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So You're A Writer, And You Want To Self-Publish...

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posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 02:39 PM
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If this is in the wrong place, please move it. This thread is meant to help aspiring writers get their work into the hands of readers.

Here are some helpful links to sites that will allow you to self-publish for no cost.

kdp.amazon.com...

www.nookpress.com...

www.kobo.com...

www.smashwords.com... - also acts as an aggregate to other retailers if you don't wish to publish to several places.

play.google.com...

www.apple.com...


I have used each of these services, and I have made money with my books being available through them. The only one I haven't been able to publish to directly has been Apple, as ownership of a Mac is required to run the software, so I use Smashwords as an aggregate.

A note regarding publishing to Smashwords: They have software that is lovingly referred to by authors as "The Meat Grinder" which goes over submitted manuscripts to make sure that they are up to snuff for publishing (format, not quality). Other sites also have their own software, but "The Meat Grinder" tends to be the most difficult to deal with. Use of the Smashwords Style Guide, which is free, will help. Google's software can be trying as well, but it isn't impossible.

Advertisement is mostly up to the author themselves. If you want exposure, get to work! Twitter, Facebook, Wordpress (or any blog) are all good for this, as well as several other similar sites.

You do not need an agent to self-publish, but they can help with advertising, and with getting your work in front of traditional analog publishers.

So, if you have a story, and want to get it "out there" the above are all good ways to do this.

If you don't have a story yet, get cracking! The world is waiting to read your work.




posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 02:46 PM
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a reply to: ProfessorChaos

Thanks, are any of your works on kindle? I'd like to check them out.



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 02:49 PM
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originally posted by: ProfessorChaos


You do not need an agent to self-publish, but they can help with advertising, and with getting your work in front of traditional analog publishers.

.



I hope you don't mind me clarifying some of this. Absolutely true that you do not need an agent to self pub--why would you fork over 15% if you didn't have to.

However, agents do not help with advertising and unless a self published book moves a lot of copies they aren't likely to be able to place it with a traditional print publisher.



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 02:55 PM
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originally posted by: rockintitz
a reply to: ProfessorChaos

Thanks, are any of your works on kindle? I'd like to check them out.


Yes, the link in my sig will take you to the page with them by publisher.



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 02:56 PM
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originally posted by: msfitte

originally posted by: ProfessorChaos


You do not need an agent to self-publish, but they can help with advertising, and with getting your work in front of traditional analog publishers.

.



I hope you don't mind me clarifying some of this. Absolutely true that you do not need an agent to self pub--why would you fork over 15% if you didn't have to.

However, agents do not help with advertising and unless a self published book moves a lot of copies they aren't likely to be able to place it with a traditional print publisher.


That depends on the agent. When you make money, they make money, and some agents will actually help with advertising. Obviously not all of them, depending on their particular client load.

***EDIT***
As for moving to traditional publishers, you're absolutely correct, but self-publishing really isn't geared for that anyhow. If you happen to be Amanda Hocking, you'll get a traditional publisher out of it, but we aren't all Amanda Hocking

edit on 8/9/2014 by ProfessorChaos because: edit to add



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 03:00 PM
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a reply to: ProfessorChaos

Derp. I'll take a look.



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 03:22 PM
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Excellent info - Thank you

S&F for your trouble






CD



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 03:34 PM
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a reply to: ProfessorChaos

Great info thanks!



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 03:37 PM
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Use in good health!
Any questions are welcomed as well. I'm sure that other writers who've gone through the self-publishing roller-coaster would be happy to answer as well.



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 03:58 PM
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Cool. Thanks for sharing.



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 04:09 PM
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originally posted by: Kali74
Cool. Thanks for sharing.

My pleasure!

If this thread helps one aspiring writer to get their work out there, it is worth it to me.

Too many get dissuaded by the specter of having to go through rejection after rejection from publishing houses, when they can test the waters themselves to see if they have a potential audience.



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 05:03 PM
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PC - big shoes you have, and I mean that in a good way!
Not many go out of their way to help complete strangers for the reward of
knowing your a good person...so again, thank you!

I am asking for information in regards to a "coffee-table" book.
(mostly pictures with paragraphs to explain what you are looking at)

Any info in that regards would be quite helpful.


Thanx again...be well all



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 05:08 PM
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originally posted by: HumAnnunaki


PC - big shoes you have, and I mean that in a good way!
Not many go out of their way to help complete strangers for the reward of
knowing your a good person...so again, thank you!

I am asking for information in regards to a "coffee-table" book.
(mostly pictures with paragraphs to explain what you are looking at)

Any info in that regards would be quite helpful.


Thanx again...be well all


For that type of book, you're likely to need the services of createspace, or LuLu.

www.createspace.com...

www.lulu.com...

