1. ToeKneeBlack
    Offline

    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    207

    Taking the Plunge

    Discussion in 'Electronic Publishing' started by ToeKneeBlack, Mar 24, 2015.

    After weeks of hesitation, I've decided to publish my first story, "Stormbringer: Legend of the 23rd Century" on Kindle Direct Publishing.

    After looking at the thumbnails, I can tell right away that I need to increase the size of the title text. I might also need to change the description to make it more compelling.

    As for pricing, what would you recommend for a 50,000+ word story?
     
  2. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,605
    Likes Received:
    5,879
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Re pricing, I've heard 99 cents can make the work look cheap, but it also makes it easier to invest. Going for the standard $2.99 might be best, but don't forget Amazon's options to have the book be free, for a month I think, if the author wants to promote it. You want readers and a following first. When you've built value and gotten some good reviews, go with the $2.99.
     
    ToeKneeBlack likes this.
  3. TWErvin2
    Offline

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,529
    Likes Received:
    561
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    GingerCoffee's views make sense. Coupled with that, I would recommend that you do a little research. Take a look at some of the good and average selling books/novels that are about the same length in pages as yours. See how they've priced. Also, if possible see how many works they have available. As this is your first publication, comparing as much 'like to like' as possible, and see how those that are seeing some success with a first publication are pricing. Maybe follow a few to see over a month or so...from free, if they move to 99 cents and cup.

    Also note there is more to success than pricing, but it is an important component.
     
    ToeKneeBlack likes this.
  4. ToeKneeBlack
    Offline

    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    207
    Thanks for the advice. I'll improve the cover art to make it easier to read as a thumbnail and alter the description before making the book free for 1 month.

    Like you suggested, building a following sounds like a good idea. By the time people finish reading it, the 1 month free period will probably be up by the time they recommend the story to their friends.
     
  5. ToeKneeBlack
    Offline

    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    207
    I couldn't find a 1-month free promotion, but I did find a 5-days free option - though it only lets me use 4 of those. I'll take what I can get to start with.
     
  6. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,978
    Likes Received:
    5,500
    If you're fully informed about self-publishing and want to take the risk, go for it, but just in case:

    You know that self-publishing not the usual method of publishing, right? Self-publishing usually results in very, very few sales. It usually eliminates your ability to be traditionally published and go for more sales. My view is that self-publishing deprives your work of its best chance of success--permanently.

    This is not all about e-publishing--you can be traditionally published electronically OR in paper. You can be self-publishd electronicaly OR in paper. This is about self-publishing.

    Many people will disagree. You will do what you want to do. But just in case you had never heard the "con" part of self-publishing pros and cons, I wanted to post.
     
  7. ToeKneeBlack
    Offline

    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    207
    Is there anywhere I can find out more about this?
     
  8. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,605
    Likes Received:
    5,879
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    I don't think the evidence supports this claim. And if you are a big self-published seller, you will have publishers offering you deals.

    If your book is crap, it won't sell but it won't get published either. If your book is good you may need to self publish to get through the gate. After that your options increase.

    There are pros and cons with both regular and self publishing. Yes, a person needs to be informed, but this kind of fear mongering isn't helpful.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2015
  9. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,605
    Likes Received:
    5,879
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
  10. ToeKneeBlack
    Offline

    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    207
    Thanks, GingerCoffe, that's most helpful. There have been success stories about people who started out as digital only self published authors which went on to become best sellers, so I doubt ChickenFreak's stance is true in 100% of all cases.

    I simply need to let my story do the talking; if the quality is high enough and enough people notice it, then it could be a success. If not, then I'll have to try another route.
     
  11. BayView
    Offline

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,661
    Likes Received:
    5,153
    I bolded the part that I think is important.

    It's really, really hard to get attention to self-published books. Personal experience: I've published lots of books with publishers, self-published one in the same genre, and self-published one in a different genre. I'd say they've all been roughly the same quality - I chose to self-publish as an experiment, not because publishers wouldn't take the books.

