I would like to hear from people on their views regarding self publishing. I decided not to go that route. My short story collection, Monroe's Paranormal Investigations is published by The Living Dead Press and my forth coming novel, The Tale Spinner is published by Otherworld Publications. I was unpublished for a long time, and received my share of rejection slips, but them The Living Dead Press accepted some of my short stories and Otherworld Publications accepted my novel. While I waited, I kept writing. So far I've not had the desire to self publish, but I would like to hear from people who have.
Author of Monroe's Paranormal Ivestigations
and The Tale Spinner
Hi David -
First, congrats on getting published the traditional way.
I self published (a term that has morphed into a variety of definitions) my debut novel, The Ezekiel Code, through Outskirts Press, a POD (Print-On-Demand) company with a solid reputation. I couldn't be happier about my decision. I have complete control over my book, I'm not locked into a contract with a traditional publisher and the royalties arrive every 60 days like clockwork. About a year later I had that same company issue a Kindle edition of the book. That was the best decision of all. Kindle apps are available for just about all the electronic reading devices so your potential readership is in the tens of millions with your book virtually at their fingertips. With a lot of internet promotion (all on my own) The Ezekiel Code took off like crazy and landed on the Kindle "BestSeller" list in the categories of "Occult" and "Religious Fiction" for over 57 weeks. The 70% Kindle royalties also arrived like clockwork, and continue to do so, month after month.
Personally, I can't think of a good reason to go with a traditional publisher these days. What's the point, really? Sure, it's easier to get your book into brick-and-mortar book stores but, as you probably know, those stores aren't doing so well lately. Seems like everyone is buying their books online.
My next novel, Ash: Return of the Beast should be finished before the end of the year. I plan to publish a Kindle edition first, followed by a paperback that I will probably produce through amazon.com's publishing arm, CreateSpace.
I self published with the wrong company- iUniverse. One big problem... besides the fact they don't help you with a thing is they priced my book, Lifetimes Ago-A Love Story Inspired From Past Life Memories too high especially the ebook.
I did manage on my own to get my book in local Borders and a few independent bookstores.
I wouldn't question Otherworld Publications if they are a traditional publisher. It is so hard to get a traditional publisher interested. Congratulations!
I've gone both routes. I'm successfully published in erotica under my pseudonym of V. J. Devereaux, but I'm a very eclectic writer - another reason for the pseudonym. So I've gone the route of query letters, and I'm still searching for an agent. I decided to go the self-publishing route for many reasons. I was concerned for a few reasons about doing so - there is still a pretty heavy bias by many in the publishing industry about self-publishing, it's still viewed much as a vanity thing. Which, of course, it is in many ways. However, that was off-set by the changes currently taking place, by the success of e-books and electronic reading devices like the Nook, Kindle and Sony E-book readers and by the variety and level of quality now offered. I chose to self-publish on my own - semi print on demand - in print through CreateSpace. If you're reasonably creative you can have reasonably professional looking book in a few weeks. Certainly as good as some I've seen out there. And now with the access to Pubit and Kindle Direct and Smashwords there's a lot of options. As Gary said, you still have to do all your own marketing, and that's the hard part.
However, I like the fact that the copyrights are still mine, the control and freedom that gives me. So I can still attempt to sell all of my books by more traditional paths. I'd love to find a good agent, or a publisher, and I can use the sales as incentive - or *grinning* just stick the money in my pocket.
My first book is so far removed from your genre that it may not relate well, but we self-published through Mill City Press who advertises themselves as what I would call a 'hybrid' publishing company. They say that because they have several imprints under their umbrella that are allegedly recognized in the book world as 'traditional' publishers. I am in complete control, own 100% of the rights and get a higher % of sales. Problem is the marketing. I paid $3k for a 60-day media marketing blitz that sounded like it would be a "shock and awe" campaign but really came and went like a string of firecrackers on the Fourth of July. At best, I think the media blitz can account for, hmmm, maybe 5 books. Wow...I think the only shock and awe was my response at the end of the so-called blitz!
To date I have sold more books the old fashion way...walking into a local Borders book store and asking them to host an author signing event. And now, my best outlet is filing bankruptcy! Go figure!
