May 23, 2018, 02:33:08 AM

Author Topic: Why I don't generally recommend self-publishing.  (Read 10156 times)

Offline Peat

Re: Why I don't generally recommend self-publishing.
« Reply #45 on: November 25, 2017, 07:59:21 AM »
Thanks for the correction then Bradley - that's some very poorly written stuff on their part.

I don't suppose it said how many authors of each type there are? Computer's acting up or I'd open it myself.


And cupiscent raises some fair points (particularly libraries). But there are some readers I know who increasingly read SP only because its cheaper/they like looking for gems in the rough. I also think really die-hard one subgenre only fans (i.e. mil sci-fi) are far more likely to go to SP to get their fix.

I'd also point out that, issues about not controlling your price point withstanding, there's no reason an author can't learn how to do their own marketing and advertising and go to town on their trad published book. And while you can't control your price point, you can open a lot more doors for places to go and people to talk to with a trad published book. Not least arts council funding - I know one author who did better on one book alone before it was published than all of the others put together just down to that.

And while we sit here talking SP vs Trad, I'd point out the happiest looking column on that graph is Hybrid.

Offline Not Lu

Re: Why I don't generally recommend self-publishing.
« Reply #46 on: November 26, 2017, 06:15:26 PM »
And while we sit here talking SP vs Trad, I'd point out the happiest looking column on that graph is Hybrid.

The reason for this is a lot of hybrid authors get there with a big hit self published book then sell their print rights, foreign rights, etc. Some of them go on to sign a contract for full rights on the next book or series, but it's not super common for the big hitters in self publishing. They don't see the value of the publisher for their ebook rights.

The other authors that end up hybrid get a book deal with a publisher and build an audience, but then the publisher doesn't want their next work. They leverage their existing audience to sell it and subsequent books as self published.

The common thread is that hybrid authors were successful to some extent before going hybrid. So, it makes sense that they're more successful as a group. Add to that the indie and trade published stats lose authors who crosses over and that group has a big advantage statistically speaking.

Offline KyleCon

Re: Why I don't generally recommend self-publishing.
« Reply #47 on: January 10, 2018, 11:08:00 AM »
Whether or not to choose self-publishing is really a matter of choice. SP gives you an option to quickly get visibility on Big Etailers like Amazon.
You just need to sign up on an SP platform like KDP or Lulu.
I mean it's a good option for new writers to get published and test the waters.
Also, it's really difficult to hunt down a publisher and convince them to publish your work.

Trust me. Nowadays there are a lot of places like Goodreads where a new author can sign up and build anticipation for their books. Good promotion skills mean you can make good money.

People keep looking for new stories and quality content to read. 

Offline Bradley Darewood

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Re: Why I don't generally recommend self-publishing.
« Reply #48 on: January 10, 2018, 11:40:23 AM »
Whether or not to choose self-publishing is really a matter of choice. SP gives you an option to quickly get visibility on Big Etailers like Amazon.
You just need to sign up on an SP platform like KDP or Lulu.
I mean it's a good option for new writers to get published and test the waters.
Also, it's really difficult to hunt down a publisher and convince them to publish your work.

Trust me. Nowadays there are a lot of places like Goodreads where a new author can sign up and build anticipation for their books. Good promotion skills mean you can make good money.

People keep looking for new stories and quality content to read.

Bold added.

I think for both SP and TP you need good promotion skills.  Which I have none. Like zero clue how to do it. Not that I've ever finished editing my WIP, but damn I wish we lived in an alternate universe where someone else could do the promotion for you...

Offline Justan Henner

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Re: Why I don't generally recommend self-publishing.
« Reply #49 on: January 10, 2018, 02:11:49 PM »
Whether or not to choose self-publishing is really a matter of choice. SP gives you an option to quickly get visibility on Big Etailers like Amazon.
You just need to sign up on an SP platform like KDP or Lulu.
I mean it's a good option for new writers to get published and test the waters.
Also, it's really difficult to hunt down a publisher and convince them to publish your work.

Trust me. Nowadays there are a lot of places like Goodreads where a new author can sign up and build anticipation for their books. Good promotion skills mean you can make good money.

