ext_57712: (Anara)
[identity profile] ewlyn.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] writers_loft
Greetings everyone!  With my first novel in it's final revision, I have been trying to decide what to do next with it.

I noticed that the upcoming May issue of Talking Writing is going to be about self-publishing.  Previous issues have had a lot of interesting essays written by various writers on whichever topic they are covering.  I'm hoping the May issue will have some insight into if self-publishing is the way to go or not.

Does anyone here have any experience with self-publishing or/vs getting published through a publisher which they would be willing to share with me?  Or are there previous posts here which someone can point me in the direction of?  I'm new and still exploring this community.

It would be much appreciated.

Date: 2011-04-27 07:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] svenjaliv.livejournal.com
I have no firsthand experience; I'm to-be-published, in that I know my story's been accepted, but the process as such hasn't really started for me yet. As far as I know, though, self-publishing is easier in the sense that you can just DO it, without having to fight to be accepted by an agent or a publisher. Unfortunately, that makes it harder in a different way; self-published books tend to be fairly low-quality (not all, but many) since there's no acceptance progress, you can publish whatever you like. This also means that self-publishing has a bit of a bad reputation (much like fanfiction: much of it is bad, some of it is excellent, and some is in-between, but the amount of bad is greater than the amount of good, so the whole field tends to be tarred with the same negative brush). And most self-published books don't do well because they aren't promoted, distributed in bookshops, etc. If you go the traditional route, the publisher will take of all of that and they have the network, contacts, etc, which are necessary to do it.

So... I would try the traditional way first, if you can handle the idea of getting rejected many times before being accepted (if ever). If you want to self-publish, and do well with it, you'll have to do quite a lot of work promoting and selling the book. This is why I know it's not for me, personally: I'm a really bad salesperson and I can't advertise worth a damn. But that may well be different for you.

Date: 2011-04-29 03:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] svenjaliv.livejournal.com
Thanks! :) Yeah, I would say definitely try the "traditional" route first. It's harder to get accepted and you have to be prepared for rejection, but if you can manage it it's definitely worth it. I'd always look at self-publishing as the second option, the one I'd go for if my stuff didn't get accepted by a publisher, you know? Or if it was a book just for me and my friends or family, or something. But I'd definitely advise everyone to try getting published by a company first. Or get an agent, who'll then get you the publishing contract with a house.

Date: 2011-04-29 03:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] svenjaliv.livejournal.com
They are. I've never been very worried about them either. Everyone goes through that, so yeah.

Sounds like you're off to a good start. That's a good way to get going, I think. ;)

Date: 2011-04-27 09:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kassidy62.livejournal.com
I've gotten published at a small ebook company twice (extasybooks.com), and then self-published, starting at Amazon.

for the publication: I followed the submission guidelines religiously, which included subbing the first three chapters in a specified format. It was less than a month later when I heard back with a request for the full submission. I had to go through edits and then proof the galley. Once I was published with them, I was considered in-house and got a quicker response the next time I submitted. That story was also accepted. The artwork wasn't to my taste.

At Amazon, it was fun but a lot of work. After writing, I needed someone to read and offer any advice/corrections. Ideally you get an editor, of course. I had a friend who did the cover art, but we had to go shopping for royalty free images and go back and forth with it. I had to format the story properly and then convert it, which isn't a big deal - they make it pretty easy. The final output is a mobi format with DRM. I also subbed the story to smashwords which involves more formatting per their specs, more complicated than Amazon, but they distribute to Amazon as well if you'd rather go to one place and have smashwords take a cut. I then took it to another ebook distributor and formatted it for PDF, epub and mobi (I skipped the .lit format). It's all a learning process. After that, I had to do some promotion and get some places to review the story. I made more money initially with Amazon, but more work, but of course every person will have varying degrees of success.

Date: 2011-04-29 03:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kassidy62.livejournal.com
I think I know who you're talking about - the author who promos through blogs and such? Builds herself a relationship with the blog and the people on it? I wish I were a tenth as successful as she apparently is:)
Nowadays the author is expected to promote herself. Extasy does do promo and gets their authors reviews, but as far as I know, all the ebook places expect the author to self-promo. I did more in the beginning than I do now. It's very time intensive and doesn't always win readers the way you'd hope. Good Reads is popular, I think, as an author hangout, where you can publish reviews and link to blogs, etc. I submit my work to get reviews for my works, promote here and there and let it go (not what publishers want and expect of the author, I'm afraid). I have a website, a facebook account, and a twitter account. I've found almost no venue to appeal to Amazon's readers, personally. I seem to do better there than elsewhere, where I frequently sink like a stone:)

Worth noting that most epublishers send out their catalog to 3rd party sellers, where you'll get some exposure but less money.

Also worth noting is that I've heard that ebook publishers sometimes have much less in the way of edits than you'd expect. That was not the case for me at eXtasy - I was edited quite thoroughly.

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