I've used createspace as well to set up a print-to-order availability for one of my e-books. I have not used LuLu.

Once created (and they do have a step by step for that), your book becomes available for sale on createspace, and other outlets (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.).

You are able to order your book, only paying the cost of printing it, others would have to pay the retail price (also set by you), and yes, you do get royalties from this.

edit on 8/9/2014 by ProfessorChaos because: edit to add



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 05:24 PM
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Thank you for this info.



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 05:45 PM
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Thanks for sharing this. As a self-pubbed author (I won't link to books because I want to stay anonymous here) my main advice is to present yourself as professionally as possible.

By present professionally, I mean that it is well worth the $$ to pay for a professional proofreader and/or copyeditor. I realize that not everyone has the money to invest in their work, but if you do I think this is money very well spent. No matter how many beta readers you have, they won't find everything. Nothing turns readers off from a book or a writer like typos. It looks unprofessional and readers will be ticked off that they spent money on an unpolished work. It gives self-publishers a bad name. Also worth investing some $$ in getting a professional cover design. Some books, you can tell with a quick glance that they are self-pubbed and for many readers that is a red-flag for "amateur work".

Editing and cover services through createspace (etc) I think are overpriced. You can find freelance editors and graphic artists that will be less expensive, and more personalized in their approach to working with you.

I've self-pubbed three novels and two works of nonfiction. The novels don't sell too well, to be honest. I make very little money from them, but I enjoyed writing them and enjoy having positive reviews from readers who connected with the stories. I'm happy to "break even" on those investments. Who knows... maybe one day they will be "discovered" by a wider audience, but in the meantime I'm pleased with their very modest sales and just happy that there are a few people out there in the world that enjoy my work.

My nonfiction works have actually been reasonably profitable. I sell a pretty steady 450 copies a month (give or take 50) of those books per month. This is a combination of paperback sales and ebooks (about 50/50).

OK, I know that number isn't HUGE, but it is enough to give us extra income and I'm happy with it. I'm a full-time at-home mom, so getting some extra cash with this passive income is really helpful.

So how do I consistently sell 450 copies a month? (Slowly approaching 20,000 copies sold in total so far, for both put together...) I honestly have no great marketing plan for these books... but this was a situation where I knew an audience existed before I even wrote the book. They are written about my personal experiences with a specific medical problem - and I knew fellow patients were hungry for info. There were no other books on the market when I published my first book on the subject - and only a handful when I wrote the second. As a first author to write on a subject, my first book has well over 100 Amazon reviews (avg. 4.5 stars) which continues to give the book some credibility when new readers are searching for a book on the subject. Other books I've seen come out on the topic seem to lag behind in sales significantly. This isn't necessarily due to the quality of their work, but rather they are latecomers to an increasing saturated market.

From what I have gathered from other writers, my experience isn't that unusual. Nonfiction tends to sell much more readily than fiction.

But you have to write what you love and what inspires you. You can't write to chase a market.

Looking forward to hearing what other writers here have experienced!
edit on 9-8-2014 by VegHead because: clearly... I need proofreader




posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 06:17 PM
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a reply to: VegHead

Thank you for sharing your experiences with self-publishing.

I've read that your remarks about nonfiction are accurate, so foe those out there in the nonfiction genre, get going!



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 06:31 PM
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a reply to: ProfessorChaos

Hi, great thread! Thank you!

Something for budding writers to consider is starting a twitter account or a blog whilst they write because if they can show that they already have a following they may be more likely to be picked up by one of the big companies on the off chance, even after self publishing.



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 06:50 PM
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a reply to: HumAnnunaki

How about a coffee table book about coffee tables ?

(lol)
good day!
Nivek555



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 06:54 PM
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I'm a self published author too and I heartily recommend KDP. They've been great with me, even invited me down to the London Book Fair this year to be part of their panel, put me up in a fantastic hotel and took me out for a beautiful meal. Brilliant week.
Never sold anything on Nook, Kobo etc so I joined KDP Select and glad I did.
edit on 9-8-2014 by Wolfshead because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 11:57 PM
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originally posted by: msfitte

originally posted by: ProfessorChaos


You do not need an agent to self-publish, but they can help with advertising, and with getting your work in front of traditional analog publishers.

.



I hope you don't mind me clarifying some of this. Absolutely true that you do not need an agent to self pub--why would you fork over 15% if you didn't have to.

However, agents do not help with advertising and unless a self published book moves a lot of copies they aren't likely to be able to place it with a traditional print publisher.


What do you define as a lot of copies?

BTW, another self pub house was missed, CreateSpace. I get reasonable royalties, runs between about 10% and 40% dependent on the buyer, eg. end use, distributor or retailer.

I looked at Chapters service, I didn't like it.

Cheers - Dave



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