Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Blue Night, Jan 14, 2012.
Which one and why?
because my writings are philosophical and intended to be made available for free, to all who're brave enough to look into a mirror, i had them printed privately, as a series of 6 soft-cover books that just about all of the essays and 'philosetry' i'd written in my 'maia' life up to the last 2 years...
i used gorham publishing in centralia, WA and would recommend them highly to anyone wanting to do the same... i've also put them into e-form for free downloading, on scribd.com where they can be found with a search for 'maia'...
I'm going for a commercial publishing house, and it's because I don't have any interest in being a publisher myself. Somewhere along the road, I may give self-publishing a stab with some short stories, but mainly as one of those things I could say I've tried. (Oh, and either way, I'm sure ebooks would be included )
Well, I've had a couple of pieces published online/ in local magazine(s)/ an anthology book.
I decided to print a handful of copies of something I wrote when I was 25. Mostly for family, and just to have it in an orderly fashion.
I'll try and (casually) look if I can do anything with it on a local level. I've entered it into a writing contest as well. If nothing comes of it, I haven't lost much of anything or spent any significant amount of money.
Just saw I had my first written review for it. Not by a friend, but by a 'real' author who read it... so that was quite interesting.
These days I write mostly short stories.
Good point shadowwalker. I left myself hanging on the self-publishing part. I should have said self-publishing (a physical book).
Here’s my take on things.
Traditional Publishing House – It solidifies one as being an ‘author’. No doubt about it. And the publishing house bears the burden of marketing and distribution. And I still look to them as being the most admirable way to go. But at this point, my story lies in two parts. Should the first one be accepted, would I be pressured to finish the second? I haven’t the gift to finish the story in months. I would fail.
Self-publishing a physical book – I ‘m leaning toward this. I have always enjoyed a book in hand. I like having my finger under a page just waiting to turn it. This is how I want my book to be presented.
I will bear the burden of marketing and distribution. I have prepared for this. I have my quote for 1,000 copies, including ISBN and freight. Any further shipping and handling costs will be incurred by the purchaser. But this limits me to the U.S. and Canada. This is where I will start, although my current manuscript is under heavy self-scrutiny with plenty of editing to be done and plenty of input to be had. It certainly isn’t ready to go out the door.
As for Ebooks – I’m still wary. While they return top dollar profits, the medium can be manipulated and redistributed with little effort. I’m not implying someone would sell the book on a site. I’m merely talking about passing the file off to friends or such. On a global scale, this would greatly compromise the author’s earnest wages. I would hate to think of an author’s work being redistributed without his/her consent. Especially if it is a full length novel. But in all reality, will we ever know?
So I’m leaning toward self-publishing a physical book. It will have the nostalgia of a publishing house without the pressure. The profit margin will be very comfortable. And if the venture fails, so be it. But I will never say I failed to venture.
Definitely a publishing house. Self-published works generally don't get the marketing and publicity required to sell well and whether it's true or not, most people who see a self-published book will just think that your book wasn't good enough to get properly published.
Thousand copies? Wow, that sounds like some investment.
What kind of plans do you have for marketing, out of interest?
Actually, I'm becoming a bit wary myself. There have been more and more discussions about plagiarists - ebooks seem to be a gold-mine for these scumbuckets. It's so easy for them to copy the ebook and sell it as their own - and they all seem to do this on a massive scale, not just one book.
VM80: A thousand books in merely mathematical. It has nothing to do with anticipated sales. The whole lot may collect dust in my garage. But the quantity greatly reduces the cost per book.
As for marketing, there are so many tools available. But there is no ‘one answer’. The quality of the story and the quality of the writing will be a determining factor. As for exposure, I intend to follow an established strategy. Outside of that, there are so many options. On the free side, one can utilize Google Books, websites, blogs, forums and whatever else one can think of. I’m sure my strategy will differ from others.
I love philosophy. Isn’t it the truth no one understands?
Protar, how would you know that?
A commercial publishing house, no doubt! Self-Publishing is way too tedious and time consuming. It ye arent going to publicize your book yourself, you'll have to approach some marketing firm or something which adds to the financial strain.
i find it to often be the truth few dare to understand!
what i write is 'philosophy for everyday use'... nothing's fancified or cloaked in abstruse rhetoric, it's just conversational plain-talk... like you're sitting at the kitchen table with me, taking a good, hard, honest look at humans' behavior and its consequences, and what could be done to improve it, if enough of us truly wanted to...
I must admit, I've been tempted to trial publishing a short story on Kindle, for 20p or so, and seeing how it fares.
Seeing as I already made my choice, I'm sorry if my answer sounds a little biased.
I am without a doubt glad that I chose to self-publish, both digitally and physically through a combination of sources (Amazon, B&N, CreateSpace for paperbacks, etc.) When you take a closer look at the current weight of what an author has to do through a traditional house versus self-publishing, the only two different factor between them is that a big house gives you an advance (which, compared to previous advances could be little or nothing at all really) and marketing in ways you couldn't do on your own (i.e. paying for spreads in magazines, TV ads, billboards, you get the point.)