People keep looking for new stories and quality content to read.

Bold added.

I think for both SP and TP you need good promotion skills.  Which I have none. Like zero clue how to do it. Not that I've ever finished editing my WIP, but damn I wish we lived in an alternate universe where someone else could do the promotion for you...

Just trick a family member with the false promise of future rewards. That's what I did.  ;)

Offline Bradley Darewood

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Re: Why I don't generally recommend self-publishing.
« Reply #50 on: January 13, 2018, 12:25:08 PM »
Whether or not to choose self-publishing is really a matter of choice. SP gives you an option to quickly get visibility on Big Etailers like Amazon.
You just need to sign up on an SP platform like KDP or Lulu.
I mean it's a good option for new writers to get published and test the waters.
Also, it's really difficult to hunt down a publisher and convince them to publish your work.

Trust me. Nowadays there are a lot of places like Goodreads where a new author can sign up and build anticipation for their books. Good promotion skills mean you can make good money.

People keep looking for new stories and quality content to read.

Bold added.

I think for both SP and TP you need good promotion skills.  Which I have none. Like zero clue how to do it. Not that I've ever finished editing my WIP, but damn I wish we lived in an alternate universe where someone else could do the promotion for you...

Just trick a family member with the false promise of future rewards. That's what I did.  ;)

Actually @Justan Henner and @KyleCon , it looks like goodreads might soon be off the table for indie writers. Family members it is!

https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/29/16714972/goodreads-giveaways-program-changing-standard-premium-tiers-authors

Offline Ray McCarthy

Re: Why I don't generally recommend self-publishing.
« Reply #51 on: January 13, 2018, 05:33:56 PM »

Actually @Justan Henner and @KyleCon , it looks like goodreads might soon be off the table for indie writers. Family members it is!

https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/29/16714972/goodreads-giveaways-program-changing-standard-premium-tiers-authors

It was bad that Amazon was allowed to buy Goodreads. KDP Select and Prime damage creative content or exploit authors or customers. All is purely designed to maximise Amazon dominance 1st and profit 2nd now (but 1st when they are more of a monopoly). Do not help them to be a monopoly (KDP Select).
Also IMDB, Book Depository, ABE books and the two companies they merged to make Create Space.
Jeff Bezos: Richest man in world. The majority of authors don't earn a minimum wage and even most that do have a tiny hourly rate.

Online Skip

Re: Why I don't generally recommend self-publishing.
« Reply #52 on: January 13, 2018, 05:43:13 PM »
Most authors in all times have not earned minimum wage. Nor artists of any stripe. Nor teachers or ministers or any number of other professions. In fact, I'd argue that all the best kinds of work fail to reach minimum wage. The notion that one can earn a living through self-expression is a peculiarly modern one.

That said, I do wish Goodreads had remained independent. Monopoly in all its forms is abhorrent.

Offline Not Lu

Re: Why I don't generally recommend self-publishing.
« Reply #53 on: January 13, 2018, 07:35:40 PM »
Actually @Justan Henner and @KyleCon , it looks like goodreads might soon be off the table for indie writers. Family members it is!

https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/29/16714972/goodreads-giveaways-program-changing-standard-premium-tiers-authors

If you're looking to promote books that are free or .99 there are a lot of sites out there that are much cheaper than Goodreads. A lot of them let you target readers of your genre only. Below is a sample list.

Fussy Librarian
eReader News Today
Bargain Booksy
Free Booksy

The big one that will place tens of thousands of free books (or hundreds of .99 books) is BookBub, but it's pretty expensive.

Offline NedMarcus

Re: Why I don't generally recommend self-publishing.
« Reply #54 on: January 14, 2018, 02:16:13 AM »

If you're looking to promote books that are free or .99 there are a lot of sites out there that are much cheaper than Goodreads. A lot of them let you target readers of your genre only. Below is a sample list.

Fussy Librarian
eReader News Today
Bargain Booksy
Free Booksy

And Book Barbarian which specializes in fantasy and sci-fi.
Quote

The big one that will place tens of thousands of free books (or hundreds of .99 books) is BookBub, but it's pretty expensive.