    My best sales AND best profits are with the books that were published by publishing companies. A close second is the self-published book in the same genre-I'd gotten a bit of a name with my books from publishers, so it wasn't that hard to get attention for my self-published book. A distant, trailing, failure of a third place is the self-published book in a different genre (and with a different pen name). The few reviews I got for it were positive enough, but in general, it just wasn't noticed. And that was with me spending way more time doing promo for it than I ever did for any of my other books.

    There are a LOT of self-published books out there. It's hard for anyone to find yours, regardless of quality.

    And, yes, there have been success stories about people who started out self-published. A few. Compared to the thousands and thousands of people who self-publish books every year? The successes are rare.

    If you want to self-publish, go for it, and I hope it goes well. But I also hope you won't be too disappointed if you don't get a lot of sales. It's just really hard to get any attention to your book without help.
     
  12. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,978
    Likes Received:
    5,500
    It's absolutely not true in 100% of cases. What if it's true in 99% of cases? 95? 80? I don't know what the percentages are. I wouldn't be surprised if less than one percent of self-published authors earn anything to speak of, but if we just say "self-published authors" we're including everybody who thought it might be fun to click a few buttons and paste text into an application. What's the percentage for self-published authors who really put effort into writing, preparing, and marketing their work? I don't know. But that's why I'm strongly advising you to get a thorough understanding before you use up your irreplaceable first publication rights for your book.

    Remember that much of your competition is traditionally-published books that have professionals dedicated, full-time, to getting people to notice them. The rest of your competition is a sea of self-published books, all with authors that are trying to get people to notice them.

    And your readership includes a lot of people who, like me, have bought a few self-published books, gotten burned by how bad they were, and aren't going to buy self-published again for a while. Your book may be fabulous; if it's in that sea with hundreds of thousands of peers that are pretty bad, there's no assurance that anyone will ever see it.

    But "another route" is almost certainly used up once you've self-published. You are making a permanent, irrevocable decision here.

    Yes, if you're a world-class genius, you might be able to get your self-published work traditionally published, even though first publication rights are used up. What if you're not? What if you're just kinda good, as good as the average author, good enough to get traditionally published? In that case, you're not likely to transcend the way that the business usually works. People aren't likely to break the rules for you.

    I want to be traditionally published. I'm not under any illusion that I'm a world-class genius for which people will break rules. So I'm going to go with whatever maximizes my odds. Self-publishing my work isn't consistent with that.
     
    BayView likes this.
  13. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,095
    Likes Received:
    5,306
    Location:
    California, US
    @ChickenFreak I think most of what you say it true, but I think you're overstating case against transition to traditional publishing having already self-published. A number of authors, not geniuses, have made this transition, and I think publishers in general are growing more open to it so long as they want the book. When I spoke with a traditional agent regarding a book I'd already self-published, I asked her if it mattered that the book was already published on Amazon, and she said that didn't concern her. That was without having seen the book (which I never sent), and without any more genius on my part than asking the question.

    It's worth researching any given publisher to see what their policies are on this, and what they've done in the past with respect to previously self-published works, but it is no longer the automatic loss of a traditional publishing opportunity that it may once have been.
     
  14. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,605
    Likes Received:
    5,879
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    It's also not comparable: all self published books vs all traditionally published books. Not everyone gets a response to query letters. And books published traditionally have been selected.

    The question is, can a good book get noticed when it's self published?

    And the answer is, yes.

    Forbes
    The publishing industry is changing, it's simply a fact.

    More interesting stuff:
     
  15. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,605
    Likes Received:
    5,879
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    And lest someone quibbles the author also had published books:
    NPR: Self-Published Authors Make A Living — And Sometimes A Fortune
     
  16. BayView
    Offline

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,661
    Likes Received:
    5,153
    CAN get noticed, yeah. But LIKELY to get noticed?

    Of course the industry is changing. There are more people getting published now than ever before. There are more books available, in every possible niche and at every possible quality level, than ever before. The market has exploded.

    But all of that is what makes it so hard for a self-published book to get noticed.

    I'm not anti-self-publishing. I've done it before and will probably do it again. But if I were giving advice to someone who's just finished their first book, it would be to start with searching for an agent, and if that doesn't work search for a small publisher who takes un-agented submissions, and if THAT doesn't work... well, if that doesn't work take a good hard look at your story and make sure it's something you really want published. And if it is, self-publish. It'll be a lot of work, but maybe that book will be one of the ones in the vast ocean of self-pubbed books that manages to catch attention.
     
