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Re: Why I don't generally recommend self-publishing. I'm going to go the other direction here. Although Marc makes excellent points about the time and effort that go into publishing and marketing a book, he misses the point entirely. "Who" publishes the book just doesn't matter. Only two things matter:

1. Quality of the work
2. Marketing

Why? Books are mostly sold two ways:

1. Quality of the work
2. Word of mouth (which includes reviews)

Marc is correct that it's a lot of work to get the quality of your book up to publishable standards. It's even harder to market a book correctly. But, that doesn't mean you need a publisher to do it for you...assuming they'd buy and market a book that isn't high quality.

Tebakutis gave a great outline of things a new author should cover to get their work up to par. But an author should follow that plan regardless of their intent to submit the work to an agent, a publisher, or self publish. An agent or publisher isn't going to fix your work...they'll simply reject it. A publisher might pay for an editor, but you should probably have paid an editor $50 or $100 to edit a sample of your work anyway (so you can be certain of proper grammar and have clean copy to send to an agent or publisher). Cover design is paid for by the publisher. If you self publish it'll cost you several hundred for original art with design. If you give the work to a publisher it'll cost nothing up front, but thousands over the long run if your book is successful. Same with marketing, you can hire it out or have the publisher do it for much more money.

Essentially, what I'm trying to illustrate is that the only difference between a book that is traditionally published and self published is who takes the risk...you or the publisher. If you believe you have high quality work and a modicum of managerial skills (to hire an editor, cover designer, marketer), you should take the risk yourself and spend the money to self publish.

Another thing that should be taken into consideration is that the "book selling" industry is changing. Author Earnings is doing some excellent work on dissecting sales numbers. I'm sure a lot of you have read in the press that eBook sales have gone flat. This was based on a report done by the Association of American Publishers which stated that their 2015 sales have fallen 6% from the year before. What this report doesn't say is that sales from indie and self published books is growing rapidly. Here's a snippet from the Author Earnings September report.

Quote
In the 18 months between February 2014 and September 2015, the Association of American Publishers (AAP), whose 1200 members include the “Big Five”: Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Hachette — have seen their collective share of the US ebook market collapse:

    From 45% of all Kindle books sold down to 32%
    From 64% of Kindle publisher gross $ revenue down to 50%
    From 48% of all Kindle author net $ earnings down to 32%

The eBook market is leaving the big publishers. That means less money for them to finance new projects. Which in turn means less chance they'll publish you. Do you want to stake your career on a dying industry? Or would you rather make a bet on yourself?

October 31, 2015, 07:19:50 PM
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Re: Say Hi, I'm new thread Howdy, @jjwilbourne, and welcome!

I hope you'll agree this is a really friendly place. You can join in whatever parts of the forum work best for you: discussing books, a book club (which I sort of run), a monthly writing contest (which I love), and all manner of silliness. You'll find lots of interest in gentlepersonly argument and no patience with rudeness. (Though plenty with crudeness.  ;)

If you feel like it, you can wander over to the Monthly Story Contest and read the entries for December. There aren't that many of them, and none is over 1,500 words. And now that you're a member, you can join in the voting for best stories of the month. (We do offer bribes for votes. Just saying.)

Enjoy!


January 14, 2016, 02:39:57 AM
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Re: Magic System Advice? Take a look at Sanderson's laws of magic:

http://brandonsanderson.com/writing-advice/

April 22, 2016, 02:28:29 AM
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