And very hard to get one of their deals. Even their ads have a waiting list months long to use.

Offline Ray McCarthy

Re: Why I don't generally recommend self-publishing.
« Reply #55 on: January 14, 2018, 05:57:53 PM »
Smashwords lets you offer 99c or Free
Biggest indy eBook seller/distributer. Direct sales and also distributes pretty much to all except Amazon and Google (i.e. Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple etc).

Offline Ryan Mueller

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Re: Why I don't generally recommend self-publishing.
« Reply #56 on: January 15, 2018, 11:13:30 PM »
Whether or not to choose self-publishing is really a matter of choice. SP gives you an option to quickly get visibility on Big Etailers like Amazon.
You just need to sign up on an SP platform like KDP or Lulu.
I mean it's a good option for new writers to get published and test the waters.
Also, it's really difficult to hunt down a publisher and convince them to publish your work.

Trust me. Nowadays there are a lot of places like Goodreads where a new author can sign up and build anticipation for their books. Good promotion skills mean you can make good money.

People keep looking for new stories and quality content to read.

Bold added.

I think for both SP and TP you need good promotion skills.  Which I have none. Like zero clue how to do it. Not that I've ever finished editing my WIP, but damn I wish we lived in an alternate universe where someone else could do the promotion for you...

Just keep editing it until it's amazing. Then publish it, and I'm sure people here on FF will read it. If we love it, we'll let everyone know. Word of mouth can do amazing things. Just look at Senlin Ascends. I've lost count of the number of books I've picked up because they were recommended by people I trusted on forums like this.

Offline WilliamRay

Re: Why I don't generally recommend self-publishing.
« Reply #57 on: January 18, 2018, 08:25:30 PM »
Exactly.  Josiah Bancroft is a great example.  Self-publishing success can, and has been made.  I mean, it's work, and it takes time, and as near as I can tell the key is mostly just to find bloggers who will actually give indie books a shot, but once you've bridged that credibility gap, there's no longer an issue of sales capacity... the old thunderdome has fallen silent now that writers don't need to contest with each other in B.D. Dalton's various bloodsports for shelf-space.  It's a wide open market.

It's always been a low-paying job for most, and for the vast majority it was an entirely non-paying job.  My debut was named one of the best books of the year in '16, and yet I'm still out of pocket for my editors and cover designer... but even selling one book means I'm making more than nothing, which was the traditional model.

I think the traditional model is a dinosaur.  It'll still stomp on a lot of us little mammals before it lumbers off into the tar pits, but I think in the future indie is the way most stuff will begin.

Offline NedMarcus

Re: Why I don't generally recommend self-publishing.
« Reply #58 on: January 19, 2018, 12:18:46 AM »

I'm still out of pocket for my editors and cover designer... but even selling one book means I'm making more than nothing, which was the traditional model.

I think the traditional model is a dinosaur.  It'll still stomp on a lot of us little mammals before it lumbers off into the tar pits, but I think in the future indie is the way most stuff will begin.

I'm in the same position—still working on recovering the outlay on editors and cover designer. Intrigued by your cover and the 'look inside' on Amazon, I bought a copy of your first novel. Probably be a month before I read it with all the other books I'm reading.

How did you get a copy of your cover in your signature? Perhaps I should do the same.

Offline tebakutis

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Re: Why I don't generally recommend self-publishing.
« Reply #59 on: January 19, 2018, 12:42:25 AM »
How did you get a copy of your cover in your signature? Perhaps I should do the same.

Pretty easy! The board supports a number of tags, including <img></img>  (replace the < >s in the example with [ ]s for the actual tag ... I couldn't use [s because the tag wouldn't display in text).

So, step one is to upload a reasonably sized image of your cover to the Internet somewhere.

Step 2 is to modify your signature through the forum. You can add special characters to a sig as well!

Step 3 is to add <img>YourBookCover.jpg</img> (again, replace < > with [ ] ) to your signature, save it, and and bang! Image in signature.

You can also do URLs, formatted like this

<url=YourAuthorPage.html>Your Author Page</url>   (replace < > with [ ] )

...as you can see in my sig.