  17. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,605
    Likes Received:
    5,879
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Again, not everyone has the option of traditional publishing.

    Self-publishing lets women break book industry's glass ceiling, survey finds
     
  18. domenic.p
    Offline

    domenic.p Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Messages:
    327
    Likes Received:
    63
    I have yet to see anybody post (on any forum) a tax return showing what they have made by self-publishing. it is true, a few have made a good deal of money by self-publishing, but those days were before half the population of the world started to self publish.
    To self publish is to take on all the jobs of a standard publisher...and the cost. Don't be fooled by those companies who offer to publish your book with, "You keep all your rights, and all the profit." These folks live off of new writers.
    If your book is not good enough for a standard publisher, it won't make any money self published...readers want a well written book. Your book can get lost in the jillions of self-published junk on the net.
    Besides, if a standard publisher don't want it...do you think your book might not be ready to publish?
     
  19. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,605
    Likes Received:
    5,879
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Why does it have to be someone on the forum who made money?

    Also from my last link:
     
  20. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,605
    Likes Received:
    5,879
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    This is not supported by the evidence.

    It assumes a good book will always get picked up by a publisher, and that's not true. And it assumes no self published books are good, and that's ludicrous!

    More from the same previous link:
     
  21. domenic.p
    Offline

    domenic.p Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Messages:
    327
    Likes Received:
    63
    Show your income from book sales you self-published? Everybody talks, but nobody shows. What some did 10 years ago is history...that can't be done today.
    I know many good writers who have been self=published for years...they all say, "I'm sorry I wasted my time writing." People want books for 99 cents, or free...screw that.
     
  22. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,605
    Likes Received:
    5,879
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    But it's not true, no one showed. There are plenty of examples, several of which I've posted links to.

    You are saying that if no one in the forum is a financially successful indie author no such authors exist.

    My question to you is, are you planing to win the publisher's gatekeeping lottery?

    I'll send out query letters. I also plan to pitch some publishers at the Pacific Northwest Writer's Association conference if I finish my book by July. [eek, note to self: speed up finishing]. But what if no publishers bite? I'm confident that I've written an interesting book. If I don't get a publisher to bite, I'm sure not going to give up. I am the ultimate gatekeeper.

    Marketing is a science just like writing is a skill, both are learnable. I've spent a couple years learning to write and I think I've succeeded. I put every effort into learning, I didn't just say, ooh, I have a cool story. No, I've been soaking up skills from every crevice they leaked from, books, people, this forum, the Web. And every chapter I've written I set out to learn how to write better.

    In the last few months as I finish the book I've been learning as much as I can about marketing, about publishing, about getting exposure for my book. It's a learnable skill. I have never been dependent on people doing it for me. I won't change that pattern now.
     
  23. Selbbin
    Offline

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Messages:
    3,244
    Likes Received:
    1,810
    Location:
    Australia
    For all that is Holy and Righteous for God's sake get a professional to design the cover. Unless you are an artist or have STRONG graphic design skills, creating a bad cover will sink your ship faster than a German U-boat.
     
  24. BayView
    Offline

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,661
    Likes Received:
    5,153
    I think this is a damaging idea.

    It suggests that it's all about luck, and that's just not true. Agents don't put all of the queries for a month into a big barrel and pick one out to be a new client. Publishers don't use random number generators to select manuscripts. They look for what they think they can sell.

    So, sure, there's an element of luck to publishing - there are ebbs and flows in demand, and a lucky author hits the tide at the right time. But it's not all luck, or even mostly luck. You have to write a book that agents think they can sell to editors and that editors think they can sell to the public. And there's no luck in doing that.

    There is no publishers' gatekeeping lottery, and believing that there is may make people fatalistic when they should be trying to understand the process.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
  25. ToeKneeBlack
    Offline

    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    207
    So, in a nutshell, I should try the traditional publishing route first and use digital self publishing if all else fails.
     

Share This Page