To their credit, the media blitz did land us some radio opportunities. I have friends who are in the business and they helped us land two radio interviews, but the media blitz landed 6 interviews. Okay, if you're doing the math, that's $500 per radio interview, which translated into a few sales, at best.
You may begin to think our book is not that good...I just don't think we've found the best advertising strategy yet. The response we've gotten from people who read it is amazing and very positive. We just need to get it into more hands. At the $3K price tag for a marketing campaign, that's not happening too much.
One other thing that has 'soured' me to MCP is that they wanted to charge me $500 for the E-book version. Well, with an investment of about 30 minutes on Google and Amazon, I was able to upload my formatted/edited manuscript onto Amazon for the Kindle and bn.com for the PubIt! Nook store for FREE. Here's something some of you may want to comment on...I've joined several chat groups on amazon and have tried to hype my Kindle version, and we've sold a few copies. Initially it was 9.99, then I dropped it to 6.99, put the Nook book at 4.99 to see if the $5 ceiling were true and the Kindle version is currently 3.99. We've sold more Kindle books at the higher price points, and next to none at the 3.99 price. The Nook at 4.99 has outsold all the Kindle sales combined, and we've done absolutely ZERO marketing/advertising for Nook. I barely mention it even on blogs such as this, although I do have a link on our website.
So...not to redirect the conversation, but what are your thoughts on the marketing and pricing of e-books? What's your experience been with the Kindle vs. the Nook?
To get back to your question, because of the lackluster response I am able to generate online, I would seriously consider signing with a traditional pub if one were interested.
Our book is a non-fiction self-help marriage book called "Discovering Your Amazing Marriage" with a Christian theme. I know...a somewhat narrow genre' crowded with big-name authors. That's what our 'publisher' told us. But, we have an intresting story to tell and lots of real-life application for our readers.
check it out at http://amzn.to/e0yyUD
I am not an expert on this, but I have many author friends and some are award winning authors, who have self-published their books. And they all tell me this is the way to go. I self-published my book because of how much my true story meant to me and I wanted to keep full control. My true crime story is a Finalist in the Book of the Year Awards hosted by ForeWord Reviews', for which I am both elated and thankful. My book is available in paperback, hardcover, Kindle, Nook & Smashwords. My website is: http://jeanniewalkerbooks.com
God bless you. Jeannie Walker
I suspect you'll get many replies to this one David. As it's very hard to get an agent in the UK and publishers don't want to see book without an agnt I went the self-publish route.
The first book went via createspace which has the benefit of being easy to work and also gets you on amazon quickly. Two problems for me though as a UK author. 1. Createspace take US tax at source and so far the IRS have managed to lose me in their system and ignore a second request for a tax number to be disregarded for US tax. 2. All books ordered by customers have to come from the US which up's the price for them. That was the case even when they eventually added me to amazon.co.uk which took 8 weeks.
The second book is via Lulu. Which, though it's a little harder to understand and doesn't have a free cover design facility does have the benefit of printing in a variety of Countries giving customers speed and cheaper postage. As they print in the UK I also am able to avoid the tax problems.
Having said all that there is now the selling of the books.With Lulu, I've been there for 6 weeks and haven't gone to amazon or any other site yet. I have to do my own promotions via twitter and Facebook and press releases. One local paper interviewed me for the first book and one for the second. Good reviews from my readers haven.t perked up poor sales so I'm still working on that which most publishers would help with. I'll go to ebook next to see if that's better way to go with my third book which is on it's way.
My 17 year old daughter has had her dream become reality with her new YA Fantasy Fiction Novel. We went with Booklocker.com,Inc. I wrote a blog on this topic stressing that we should never let the fact that a piece of work is "self" published deter us from turning the pages of some great reads. Once I realized my daughters passion, we set out to find a publishing house that we felt comfortable with. We were rejected the first time we submitted her novel, and soon learned that (and I am grateful) Booklocker does not just accept anything because you are willing to pay. They suggested we hire an Editor so we found a very successful one who happened to be right in our town, and after careful review we re-submitted the novel and in April, Journey into the Realm: The Elf Girl by Markelle Grabo was published. We are very happy with the professional service and constant support we get from Booklocker. All I ever read is that no big house publisher or agent is going to give you the time of day unless you have already been published. To me, that was the writing on the wall to get the job done on our own (with the help of course of the publisher). Now that she is published, it gives us a base to build upon.