1. guamyankee
    Offline

    guamyankee Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Messages:
    474
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington

    Releasing Your First Novel as a Free Download

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by guamyankee, Mar 15, 2011.

    I've considered doing this if I can't pick up an agent. I already have an idea for a second novel. It is not a sequel, but would be a similar genre. My thoughts are that it might generate interest in my work while I start a new novel, building off what I've learned from writing the first one.

    It probably won't make much difference to agents, but at the same time it probably wouldn't hurt to build a fan base. Surely there's 1 person out there who would like what I've written. I would call that a fan base, lol.

    Anyway, looking for thoughts on the idea.
     
  2. Sidewinder
    Offline

    Sidewinder Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Messages:
    614
    Likes Received:
    35
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    The industry has changed so much that self publishing is a realistic way to make money these days. If you have a good product, get it up on Kindle for a low price point with a nice looking cover and do a bit of marketing. You can make more money that way than some authors do with a publisher, and if I understand correctly, you retain the rights. So if a publisher notices you, you have options. I would think about something like that before giving it away for free.
     
  3. guamyankee
    Offline

    guamyankee Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Messages:
    474
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    That sounds like solid advice. Thank you.
     
  4. TheMaster734
    Offline

    TheMaster734 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Australia
    I agree with that too. In fact, there's a deal offered by a lot of self-publishing agencies that put your book on the iPad (with their new iBook app), as well as kindle. So you can always do that. It costs a bit though. One of the deals I've seen (which includes a paperback printing solution as well as the kindle and iPad) would set you back about $5000. But I reckon its a pretty good investment.
     
  5. Banzai
    Offline

    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Messages:
    12,871
    Likes Received:
    150
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    I'd still be wary. I know there's been a boom in self-publishing companies lately, especially with e-books, but I'm yet to encounter any evidence of a sizable number of successes from it.
     
  6. Trilby
    Offline

    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,098
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    NE England
    The following quote by US author Scott Sigler is taken from an article by Martyn Casserly in the Jan.2011 issue of UK's Writing Magazine

    .

    The mag also says that "He became a best- seller by building an internet fanbase."

    Scott Sigler's website www.scottsigler.com I haven't checked it out, but it may be of interest to you gaumyankee

    Good luck trilby
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Sidewinder
    Offline

    Sidewinder Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Messages:
    614
    Likes Received:
    35
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    The contract I am working on right now is for a self published book, and the guy I am working for has shown me a lot of reason to be optimistic about putting stuff on kindle. Yes, you have to be wary and do your research. But $5000 is not even near the best deal you can get, if all you want is to get your book out there. The key to making this kind of investment work is to have a good product. It is far from a guaranteed situation, but I have seen a lot of evidence that self-publishing can be a profitable way to go. Some established authors are even choosing to go with self-publishing because they can make more money that way. Basically, from what I understand, if you follow four rules, you have a pretty good shot:

    1. Write a good book
    2. Have a good cover
    3. Set a low price
    4. Have a good product description

    Source.
     
  8. w176
    Offline

    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,067
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    LuleƄ, Sweden
    If it isn't good enough to picked up by an agent, it probably not good enough to get published. And if you get published in the future with you next and probably better book, people will search for you name and find the first book that really isn't good enough and be let down.
     
  9. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    I am not doing it like that but I do have an email list that has grown over the past year - has about 150 people on it which grew from three teen boys and two gay men i got to help me with my stories.

    What I am going to do is use my website (once I get over the flu) and serialise a couple of novellas I have written, an epistolary, sketches, children's books etc I also have a blog.

    I don't think it is a daft I idea - I know a couple of writers that do similar things by way of marketing through their websites. If you are going to charge it really needs to be formatted and edited properly which costs. That is not as important for a free or .99 book.

    I know several amazing writers who have found their way self-publishing and make an income from it. They spent years trying to find an agent then went it alone.

    I am giving mine two years whilst I save up to self publish properly - I now have two pen names that allow me to a variety of work.
     
  10. SeverinR
    Offline

    SeverinR Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    Messages:
    477
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    New Madison Ohio
    They offer free e-books to people,
    It doesn't take much space to store an e-book.

    I can see requiring some money to keep people from dumping mindless/senseless boring material, that they didn't really try to do a good job.
    But $5000?

    I would have a hard time deciding which books I would put out for free.
    The books I finished I really like.

    I could post my work on a free websight if I want to get my work out, better then 5k. (I have one, just haven't posted to it yet.)
     
  11. Norule
    Offline

    Norule Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2011
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    5
    I was at a seminar about Ipads, and just so you know for every download apple takes 30% so if you charge 10 bucks they will take 3. Just so you know that its a cost after the first cost xD
     
  12. TWErvin2
    Offline

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,528
    Likes Received:
    561
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Just putting an ebook out there via self publishing isn't going to do much unless you put in the time for marketing. It's just like having a blog or website. Just having it out there amongst the hundreds of thousands...
     
  13. Trish
    Offline

    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,986
    Likes Received:
    224
    Location:
    New York
    Also, everything I've read points to (in the US anyway) if you don't sell enough copies self-publishing, agents and publishers will be wary of you because you didn't sell well. They're not going to care that you were unable to market it well.

    I'm sure there are a few success stories, but they are most certainly not the norm.
     
  14. Ness
    Offline

    Ness Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2011
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Toronto
    There are tons of free ebooks out there, as well as tons of cheap ones. In fact, there are WAY more self-published ebooks than traditionally published ones.

