who still don't know it exists, and have not been given the chance to decided whether they like it or not.
     
  17. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    In this case, I would define succeeding as the individual author getting whatever he or she needed from the kickstarter campaign, and the results being good enough that he or she would do it again, and that others would have the same success.

    I don't have anything against kickstarter and I certainly would encourage anyone who wants to publish by utilizing them to do so. I'm just still not convinced that the benefits are there for it to become a major force in self-publishing, especially with e-books gaining strength the way they are. Perhaps I will change my mind at some point, and my current position could be proven entirely wrong. We shall see.
     
  18. swhibs123
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    swhibs123 Active Member

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    I think kickstarter is interesting. I wouldn't give money to a new writer, though. I'd want to see evidence they could write. If you look at the campaigns that have been very successful, you'll see that most of them are authors with a track record. I think readers want to be part of a successful writer's career. I've considered putting a campaign together for kickstarter myself, but I decided I needed to prove myself first. Show readers that I can do it, and then maybe ask for some help with some future endeavors. I'm releasing a series of MG novels on my own because I really want to be a hybrid author (traditional and self publishing). My agent is pitching a couple projects of mine to publishers, and I have one deal in the works for another novel. I really think there are so many options out there for authors today, that it's a great time to be a writer. Industry doom-and-gloom is just nonsense, in my opinion.
     
  19. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    Regardless of which route you take, you need readers in order to make money. Traditional publishers know how to get readers for you, and self-publishing methods are still lightyears behind at getting new authors connected with readers. Social media is very promising, but it's not enough. Successful self-publishers spend most of their day getting their books into the hands of their readers via social media, etc. It becomes a full-time job, and all that time could be spent on writing more books. Not to mention you need a long list of business skills.
     
  20. Hambone
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    Hambone Member

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    This is very true. Some authors beat it to death on social media as well, kind of like they don't have any other way to promote. It gets old.
     
  21. swhibs123
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    swhibs123 Active Member

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    I think that's why the hybrid model is most appealing. You have the marketing machine of the major press behind some of your titles, and that spurs visibility of your self published titles. I agree that the constant "pitching" on twitter and facebook and ... every other social media outlet, gets old very, very fast. There are some great self publishers who have done things right, and if authors care, they can take note and copy what those authors did. Amanda Hocking talks about it quite a bit, actually. But traditional publishing does have the longest reach, and in my opinion, will continue to have the longest reach for the foreseeable future. I also think you have to be a bit prolific to make the hybrid method work. i.e. if you can produce at least 2 or 3 manuscripts a year.
     
  22. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    JMO, but I think the writers who are the most successful with self-publishing are those who have already built an audience through trade publishing. Whether it's their backlist or new titles, they're a known quantity to readers. Someone just starting out is going to have a very, very difficult time unless they write for a niche audience and have access to sites that cater to that audience.
     
  23. lettuce head
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    lettuce head Active Member

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    But its cheap. Self hype gets old real fast even if I can't blame someone for selling their art that way.
     
  24. lettuce head
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    lettuce head Active Member

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    No doubt traditional publishing has the reach. But do you really want to trust your future to them? Personally, I can't stand someone holding my strings for me. In every business I've ever run I have put on every hat. The more I think about self publishing the better it sounds. And as you and liz point out, you have to put out multiple works.
     
  25. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    Self-hypists (that's a thing now, I've decided) don't know jack about social-media, and seem to be of the impression it's a magical thing that vaults a select few into internet stardom. I find it almost shocking that people can't see it for what it actually is: Word of mouth.

    A lot of the successful publishing campaigns on Kickstarter make barely a scrap for the author. $3000 goals, even if they didn't have to produce the rewards, is still only a months pay. But it's very short sighted to say, 'oh well, so he printed a few books, who cares?'

    Lets say you're a brand new author, you put a chapter of your book up on Kickstarter and ask a $5 pledge for a e-book copy. Fifty people are impulsed and pledge ($5? I spend more then that on lunch). 20 of those people actually read your book, and it doesn't suck. Half of them post about it on tweeterfacboxes and it reaches another 1000 people (I think I have one person on failbook with less than 100 friends, most have over 200). 10 more sales. This goes on and on and on, and after six months you find yourself selling thirty copies in a month, then fourty, then seventy.

    Unlike traditional word of mouth where a mention is quickly forgotten. In social media, if a person posts about something, anyone reading that post can purchase it immediately. FunkyGuy132 posts "Just reading John Smith's, Girl throws a rock at a mouse, and it's awesome! LoLxoxo." - CoolChixx553 copies the title and author into google. Amazon is the first hit. $3? Bargain. The whole process begins again.

    No, talk shows are not calling you up for interviews, you're not pouring cash into a bathtub and eating caviare from an armani shoe horn, but you have a following. You have people who know your name, and a pool to market your next book, and the one after that. With each release, you get a few brand new followers who are completely detached from your current. Social media sales build over time, just like good old fashioned word of mouth, but with the added bonus of the potential to explode.
     

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