1. CrystalDreamer59
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    CrystalDreamer59 Active Member

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    Publish Or Self Publish

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by CrystalDreamer59, May 30, 2013.

    First off sorry I haven't been on here in a long time. Secondly I really enjoy creative writing and think I want to make a career out of it, but I'm unsure how to get my stories out there and make a good enough income out of them. I would like to someday get my stories published, but I don't know of publishing companies in my area and I'm worried of being pressured by a publishing company. I have also thought of being self published, but I'm not sure how to go about that or if I would be as successful and make as much money doing that. I have seen some tutorials on how to use a word processor to make an ebook that can be uploaded to and viewed on different devices such as ipad, kindle, and nook.
     
  2. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm not really sure what you're asking - if you're publishing for the cash, then I wouldn't bother at all - the likelihood of you making lots of money via writing is minimal, and that's true for nearly everyone regardless. If you're publishing for the fame, trad publishing is probably the better way to go unless you know how to market yourself - an entire business venture all by itself, so if you're business-minded, it could certainly work. Otherwise, no one will know your book is out there, so very likely your success would be better with a publishing house. Also, I'm sorry to say that I think you're running before you can walk in a sense here - you haven't even been published yet (or so I assume, anyway), and you're afraid of being pressured by a publishing company? Most of us here are afraid no publishing company/agent would ever want us, let alone pressure us.

    You sound really unsure of yourself - really, just decide for yourself: do you or do you not want to write and get it published? If yes, then go for it. Seriously, put in everything you have, and do it. Do it in good faith believing you will be a success one day. There are enough odds against you without your putting yourself down with your self-doubts. Are you good enough? If you believe so, then go, and write. Get yourself a beautiful, brilliant piece of work you can be proud to put your name on and call your own, and in the process never be too diffident to take on criticism and grow from it. When you have a finished piece that you're proud of - seriously, that's already success in itself. And that's when you should worry about whether you should self-publish or go the traditional route - think about it then, because without the finished book, you can't know what's best for you and your book.

    If you're gonna pursue this dream, then do it, and do it with all your heart holding nothing back. Chase down that dream with your all, so you know you did everything in your power, chase it down fearlessly, recklessly, let your stories take your breath away. If you love your work, chances are, someone out there will, too :)
     
  3. Webster
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    Webster Senior Member

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    First off, two e-zine/print magazine directories: 'Ralans' and 'Duotrope.' Then comes the hard part. I'll let you discover the challenges yourself. It's all part of the fun and offers a healthy dose of reality. Try and get some poems or stories accepted, and just work your way up from there. It's a buzz, even if you don't get paid. Remember: Follow The Guidelines!!! Your job is to write, theirs is to publish.

    There are so many diverse publications out there, I'm sure you'll find a home for your work eventually. :)
     
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Short story collections by unknown writers don't sell very well, so publishers don't usually pick them up. My advice would be to submit individual stories to magazines. You can find a listing of markets at Poets & Writers. Start at the top (highest paying/most prestigious magazines) and work your way down. Might as well get paid as much as possible for each story. Make sure to read the submission guidelines for each magazine and, if possible, take a look at some of the stories the magazines publish to see if your stories are a good fit. Good luck.

    Edit: I didn't mention Duotrope's database of markets because Duotrope costs about $50 a year now. I realize that not everyone can afford it, so I suggested Poets & Writers instead because it is still a great resource.
     
  5. Webster
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    Webster Senior Member

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    Oooh, Didn't know about that site- Duotrope requires a subscription these days, so I haven't been using them for a while. Thanks!
     
  6. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    What if we're doing it for the chicks? The groupies? The nearly midnight parties?
     
  7. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are these short stories or novels? As others mentioned, short stories are better served going through magazines/journals. Novels - well, whether or not to self-publish depends first on one thing: Are you willing and able to function as the publisher? Because once you decide to self-publish, you have to switch hats. Being the publisher means knowing how to edit well and objectively or having the money and savvy to find and hire a good editor. It means having the commercial acumen and talent to create your own cover, or having the money and savvy to hire a good artist who knows about the commercial needs for book covers. It means learning the technical side of e-publishing, and - unless you have the money - forgoing print or audio versions. It means spending a lot of time and effort promoting your book, and handling the business finances. It means spending time on the publishing side instead of writing. It means doing all the things trade publishers do for you.
     
  8. Webster
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    Webster Senior Member

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    I'm all for being realistic, but I feel you're just plain wrong in the first part of your post. Sorry if you read this before I amended- The horse bolted before the gate opened *Cringe* Everything after it is very cool.
     
  9. CrystalDreamer59
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    CrystalDreamer59 Active Member

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    Since I write short stories at the moment I have taken your advice and will look for magazines to publish my stories in. I want to be able to make some money by publishing my stories. Not much just enough income to eventually be independent and rent an apartment. Okay maybe that's a lot with how much rent and bills and food cost now a days, but I really can't see myself doing anything else then something creative like creative writing. I have had a small odd job before and it was all routine and I hated it and have decided I don't want some job like that again. Not to mention I was also discriminated against. They thought I had a disability when really I don't.
     
  10. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Lol, I read both versions. Thanks for clarifying anyway since I was about to ask :D

    I'm just plain wrong, am I? So if you wanna go self-publish, you *shouldn't* have business savvy? You have to market, promote and sell the book - what is that except a business? Or that writing won't make you much money? (let's not quote the exceptions such as JK Rowling!) Or that publishing houses will be better able to promote your book than yourself, and therefore in terms of probability your book is more likely to be visible via the trad route as opposed to the self-pub route?

    Do clarify ;)
     
  11. Webster
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    Webster Senior Member

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    Just love it. That's the ultimate advice.
     
