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what best way to self publish e-books

Discussion in 'Electronic Publishing' started by ewilson1776, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. BayView

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's hard to imagine what a 'fair' process for book selection would be, really. Not fair to judge a book by its cover, not fair to read pro-reviews because those tend to be for traditionally published books only/mostly, not fair to rely on Amazon reviews because those are so often manipulated, etc.

    Luckily, there's no requirement that consumers be fair in their choice of what to consume, because I'm really not sure how we'd swing it.
     
  2. psychotick

    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    "When I'm buying a book, I'm not in the position of an employer, who is required to follow rules about fairness. I'm going to go with whatever maximizes the odds that I'll get a book that I like."

    But what maximises the chances that you'll get a book you like more than a cover that grabs you and shows you a professional look, a blurb that makes you think this story has legs, a sample read which says - hey it's well written? To simply make your selection based on whether a book is indie or trade is bizarre - and that's assuming that you can actually tell if an indie book is indie, which if it's been done well, should be damned hard to do.

    The simple fact is that most of you have probably read indie books and never even guessed they were indie. Who knows, maybe you spotted a publisher's mark and let that give you some confidence, never realising that many of those marks are in fact made up marks by various authors. And I suspect most readers don't even notice the publishers mark in the first place. I certainly don't pay it any attention normally.

    What most readers will notice is not whether a book is indie or trade published. It's whether it has a professional looking cover, a fascinating / catchy blurb and reads well. And if a book doesn't have those things I wouldn't read it either. Because it doesn't have those things. Not because it's either trade or indie.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  3. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    The fact of editors that are moderately likely to enforce that well-written status all the way through the book.

    Why? Do you avoid using professional services in all areas of your life? For example, when your home needs work, do you go to the grocery to look for hand-lettered handyman ads? Would you consider it bizarre that I would instead likely choose a licensed and bonded contractor?
     
  4. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    @psychotick You're very patronising.
     
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  5. BayView

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Back to "bizarre", huh?

    And give us a little credit. Maybe non-writers are fooled by the made-up publishers, but when I see a publisher name I don't recognize, I look into it. It's not hard to google a publisher and see whose books they're putting out.

    I think you're a happy self-publisher, right? So, don't worry about us. You're happy doing what you're doing. Carry on. We're happy doing what we're doing. We'll carry on.
     
  6. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Perhaps not most of us. It's pretty easy to tell the difference. I suppose it really comes down to which traditionally-published books you're comparing the indies to, but it's never taken me longer than a couple of chapters to realize I'm reading something that wasn't run through the gamut of publishing house editors and proofreaders.
     
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  7. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    The only thing that comes to mind is an independent authors' organization of some type that would vet for quality. Not every indie author would have to submit stuff, but if they did and their novel has the stamp of the organization on it, readers can be reasonably assured that the novel isn't full of plot holes, SPAG instances, etc.

    Of course, this would open up not just a can of worms but several. It is, however, the only way I can imagine around this conundrum.
     
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  8. BayView

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's an intriguing idea, but I imagine those authors who did not receive the stamp would consider that system unfair, too. And, yes, the worm-cans are an issue...
     
  9. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yup, just another boƮte de Pandore, eh? :)
     
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  10. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    If only there was already an established system for ensuring quality... ;)

    (Yes, I do realise the key difference.)
     
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  11. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Whew! You had me worried there for a sec.:cool:
     
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  12. BayView

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, I was going to mention that, too.

    I guess self-publishers who are in it for the artistic freedom would likely be just as frustrated by the self-publishing control board as they are by agents/publishers.

    But self-publishers who are mostly interested in the business side of things and think they'll get a better profit by self-publishing would probably like the idea.
     
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  13. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was thinking a name that sounded less... I don't know... 1984? :)

    Self-publishers' Vetting Society?
    Self-publishers' Mark of Quality?

    I'd try to avoid words like 'control' or 'approval' so I wouldn't have to deal with all the whining.
     
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  14. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    All those names are no-goes because they like to call themselves "indie" publishers now.
     
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  15. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Okay, substitute 'indie' for 'self.'

    Is this because they like to wear fedoras and carry bullwhips? :) I know I do.
     
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  16. BayView

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Can't do it, Indie is already being used (and has been used for decades) to describe small independent (but real) publishers.

    Damn, we can't even get past the naming stage!
     
  17. NigeTheHat

    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    I knew I liked you :D

    But... that's kinda the point. Self-publishing isn't the cause of a bad book, but it is a symptom. And if it's well-produced enough that you can't tell it's self-published, the whole discussion is pretty academic.
     
  18. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Okay, how about one of these:
    The Disenfranchised Authors League
    Society of Self-sufficient Word Slingers
    Syndicate of Sovereign Scribes

    And as the farmer said: if that don't work, I'll kiss the cow.
     
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  19. RikWriter

    RikWriter Member

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    I would totally and utterly disagree. Unless you're a member of a very very select few of published authors, you're going to see a gap of months or even years from the time your manuscript is accepted until you see any money from it. Also, the industry is very heavily weighted against the regular author (again, not the stars of the respective genres) financially. If your book is well written and marketable, you will make more money quicker self publishing as long as you're halfway smart about it.
    Yeah, there's a lot of crap out there, and yeah, you might crash and burn. But at worst, you'll make a few bucks, which is more than you would have made otherwise.
     
  20. BayView

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    100% disagree. Seeing a gap before you earn money doesn't mean you don't earn the money eventually. Plus most publishing contracts will come with advances that are significantly higher than what most self-published authors will ever make.

    If all you want is a few bucks? Sure, self-publish. But if you're looking for more than that, the issue is significantly more complicated.
     
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  21. RikWriter

    RikWriter Member

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    Most publishing contracts are NOT significantly higher than what the same author self publishing the same work would make. The top earners, sure...but most authors, even ones who get published by a traditional publisher, are NOT the top earners. Most regular authors would make more money, or at the very least the same money and quicker, if they self published and marketed their own work.
     
  22. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    Of course they are. Take an average advance and an average income from a self-published work and the advance will be way higher.
     
  23. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I've seen that the average advance is $5-10K. Take off the percentage for the agent (if you have one). Average self-published book makes little to nothing.

    However, it's an apples-to-oranges comparison. When you lump in all self-published books, you are throwing in the worst of the worst with everything else, whereas on the traditional side you're only including works good enough to find a traditional publisher. The only way to compare real numbers is to look at a book that is good enough to be traditionally published, but is instead self-published, and see whether the authors do better or worse for themselves. I haven't seen those figures, however.
     
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  24. BayView

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    That hasn't been my experience, and I've done both self-publishing and gone with publishers. Can you explain why you're so certain you're right?
     
  25. BayView

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree that it's apples and oranges - that's the problem with these discussions so often.

    I disagree about the $5-$10K, though - I think that's average advance for a first-time author. After the first time, once sales are established, the author would either expect more or none (ie. no contract).

    I think it's also important to remember that the smaller the advance, the more likely the author is to earn out and get more income on top of that.
     
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