Posts Tagged With: self-publishing

Outsourcing: Marketing Part 2

Aidan J. Reid wrote a few weeks ago about his experiment with “3rd Party” marketing efforts. Marketing is not something many authors like to do — or have time for — but they have to engage in this anyway. As with anything, you can pay someone else to do some of it, and there is a whole cottage industry out there more than happy to help.

In my experiment, I went to Fiverr where anyone can offer on-line services of any type, typically starting at $5. So, of course, I started looking up book promotion offers. Continue reading

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Get to Work: Marketing Part 1

Regardless of how you publish your book, expect to do one thing when you are not busy writing your next book: Marketing.

There are many authors out there who have shared their marketing stories, and the lessons they have learned, good and bad. Here we will review two of them, but first let’s take a look at a couple maxims to keep in mind. Continue reading

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Passion and Publishing

Here are some short videos by bestselling writers Tim Ferriss and Ramit Sethi where they discuss Writing What You’re Passionate About and Self-publishing vs. Publishing Companies. Check out the pros and cons and balance that needs to be struck in these approaches.

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“No Desire to Give Up”

There has been consderable discussion on how the Internet and ebooks helped turned self-publishing from a bad word to an industry-changing movement. Authors have started there and moved to traditional publishing; others have done the opposite. Some have gone both routes even as fellow writers have stood firm in one camp or another. It is certain that self-publishing – now often referred to as indie publishing – is not going anywhere. Nor is traditional publishing. Nonetheless, here is author and editor Jaimie Engle‘s self-publishing success story, brought on when everything fell apart:

I self-published my children’s novel, Clifton Chase and the Arrow of Light, in September 2013, after the small press I had been working with breached our contract. Three weeks before my slated release, my publisher bailed and left me stranded. I had no publicist, no idea what to do, and no desire to give up.

Read the rest of her story here.

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Self-Publishing vs. Legacy Publishing

Author Brian Godawa discusses the pros and cons of self-publishing:

bgv

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Indie Publishing vs. Vanity Publishers

There is a difference. As Robert Bindinotto explains, vanity presses are:

…companies that make their money, not by selling an author’s books to paying customers (readers), but by selling expensive publishing services to authors themselves. They couldn’t care less how many books are sold; they care only how many authors they can enlist to buy over-priced “packages” of services.

It used to be that these companies (“… including AuthorHouse, Trafford, iUniverse, Xlibris, Palibrio, BookTango, WordClay, FuseFrame, PitchFest, Author Learning Center, and AuthorHive” among many others) were on the forefront of internet-based self-publishing. That all changed when e-books meant anyone could finally get their books in front of anyone else. As Robert writes:

“You do not have to buy ‘self-publishing packages’ costing $2,500 to $10,000 or even more, from companies that promise you the moon in promotion, marketing, and advertising . . . but never deliver. To cite my own example: I self-published HUNTERall for under $1,000.

So there are changes all through publishing, even in the sector that changed it all. What path have you taken or will take with your book? What have you experienced and what will you do different next time?

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50% of Book Sales from Indie and Small Press Authors

Says this report. Robert Bidinotto gives the break down here.

Publishing has changed in a very short time and there’s no turning back. Technology has seen to that. Companies like Amazon publish and sell from all sources (and Amazon has its own imprints and indie services). But what is to become of the traditional publishing houses? Take a clue from retail and restaurants: Many are beginning to abandon the giant-warehouse model or overbuilt-shopping areas for indie-ish stores and smaller markets. Perhaps big publishers will be looking to similarly reinvent?

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What will 2014 Bring for Publishers and Authors?

Joe Konrath makes his predictions for the publishing business in 2014. He makes many viable points about the growing indie market, though I disagree that Barnes and Noble is finished, and I detailed in a post earlier this year on how they can succeed. Have they taken up my suggestions? Not yet, but it will be interesting to see how they fared over the past few weeks with amped up advertising and as the prime bookstore chain going into the end-of-year Retail Armageddon.

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Bypass the Publisher or is Self-Publishing a “Cop-Out?”

Here’s two perspectives from authors whose books I have enjoyed:

So, You Think You Need a Publisher…” by Robert Bidinotto and “Self-publishing as ‘Principled’ Cop-out” by Mike Duran. I plan on commenting on this topic myself here shortly, but I thought I get the ball rolling. Have fun.

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Changing Face of Publishing

Self-publishing was once considered the bottom of the barrel for authors not too long ago. Bookstores and distributors didn’t sell your books. Getting them out to readers was a challenge. The internet changed that to a large extent. It was a perfect avenue for promotion. Print-on-demand meant authors didn’t have to stockpile their books in their attic. Then something else changed. One small thing.

Ebooks.

The simple ability to have books instantly was enough of a perception shift to change an industry. Think about it. I can click a button and buy a book or download an e-book. Not a real big difference on that end. On the consumer’s end, anyone with a device capable of reading ebooks (which is anyone with a computer or e-reader), had the convenience factor of reading jump considerably. Economically, prices for ebooks are usually much less than print counterparts. Instant, affordable access to books for readers. Instant, direct access to those readers by authors. No middlemen or gatekeepers. In an industry where financial success is more fleeting than often perceived by outsiders, more than a few authors are now paying their bills being indie writers.

And this is why publishing is changing.

Tired of being given little chance to find their audience and small returns for their work, going independent has now become a viable publishing path. Not that publishers don’t have a place in this new world. When Hugh Howey’s ebooks took off, he passed up lucrative deals with traditional publishers until one came along where he could keep the ebook rights. Why should authors be expected to give up so much control to their works? Now they don’t have to. Technology is forcing traditional publishers to change up the rules. There are benefits and downsides to any publishing model. In the past, however, traditional was the only way to go.

Does indie/self-publishing guarantee success? No. Does it mean lower quality works like critics claim? No. Traditional publishing doesn’t guarantee great returns or quality either. The indie route does guarantee two things: A direct route to readers and the chance for the author to retain greater control over his works.

I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here on the changes in publishing. I’ll leave the details to these articles, kindly gathered by
Robert Bidinotto on his site: “Self-Publishing Is the Future — and Great for Writers“, “Hugh Howey’s Advice for Aspiring Writers” and Robert’s own “Tales of Woe from Traditionally Published Authors.”

Will these changes peak or permanently change publishing? Time will tell, but it is certain that both authors and readers are winners in this changing landscape.

Categories: Books, Writing | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

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