But in reality, a lot of the methods big houses use to advertise with don't work quite as well as they used to. 85% of the time someone watches TV and commercials come on they flip the channel or mute (I'm a muter), billboards never have sold me a thing in my life, and magazine ads are so much anymore that if you open one it's 70% ads, 30% content (table of contents, read what you wanted to do, put it back. Done and done.) When I first looked at publishing I had thought for sure I'd be sending queries, waiting for the rejection pile to grow, maybe getting lucky once in the next four years while I write on the side and fend my parents off when they ask why nothing's moved along. The further I got into the world of writing and publishing, the more I knew self-publishing was perfect for me.
That's not to say that big houses don't work, obviously they're doing something right if they're still around. But they have huge marketing flaws, holes big enough to do serious damage, that they need to fix if they ever want to keep their claim in this digital world.
morgan, when you said: "But they have huge marketing flaws," you said it all.
I guess I'm not aware of them - examples? Because a lot of the marketing is done behind the scenes, not magazine ads and that kind of thing. It's things like getting books reviewed (a major problem for self-publishers) and getting them into bookstores (via catalogs and sales reps, and it's along with the epub side of things). I see both of those as major advantages (besides the fact that they're paying the author instead of money coming out of the author's pocket).
'Things like getting books reviewed...'
As a self-publisher, I haven't had this problem yet. There is actually a niche of blogger dedicated to helping the world find indie and self-pub authors, and many of the bigger bloggers are now open to submissions for us when they previously were not. I've even had a few bloggers come to me asking for a copy to review! (Trust me, I'm still in shock and awe over that one and I'm definitely chalking up to a rare occurrence.) But it isn't as hard and big and scary as people make it out to be. If you read a blogger's policy, see that it meets what you have to offer and what they're willing to take, email them! That's how I've viewed it and so far, so good. Word of mouth is a very powerful tool that many people fail to see and utilize properly, and I don't mean people spamming boards saying, "Buy my book! Review me!"
'Getting them into stores via catalogue and sales reps'
The digital part of this, thankfully, is now loads easier. Amazon approved my book in under two hours, on a Sunday no less, and it's been great. B&N's digital publishing format PubIt! is a little slower, they took about five business days, but once published every went smooth. Digitally speaking, the only hard part of getting your book out there is stores like Apple, which require a multitude of things. Smashwords helps that by guiding you through the whole thing, telling you what you need to fix, and then once approved for their premium catalogue, puts you in Apple, Kobo, Sony, and more within several weeks.
The hard part physically speaking, is your book in an actual brick-and-mortar store. Yes, it can be done, and yes, it is the hugest pain in the neck, but big chains like B&N lay the whole thing out for you on their website to follow, fill, and submit. Even if you're turned down in their store, that doesn't mean you can't see about just a signing event, or better yet, find another local place to host your signing or exclusive distribution of your book. For example, I'm prepared for my local B&N to reject me. Why? Because realistically if they turn me down to stock my book it'll be because I am not in some big warehouse like everyone else. So maybe they'll only let me have a signing. But what if they don't? I'm prepared for that too. A business that just moved into the Promenade where B&N is called Cardinal Camera is looking for anything to drive their business a bit closer. So why not seek them out and see if they'll hold the event and take photos and we'll work a pay system? Even if all of that fails, there are still indie stores willing to give small authors a try, and worst case scenario you do a gathering at a coffee shop or sell your stuff through your blog/website. There's always a second option.
As for paying the author, it's not all gold and glamour no matter what way you go in the industry. I could say that because I am a solo shooter I make more money, and yes down the long road I do, but at the same time I could bomb and bomb hard, just like tons of published authors do. We see stories of JK Rowling all the time, of self-pubs like John Locke (no, not the guy from Lost) but realistically those are the lucky ones. Even under a publishing house you may fail, and if you fail under them there's things like that advance you have to pay back, the stock of your unsold books, how your story and you too could still be under a contact for years with no way to legally move. It hurts. At least as a self-published author you still hold your rights, there is no such thing as a 'cut for the house, cut for the agent' and more that whittles you down to nothing. It's just you, your story, and what you make of it. How you market it and how you put effort into it will reflect how well you will do. And that kind of pride, saying I made it on my own, is worth more to me than anything some big house can offer.
Major correction here, if I may. You never have to pay back the advance unless you somehow break the terms of the contract (for example, fail to supply the book as promised). The advance reflects the publisher's best estimate on what the sales of your book will be - and their gamble. Not yours. I'm not sure what you mean with "the stock of your unsold books". It costs you nothing to have them in a warehouse, so... ?? As to the contract, you can always ask to renegotiate, and the publisher may go along with it, especially if your book isn't selling and you aren't producing more work. Not saying it will happen, but if a publishing company can't garner sales... Of course, the odds are you won't either. Always a possibility, of course, but highly unlikely.
Separate names with a comma.