1. Blueshift
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    Blueshift Member

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    Self publishing vs traditional publishing

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Blueshift, Jul 12, 2014.

    As a complete fledgling in this area... is there any good resource to use to get to grips with it all?

    I know next to no details about either method. I just know I'd like a 'regular copy' of the book, even if it was only one. Any help, or a nudge in the right direction would be very well received!
     
  2. Edward M. Grant
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    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    There are plenty of places that will produce a print-on-demand copy of your book. You just need to format it correctly and upload it.

    I use Createspace, which has no setup fees, and you can buy a copy of your paperback for about $5 plus shipping. There are plenty of other legitimate print-on-demand sites that I haven't used, often they charge fees of a few tens of dollars up front but the cost per book is lower. There are also scam sites which will charge you thousands of dollars, so beware of those.

    As for trade publishing, you write a book, you either find an agent or submit it direct to the publisher, then you wait for them to decide whether they want to buy it. And you repeat until someone buys it or you run out of publishers to submit to.

    Oh, if you want to see what it looks like, here's one of my Createspace paperbacks:

    [​IMG]

    Quality-wise, they're not as good as trade-published paperbacks, but they're improving over time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
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  3. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    And if you are accepted, you get professional editing, marketing, promotion, book covers, distribution, formats (ebook, print, audio), etc etc - all for no cost. ;)

    If you're serious about publishing either way, take your time and learn about both. Look in particular for objective discussions - there are a lot of evangelists and prejudices out there and you want facts. Whichever path you choose, it should be because it works best for your goals for your book.
     
  4. Blueshift
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    Blueshift Member

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    Thank you Edward and shadowwalker for your replies. :)

    You've both taught me some valuable things, and for that I thank you both. I will definitely try out createspace and have a go on it. Your book cover, Edward looks very well done!

    I will search around for more information over self vs traditional publishing so I understand it fully before I make any moves.
     
  5. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Remember that if you publish your book, your book is published. :) Yes, that sounds obvious, but the point is that traditional publishers generally want first publication rights, and if they're "used up", that book is almost unpublishable by a traditional publisher.

    So if all you want to do is print a copy for yourself, make sure that that is indeed all you're doing, and that no action that you're taking might be considered to be "publishing" even if you hadn't seen it that way.
     
  6. Blueshift
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    Blueshift Member

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    Thanks ChickenFreak, I wasn't aware that would be an issue. I thought I'd be able to print one copy for myself and then seek a publisher.
     
  7. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    You probably can, as long as it isn't distributed beyond yourself. But if you're sitting at PrintersRUs (which doesn't exist, as far as I know) and there's a button saying, "Would you like us to add your book to our online store?" and you say, "Sure! Who knows, I might sell a few copies!" and you click the button...you're published, and your chance to submit to traditional publishers is pretty much gone.

    So before you have that copy printed, I'd suggest that you make extra extra sure that what you're doing is NOT considered publishing. For me, the entertainment value of having a "like published" copy isn't worth it, when I compare it to the amount of work put into writing a book.
     
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  8. Edward M. Grant
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    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    I presume any of the PoD printers will let you order proof copies before officially publishing them; I think Createspace lets you order up to five or so.

    As to whether self-publishing a book would stop a trade publisher buying it, there have been periods when they've been eager to pick up self-published authors who sell well, and periods when they haven't (seems, in some cases, they didn't realize books that sold well at $0.99 might not sell well at $19.99, and that put them off the idea). So it could go either way.
     
  9. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Yes, createspace lets you order proofs before hitting the publish button. I have two because I made formatting changes after the first.

    They look exactly the way the finished product will end up except the word PROOF is printed in big black letters on the last page.

    Good Luck x
     

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