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I think that authors of all types and stripes need to understand that whether or not their manuscript gets picked up by a publishing house, the marketing of the finished product will be the responsibility of the author. Many a self-published author, having successfully produced and sold a quantity of their books, has been picked up by a publishing house.

When considering self-publishing one crucial question that must be asked and answered is how much time and money are you, the author, prepared to invest in the production, marketing, and sales of your work. If you do not have the skills to perform the critical tasks required to produce and sell a book, are you willing to invest in learning or hiring specialists?

At its heart, though, the essential question always comes back to the author and their objectives for pursuing publishing. What is your intention for writing the book? If you are seeking fame and fortune, be prepared to do the work! And I agree that print self pubbing is rarely successful, esp.

Non-fiction writers with some kind of following…it could work. Sure, if you want it to look like crap. But still…. Anybody can do it badly, including people who take money to do it, but just about anybody can learn to do it well, too. It's not, as the commercial says, rocket surgery. If you self-publish electronically or pulp and it looks like crap, you should be ashamed of yourself. As for pulp publishing, wordclay offers a pretty good service. The more I read about indie and self-publishing—AND the many success stories that go along with that—the more intrigued I am by the idea.

Companies such as Who Dares Win Publishing are changing the way authors can be in control of their backlists and new fiction. May as well keep the profits. Many established NY Times bestseller authors are going this route—definite food for thought. When I see that a book is self-published, that is a huge red flag. I have only bought a few self-published books in many years and that would be because the person is a local celebrity and I have to.

How to Self-Publish a Book: 7 Simple Steps to Success

Self-published books are given to the libraries in the hope that we will put them in our collections. This rarely works. They are very obviously amateur works and I can only guess that the critics that have been reading them are loving friends and family. In one of the last ones that was gifted to us, the POV changed 3 times in one paragraph, for example.

I was surprised to find very little mention of money in your post on self-publishing. OK the same applies to any loss. In some cases eg a short collection of poems this is what is needed and for some writers this is ideal. Do self-published authors pay for editing? Are self-published books likely to get shelf space in bricks-and-mortar stores? Not initially. Mark: I have enjoyed your posts on writing strategies, but this one is way off base. One only needs to do a little research to discover that many self-published authors have done quite well. Although our privacy policy prevents me from mentioning names here, I can assure you that several of our author-clients have sold many books outside their circle of friends and families.

Some have since sold rights to major publishing houses, and others, quite satisfied with their success, have seen no reason to do so. Writer Beware has the numbers for how many books on average are sold hint: very few by people who self publish and information which anyone who wants to self-publish should read before they decide to do so. There are good reasons to self-publish — genealogy books, family cookbooks, etc. I just think everyone should read a site like Writer Beware and think it over carefully. But, they have deep pockets too. Now, their books have attracted the attention of main publishers, once they see the sales numbers of books sold.

For me, I am going to pursue mainstream publishing with the assistance of an agent to help me get my manuscripts read by reputable publishers. Ideally, a smaller press with a smaller slush pile might improve my chances for publishing. I truly enjoy the writing the process, and I have I think, of course!

I want my writing and life to have meaning and pay off! So, some would say to take the self-pub route and take a chance. But I really hope to have a mainstream publisher believe in my work and take a chance on me.

What should matter in the grand scheme is that people are drawn to a story and want to consume it regardless of self-pub, eBook, or mainstream pub. I will give mainstream the first go, and accept my stack of rejection letters. I will continue to write as those letters are delivered.

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I shall persevere and prevail. Through a process of elimination I will avail myself at the traditional routes, but will leave self-pub as the last resort. Thanks for listening to my ramblings….


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Cheers and Carpe Diem! I appreciate all the people dissenting with the post, but I have occasion to read a large number of self-published printed books through my work with a museum. Many authors submit them for consideration for our shop and staff takes turns reading them.

If I can get past the bad editing, then the poor layout is too annoying. THEN most times the content is just not good. If you ARE a regularly published author, then hopefully your writing is up to snuff, and you have a chance. Otherwise, I think the advice in this post is right on.


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I made the decision to use POD in January , after querying hundreds of agents and receiving form letters or no reponse at all. I have been very pleased and the sales on my historical fiction novel have been fantastic. I have enjoyed two book launches—one in India that was hosted by a member of Parliament! What an adventure and all because I took a risk.

You must believe in the worthiness and the merit of your writing and work daily with that in mind and you MUST never stop promoting. I work HARD to get reviews, to acquire radio and TV interviews and I doubt that any agent or publicist would accomplish what I do—because no one will love my novel as much as I. I actually enjoy putting in the effort required.

I have a close friend who is a Pulitizer winner and he told me it took SEVEN years to get an agent who would represent him—what does that say about the publishing industry? Lawrence self-published his first novel and there are many other stories like his. I, for one, will never query or chase after agents again. I have five books in my computer, waiting to be finished and I have a limited amount of years in which to make them available—the publishing industry is too slow! I intend to use POD in the future to accomplish this.

A History of Self-Publishing

You might learn from it and then the next work you undertake will be that much better. To promote my tiny little ebook I created a blog to write about this tiny little ebook and discovered how I can also pre sell all kinds of other products like for example e-readers online with Affiliate Marketing.

I even created several special Blogs about for example writing and doing and building your own Home Business Success with Affiliate Marketing! I also plan to put out three other books this year, and three to four next year some relating to the series and others not. I never went out to agents or publishers. Malarky I say! I know the odds are stacked against me.


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I know that while I can get my book up onto Amazon, it means butt-kiss in sales. It seems the whole publishing industry is in an upheaval, along with the film studios. They are no longer the gate keepers of old, deciding what is and is not worthy of the printer. And I think that is just AWEsome.