Discussion in 'Electronic Publishing' started by ewilson1776, Jan 6, 2013.
title says it all
Do you mean which "vendor" - like Smashwords or Lulu or Createspace? Or marketing techniques? Whether to create or purchase or commission the cover? Formatting? Distribution? Hire the editing or use betas or DIY? You're trying to cover an awful lot of ground with that one question.
The best way is to enter a twelve step program to break the cycle.
Just say no.
We know your opinion on self-publishing. That wasn't what the OP was asking for.
To be fair, it's hard to tell what the OP was asking for.
Yeah. If you're going to self-publish, make it worth self-publishing. Have some respect for your readers. Edit the thing. People downloading simply out of blind curiosity is not a sign of success.
You know my opinion. ewilson might not. For all I know, he or she may never have considered the possibility that self-publishing is a bad idea. Perhaps he or she will at least take a second look.
If someone asks you the best way to drive off a cliff, wouldn't you at least suggest not doing it?
Self-publishing - especially when one asks for advice on how to do it best - is not driving off a cliff. Responses such as yours are not exactly helpful to writers who want to learn about SP before jumping headlong into it. And as far as I know, this site is for all writers, not just those going the direction you think they should.
My opinion is that self-publishing is a cliff. You ruin your chances of publishing your book traditionally once you drive over that cliff, and the self-publishing industry is full of opportunists spreading lies for their own profit. Last time I checked, my opinion counted as much as anyone else's.
We can disagree as to what is truly being helpful. What the person asks for is not necessarily the same as what they need to hear.
Self publishing is not an easy option and in some ways I agree with Cog. A lot of writers seem to think it's a matter of dashing off a book and then banging it on Amazon, regardless of its merits.
However, some people don't. And self publishing is a viable option if you take it seriously.
I'm not convinced that you are prepared to do the groundwork, your post suggests that you'd rather someone else give you all the answers. That's the lazy way of doing things and the reason many self published books are slated is because the author can't be bothered to work at it.
So, imo, before even thinking about the publishing, you need to think about the book. If your book doesn't present itself as professional, it doesn't deserve to be published by any method, anywhere. I am a supporter of self-publishing, but I think that writers going this route need to be extra vigilant with their work. There are many Cogs out there just waiting to call it 'crud'.
The best way to find out how to self publish is to do what most of us do - research. Anything's easy if somebody else does the groundwork for you. But if you want to self-publish, you'll have to learn to stand on your own feet and you'll have to be prepared to do the work.
Helpful is pointing out the possible pitfalls, not telling someone to just not do it. If, after seeing facts presented, they decide not to move forward, it's because of the facts - not someone with an agenda being sarcastic. And if they decide to move forward, it would be good if they could ask for further information/assistance on this forum without derision.
If you self-publish rubbish, that's probably true. On the other hand, if you're writing rubbish there's not much chance you're going to be accepted by a trad publisher anyhow, so it's hardly doing a great deal of damage to your future career.
On the other hand, if you self-publish and it becomes popular, trad publishers will fight over you, and they won't even care about the quality of the writing. They're businesses, they care about money. Bring a load of people waiting for your next book, you become a low-risk prospect.
Either way, it's not the fact you've self-published that affects your chances - it's what you do with it afterward.
I think this is the important point. Most people seem to have to self-publish at least four or five novels before they make any significant amount of money. Most people seem to have to write and submit at least four or five novels before they produce one a trade publisher wants to publish. So there's no great difference for the majority of us.
Most writers who've made a career from writing have written tens to hundreds of novels in their life; sure, there are some who write a book every ten years and live on the royalties in between, but they're the rare exceptions. The long-lasting writers typically release at least one book a year, and some do far more than that (I seem to remember Asimov wrote more than 500 books, for example).
wow I would take the recommendation to be less vague in the future.
Looking for less on self publishing and more on e-books. Sure this will send cognito in a tail spin but looking for easy (cheap) means of flooding the market with some e-books.
Not looking to make a profit – no a novel more of a 2 hour read – content is more important than quality.