  12. Webster
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    Webster Senior Member

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    Yes, I was a bit heavy handed. But no, I feel the last thing the OP needs to be thinking about at the moment is becoming business savvy. That will come naturally as she begins to regularly submit her work and gets a feel for the market. Earning money, personally speaking, isn't on my radar, so I'm not going to recommend that either. I only care about the projects at hand. If anyone wants to earn a living from writing, they should become journalists. This is (no, oh my god, don't say it, you fool!) art. And, as such, a journey rather than valid income source, especially for young people. I could tell you some stories about my stupidity in this regard. But I won't. Because it's sad.
     
  13. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    But that's the thing - if she's thinking about *self-publishing* - then I'm afraid she MUST be business savvy, and unless she thinks she's got the gift for business, self-pubbing is probably a bad idea. She clearly indicated she wants to make money off of it - good money (I don't suppose she means millions, but decent - something that will be worth her while). Now, I'm not an idealist - I thoroughly believe that we need to do things for money, and it is not wrong to want money, and good money, from good work. However, wanting, and how things should be, is not always how it is. If she wants to make a career out of it AND make good money out of it - the chances are very slim. Not impossible, but slim. Making good money, while we all want it, is more of a bonus. Getting published is hard enough.

    And if she's not willing to think in business terms, there's no point even mentioning self-publishing really. Unless she's self-pubbing to simply get whatever she can get from it, or catering for a very niche audience, or doing so for her own pleasure - all of which are valid reasons. But she's thinking of self-pubbing as a route to start her off on a career, and to earn decent money from it - that's very different, and business savvy is certainly what you will need then.
     
  14. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    You have to have some business sense no matter which route you choose, but especially if you're going to be a publisher. Too many people don't take that part seriously, and their book is essentially wasted because of it.
     
  15. Webster
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    Webster Senior Member

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    All of which will come in to play in the near future for her, and the rest of us, once we've got something ready for market. But it's seriously putting the cart before the horse to focus on marketing when she's yet to even get posted on someone's Literary blog. That said, if she feels the need to do the research required for this side of the process, all power to her.
     
  16. CrystalDreamer59
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    CrystalDreamer59 Active Member

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    As I have mentioned earlier I am not self publishing as I actually don't know that much about business. I will search for lit magazines instead to publish my short stories. As for money I am looking only for enough for to be able to afford to get out on my own. I'm not looking for millions as I'm not greedy, though I wouldn't mind some recognition for my work. And I know it's hard making a career out of writing but being the rebellious and energetic person I am I don't want some nine to five job where I'm stuck in a routine. I see writing as a way to break the rut.
     
  17. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is the part where you really do need to have a reality check, I'm afraid. Unless you go into journalism, you are not going to have a steady paycheck from writing and that's exactly what you need if you have a landlord or a mortgage, let alone expect to eat. Many people have jobs they hate (myself included) but it allows us to pay the bills and write on the side. It can take years/decades, if ever, to get to the point where one can exist on their writing income alone.
     
  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i doubt there's much [if any] chance of you doing that on short stories alone...

    as shadow said, you need to face reality... only the tiniest fraction of all would-be published authors make rven a single sale, much less ever get to where they make a living with their writing...
     
  19. CrystalDreamer59
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    CrystalDreamer59 Active Member

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    I absolutely can't stand the traditional 9 to 5 job where you're doing the same thing over and over day after day. Last year around this time I was working part time as a dry cleaner and I absolutely hated it because I was basically doing the same thing for the whole four hours I was there. Eventually after only two weeks I quit and decided never again did I want a job like that. I want to enjoy my life for once. I don't mean to complain, but I never had a chance to enjoy my life. In middle school and high school while everyone else was probably having fun hanging out with friends and stuff I had no friends (except for one senior girl who was brave enough to come up to me and offer to be my friend my sophomore year) and was constantly suspended from school for picking fights with the other students because they would do things I didn't like.
     
  20. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, again - reality check. Just because you had one job you hated doesn't mean you'll hate all 9-5 jobs; just because you want to 'enjoy life' doesn't mean you'll be able to support yourself by writing. It just isn't that easy - if it were, how many of us would be working a regular job instead of living off our writing? If you want to be told how to do that, you're just not going to get an answer you like, because the answer is you almost definitely can't.
     
  21. CrystalDreamer59
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    CrystalDreamer59 Active Member

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    What kind of 9 to 5 job do you think I would be happy with. I would prefer a job in which I can express my creativity or better yet be in charge of people. I also need something where I'm not doing the same thing over and over again. I guess I need something where I'm on the move a lot. Also I don't have much job experience but I have a high school diploma and some college education. I would go back to college, but I'm really unsure how I would do in college because I don't like sitting still and doing paper work. Also I forgot to mention that I also would like to eventually write a novel. Maybe even a novel series.
     
  22. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have no idea what kind of job you'd be happy with. As to being in charge of people, that usually requires some experience in the job first, or some kind of training. They don't usually take someone off the street and put them in charge of anything.

    btw - how do you expect to be a writer if you "don't like sitting still and doing paper work"?
     
  23. CrystalDreamer59
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    CrystalDreamer59 Active Member

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    I guess there's no point in me looking for a job if there's nothing that will pay well that I will also enjoy. By the way it's kind of weird that I can only sit still if I'm doing something I enjoy doing.
     
  24. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I hope you have a very supportive family. Otherwise, life is going to be tough for you.
     
  25. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    I second that, getting a novel published by a publisher is already a pretty slim endure, so to rely on the success of your novel (which is even harder) is a very risky gamble. I suggest finding the most flexible and appealing jobs out of the bunch and go from there. Don't quite your day job just yet.
     

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