    And as someone already mentioned, you'll need to do a lot of marketing! Social media is great for that, but you need to be careful - if you're too pushy and hard-selling, you won't succeed.

    Just my two cents.
     
  15. guamyankee
    Offline

    guamyankee Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Messages:
    474
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington

    I don't think this is always the case. The publishing market is more selective than ever, and a lot of the stuff I see being published doesn't seem that good to me anyway. Many people come on here with book ideas that seem over-done and cliche to me, yet, when I go to the local wal-mart or whatever, those are the very novels that are being sold.

    My entire first paragraph is almost a side topic. I could say more but I dont like to write posts that turn into novels. I'll just post this paragraph of thought for now.
     
  16. Terry D
    Offline

    Terry D Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Southeast Iowa
    If interested in self-publishing, check out CreateSpace.com. It's the self publishing arm of Amazon. There are zero up front costs to get your book on Amazon, and for just $39 you make it available to every bookstore and library. The quality of the finished product is excellent.
     
  17. Trish
    Offline

    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,986
    Likes Received:
    224
    Location:
    New York
    I agree with you on that. I think it's a matter of timing and luck to get published through traditional routes which is why I said to someone else earlier "Rejection is part of life; perseverance makes a life" That's how I am approaching what I hope will be a successful writing career for me. When I get rejected I look at as "Not now" not "Not ever". I think that's the key.
     
  18. Sidewinder
    Offline

    Sidewinder Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Messages:
    614
    Likes Received:
    35
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Exactly. People are going to be surprised at how much self-publishing will transform the book industry. What is it that gives publishers the right to say a work has legitimacy or not anyway? First and foremost should be the product, and that's the direction things are headed.

    No offense w176, but what you're saying here is the same defeatist attitude I see in so many aspiring writers, and if you cling to that way of thinking, you're never gonna get anywhere. It's absolutely not the way things work. Even if you have a top literary agent, it's still unlikely that a reputable publisher will accept unsolicited manuscripts from you. On the other hand, many books that have been turned down by publishers have found a market through self-publishing. Supposing you self-publish and bomb -- well what's the worst that can happen? If you're really determined to be a writer, you pick yourself up, write a better book, and self-publish again. And a successful self-published book will have a good chance of attracting the eyes of publishers.
     
  19. Sidewinder
    Offline

    Sidewinder Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Messages:
    614
    Likes Received:
    35
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Yes and no. Marketing counts but it's not what makes or breaks it. The make or break element is the product. That's the beauty of it. Write a good book first, package it up nicely, and worry about what to do with it when it's ready.
     
  20. TWErvin2
    Offline

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,528
    Likes Received:
    561
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Yes, you do have to have a quality product. But, if nobody knows about it, word isn't spread, it doesn't matter. There is a lot of noise out there to be heard in and rise above. Just having a good book and nice cover up on the Kindle (for example) will not = sales.

    Just as marketing the heck out of a crappy book it won't make much difference, either. Yes, one can argue that there are crappy books that sell out there (one would have to define the subjetive term crappy), but the ideal situation is a great book with at least adequate marketing. And every minute spent marketing is one less minute available for writing that next book.

    I bolded the comment which doesn't make sense. If an author has a top literary agent representing the his/her work, the work will be considered by reputable publishers. That is one of the points of having an agent. Reputable agents have access to markets that do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.
     
    1 person likes this.
  21. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    what really doesn't make sense in that bolded part is that if you have an agent, you would NOT be sending out 'unsolicited' mss!... your agent would do the sending... and an 'agented' submission is not treated the same as an 'unsolicited' one...
     
  22. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,910
    Likes Received:
    5,437
    I think that it's very, very unlikely that you'd make $5000 back from a self-pubished novel. If you want to do it as a hobby, that's fine, but I would not call it an investment.

    ChickenFreak
     
  23. guamyankee
    Offline

    guamyankee Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Messages:
    474
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    I'm not doing anything that has me shelling out 5 grand. I'm a dummy, not a fool.
     
  24. Sidewinder
    Offline

    Sidewinder Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Messages:
    614
    Likes Received:
    35
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Sorry mammamaia -- you're right, I misused the word "unsolicited." Just in case I haven't made this clear, I'm no expert in the publishing industry. I've just done some research into self-publishing to make sure the contract I'm working on isn't bogus. What I should have said was that even represented by a top literary agent, manuscripts from first-time authors and unknowns rarely receive consideration from reputable publishers. This much is absolutely true -- and I was referring to the article I posted as a link. I've read about numerous examples of this sort of thing. Just like Hollywood studios' attitude to new filmmakers -- publishers just aren't interested in taking risks. The book has to be bankable.
     
  25. Trish
    Offline

    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,986
    Likes Received:
    224
    Location:
    New York
    I have to disagree with you, Sidewinder, I'm sorry. You have a significantly higher chance with an agent than without one, and the better the agent, the better your chances. I've done research too, and I really feel that's a misleading statement. Is an agents submissions likely to get rejected 20-50 times as well? Yes it is. But at the very least you'll have known you've done your best and you can try a different book or that book again a year later. An agent has a vested interest in selling your book once he accepts you as a client because he gets no commission otherwise. He wouldn't take you on unless he truly believed he could sell it. Self-publishing houses have no such stake in your work, will not help you along, will not be there for you at any stage after.

    Of course there's nothing wrong with going that direction, I just think that's slightly misrepresented. It often has nothing to do with it being a first time author. Houses only put out so many books per year. Perhaps anyone interested should research the entire industry to understand better before making a decision.
     

Share This Page