1. miszdy
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    miszdy New Member

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    Please help! Self publishing

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by miszdy, Sep 5, 2016.

    hello guys,

    I'm completely new to this forum. Not sure how to introduce my self:) but my name is Miszdy and I'm in my twenties.

    I'm starting a subscription business, I will be publishing a small book/planner/dairy of maximum 50 pages. It's not a novel it's more like a guide book. I want to publish different book each month. My problem is that I have no idea how to publish it. Do I self publish it and if I do do I use companies like createspace to do this? What will be the most cost effective way to get my books out there? I'm open to any suggestions :) thanks in advance
     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Who do you see as the market for this product? Where do the people in this market buy things?
     
  3. miszdy
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    miszdy New Member

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    Hey there!
    Thanks for your reply.

    I'm looking to sell it online, to be more specific I'm going to create a website where people can subscribe to my books.
     
  4. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    But what kind of people would be interested? Like... what would it be a guidebook for?
     
  5. miszdy
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    miszdy New Member

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    Hey this is for people who want control over their finances. It's like a saving money guide book.
     
  6. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    And would it be a print book? Like, a workbook people would enter ideas into? Or better as an e-book?
     
  7. miszdy
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    miszdy New Member

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    Yes it's a workbook with tips and advice. It's not an e-book. It's going to be printed and delivered to customers when they are subscribed.
     
  8. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Then, yeah, Createspace is one of the big POD (print on demand) companies - Lightning Source is another one. I've worked with Createspace and it's pretty self-explanatory.

    I'm not sure about you taking orders at your website--it might be better to send the customers directly to Createspace or Amazon to make the orders. That way those companies take care of the e-commerce stuff (credit cards or whatever) and also the shipping. Probably not practical to have Createspace ship a bunch of books to you and then have you package them up and ship them off again. You could order a box of books to be shipped to you for hand-selling to friends or relatives, but for web-based sales I'm not sure there's a point. And ordering the books obviously creates more upfront expense that may never be recovered.
     
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  9. miszdy
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    miszdy New Member

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    Thanks for your reply, I've heard really great things about lulu too. Which one is more cost effective and better quality, I live in the Uk by the way.
     
  10. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've only had experience with CreateSpace, so I can't really compare them.
     
  11. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    @BayView is doing a good job of replying to your publication questions, but as for introducing yourself, scroll down to the "New Here? Read This" link at the bottom of the page. We have a New Members' Introduction forum where you can make yourself known to the general membership. They will be glad to help you in all sorts of ways.
     
  12. deadrats
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    deadrats Active Member

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    There's a lot of work that goes into running a publishing company. I believe promising a book (even if they are short) a month is going to prove much harder than you think. I worked for a small press. In my opinion, it really is more than a one-man operation. I would not just use Createspace. I know you can get better deals going with a smaller printer. My boss had me call dozens of places to get quotes. And he already had and continued to use some of the printers he already worked with. Going with other printers will mean you will have to try and figure out how many copies you think you are going to need. And a lot of printers have a minimal amount you have to send, maybe $300 or $500. But the printers I was in contact with all sent me copies of books as examples of the work they do. This helped a lot when it came to choosing page color and thickness, covers and colors, size and things like that. I just have to say again, that this was a small press I worked for. Sometimes we had quite modest print runs. Some books went on to a second print run. But you are going to want them to send you some free samples and no place ever even hesitated to ship them out to me.

    After you have that set up, it is still a process. You are going to have to layout the books or hire someone to do that. You are going to have to edit and proofread all the work or hire someone to do that. And then when you get the galleys, you are going to have to really check everything again and you should really have someone else (not just the writer) looking over them as well.

    The whole process is going to take longer than a month if you want to do it right and not drive yourself crazy with deadline pressure. Even then, a book a month is a pretty big talk. You might want to look at the business model used by the literary magazine One Story. Just like it sounds they send out one story a month in a very low-cost booklet form. And they have staff and volunteers. And pay their writers. And have a good reputation and are known in the industry. Actually, I really like the concept.

    On top of that, I am guessing you will be reading submissions. That alone is very time consuming. And sometimes there is just nothing good that comes through the slush pile. So, you will want to reach out to authors in the field and see if they would like to write one of these guides. Wait, are you paying your writers? You have to be able to offer something more than if they self published on their own. There is a big difference in the quality of work you will get, depending on what it is that you can offer writers.

    After that, you are going to have to promote each guide like crazy. Can you get them into bookstores? Libraries? Universities? Can you get a writeup in a newspaper or magazine? Can you throw a launch party to get you company name and the work you are producing out there? This is really a lot of work. You need to quickly build a reputation (a good one) and create some buzz around what you are doing.

    If I was going to do this, I would spend several months working on a business plan. If you want this to last, it's probably going to easily be a full time job, and it will take a while for you to start seeing any money from this. The small publisher I worked for only put out a few titles a year. And that was a lot of work. And everyone there was a professional in publishing. If you don't have any knowledge of the industry, it will show and hurt you. I don't think you have a bad idea, but I also don't think you know nearly as much as you need to. For example, what you are proposing has nothing to do with self publishing. You are talking about creating a publishing company and publishing other people's work. And you have to assume that there's a lot more that goes into it than self publishing. You are not just going to help people self publish there work, right? You want something credible that can compete with what's already out there.

    You've got to be smart about this and really think it through if this is something you truly want to do. I'm not trying to discourage you in any way. It's a good idea, but you are going to need resources and industry knowledge to make this work. Good luck.
     
  13. briankeegan
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    briankeegan Banned

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    Before publishing anything I would definitely hire the best proofreading service to go over the document to make it flawless.
     

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