Thanks for the feedback
Not sure about 'flooding the market' (sounds rather dubious), but check with each of the 'vendors' I mentioned above and see who they distribute to. I'm not sure whether one can publish through all of them or if there's some exclusivity statements in their terms of service. You may also want to make them available via your own website, if you have one or can set one up.
Terry Fallis self-published his first book, then a publisher (McClelland and Stewart) came to him and bought it. This was after he won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humor, but still. It can happen.
That's why quality is the key. There are success stories, because the writers were talented and put out a good product. However, finding them is hard because too many 'writers' are putting out the first draft of some piece of crap and burying the good stuff.
Mark and Cindy Hill, of Dearborn, Missouri, won half of a $587.5 million dollar Powerball jackpot in November.
You can win big playing the lottery. It can happen. But the smart money is not to invest in the Lottery for your retirement.
Very true, but that said, you don't have the opportunity to pick better numbers and get an advantage over the other players, but you do have the opportunity to write a better book. One is a level playing field, the other is not.
I'm as old school as it comes. Short term plan for is to submit to magazines until I've got a few paid gigs for fiction under my belt, then work my way up. But I sincerely believe that if you're a talented, detail oriented, shameless self-promoter who gets some writing into the right hands via untraditional avenues, you can do very well as a self-published author. But it's a lot of work outside of the traditional writing, revising and book touring stuff.
If I assume you are intending to publish fiction and that you can reasonably easily put together an e-book, I'd suggest putting it on Amazon. If the book is really good, it will spread by word of mouth, no way that it wont. If it's not good, then what's the point of paying someone to promote it?
Thank you Jazzabel. Have a message and something to say and allow it to rise on its on merit!!! that is what I am about
fyi flood is the wrong choice of words, just plan on putting one out every few months and content is more important than quality.
I just happened to read this thread and would like to add my two cents, if you don't mind.
Cogito's comment is important to think about. Obviously, the first step after creating a book is to review, review, review and rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. Once you are certain your book is perfect, review and rewrite again. If you are not sure your book is polished enough, give it to some trusted friends to read - friends that will give you an honest opinion. If you feel the need and have the funds, you can always find a 'good' editor to go over the book and fix problems. But, beware, this can easily cost you at least $2 per page. The next step is to query agents. Search for agents that are a) willing to work with unpublished authors and b) work in your genre. If after querying at least 10 to 15 agents all you get is standard 'not for me' responses, it is time to rethink your book. If all you get is form rejections, there is a reason - they don't think they can make any money representing you. If you decide these professionals don't know what they are talking about, why would you think about self-publishing? Why would you expect to sell a book no agent thinks is worth representing?
On the other hand - Countless people self-publish. Some even make money.
In my opinion, the worst thing to do is use a subsidiary publisher. Currently, an easy way to self-publish is to use Amazon. You can easily generate a version for reading on a Kindle and even use their Creatspace site to generate a softcover version. The next step is to figure out how to promote the book. There are countless ways to do this - there are several books on the topic. Without a solid plan for promotion, your book will be just another entry on the Amazon website that no one knows about.
Just my thoughts. I hope my comments help.
As a writer who strives for fortune and fame like many others, I would not go the self-publishing route. However, the OP said they are "not looking to gain a profit." If you aren't looking to make a living off of your writing and just want to write for enjoyment only then what's so wrong with self-publishing? If you're okay spending the money to have it done and you just want to see your work in a published format and do it as a hobby than there's nothing at all wrong with that.
People are talking about driving off of cliffs and winning the lottery. Good grief. There's people that play golf for a living and there's people that play golf just for fun. Are those who play golf just for fun doing something so taboo?
I'm in the strange position of having found a literary agent (here in the UK) that actually reads sample scripts and replies to emails, at least he did with my sample script, so I'll try my novel with this agent before looking at self publishing.
As I understand it one obstacle with self publishing is designing the cover, apparently the cover has to be good, really good.
It would be interesting to read of any experiences with cover design.
Separate names with a comma.