Self-publishing is the future - Page 3


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Thread: Self-publishing is the future

  1. #21
    I can't afford to spend the amount of money needed to have my book professionally edited and the cover done either. Because of this I found ways to get help editing my book instead. Yes, a grand is a lot of money to spend and yes most authors don't have that kind of money in the first place. But, there are ways to get help with it. If you know someone who is good at such things, even if it's not their job, then they might be able to help you with editing. You can also find editors who are starting out (good, but don't have a clientele yet) who will edit your book for as little as $300. The figures I gave before were just what I found if you wanted to go as professional as the publishers do. There are ways around the money issue.

    Everyone is acting like they want to make money writing their books but they don't want to put any investment into their works. I personally am looking at self-publishing my books as a business. And, every business needs to spend money before they make money. However, many businesses that are just starting out also find ways to save money intelligently. Now, I don't have a lot of money so I'm doing what I can. To me it's more important to keep my rights over my work than to save myself the initial costs by using a traditional publisher.

    Now, this is just my opinion. As I said before, it's all about weighing the pros and cons which I did. You all might have a completely different opinion and that's fine.

    By the way, if I didn't have someone to help me with editing (lucked out that I have a friend who used to be an editor) then I would find a way to pay for it. Hell, even if I had to donate plasma for the next year to be able to afford an editor and cover artist so I can have a presentable book to self-publish then I would. It's that important to me. I believe that if you truly want something then you can find a way. No excuses.

    *hugs*
    Jayelle
    "To be professional, you need to be professional." ~ Jayelle Cochran
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  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by jayelle_cochran View Post
    I personally am looking at self-publishing my books as a business.
    This is a big problem for most self-publishers - they don't accept that now, their book is a business.

    Again, just my personal view and partially tongue-in-cheek, but if someone doesn't want to treat it as a business, doesn't care about making money, just wants it 'out there', etc etc - post it on a blog and let people read it there. It would sure clear out space on Amazon, and make it easier for readers to sort out the rest.
    Has left the building.

  3. #23
    Shadowwalker, yes, it is a huge problem. Too many authors don't realize that their novels are inventory. A novel is, simply put, a product used for entertainment. As retail that puts it in the same category as movies, TV shows, and video games. That is what you're selling when you sell your novels. It's a commodity. A product. I mean, naturally to the author their novel is way more than that. But, for the rest of the world it's just something else to buy. A luxury item. And, if someone is buying a product then those who make the product (in this case it's us) and those who sell the product (Amazon, stores, again...us through our own websites, etc) are all businesses.

    I have a lot of reasons why I want to self-publish. It's not because I don't think my writing isn't good enough for traditional publishing (which is what most people think when they hear that someone is self-publishing unfortunately). I don't think I'm the next big thing either. But, I do think that I have a chance at making a living with the right marketing, eventual word of mouth, and time. Not to mention writing more books on a regular basis. I think my work is good enough for that and I am well aware that it could be a few years before I start seeing any profits that are worth all this effort.

    I am an artist in many respects and have at one time or another made money with my art. Writing, for me, is another artform that I can turn into a business. If I can make enough money (and I don't need much...just enough to be an added income) then I'm happy. I don't need excess, but that's how I am. I just want to be able to make a living doing something I love. I'm also aware that it'll take time before I have a viable income from it, and I'm OK with that. I'm patient. It's not the first time I took something that was once a beloved hobby and made it into a business. It's the third time. Out of the other two times, one business was/is successful while the other wasn't. Both had to do with art.

    If I didn't want to spend money or make money doing this then I would put my work up on a forum or put it out as a free e-book or something like that. Instead I want to publish my book. I've decided to self-publish. Therefore I am willing to spend the money, start the business, and get it rolling. It's all a matter of how serious you are I guess. Someone who works really hard at getting an agent/publisher is also serious about it. Don't get me wrong. But, for a self-publisher you need to look at your book (once it's finished) as a product of your business. I know it sounds sad and cold and whatnot. But, it's true.

    Don't get me wrong, I am passionate about my writing. For me, I enjoy creating my stories and I even get obsessed over them. This is more than some way to make money for me. I'm realistic though and if I can find a way to make a living off of something that I love as much as I love to write then I will be a very very happy girl. To see that through, I'm taking this seriously. When I write I don't think about how the book will be read or if it will make money. I just write. But, once the book is written then I need to know what I will do with it. I think you get the idea.

    *hugs*
    Jayelle
    "To be professional, you need to be professional." ~ Jayelle Cochran
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  4. #24
    A writer (on another forum) announced that his book was available for free, so I decided to take a look. It was a hot mess: un—or poorly—edited, badly formatted, and the writing was … not very good. I wonder of many self-publishers even know enough to take themselves seriously. I'm in total agreement with Jayelle—if you're going to put out "product," at least try to look as if you're in the same ballpark as the "big boys and girls." There's no way that I'd spend several months/years out of my life to write a book and then slap together the final product at the end. What are people thinking?

    When I started my free community newspaper in Chicago, I paid an artist to create an attractive logo. I knew that my newspaper would be on the same counters or racks as the Chicago Sun-Times, Tribune, and other local publications and didn't want to look like their poor cousin (even though, technically speaking, I was, LOL).
    Publisher of the Durham Skywriter (Hidden Content ), Durham NC's online community paper, and host of TV Skywriter, Sundays 7pm USA Eastern time, on YouTube and Google+'s "patriciaAmurray" page. Currently working on my first nonfiction book, "And Then We Saw an Eye: Caring for a Loved-One with Alzheimer's at Home"

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by patskywriter View Post
    What are people thinking?
    Many of them aren't. But that's OK, because, if they're unreadably bad, two paragraphs of the sample is enough to write the book off.

    However, only relatively recently has 'not very good' writing been an impediment to publication. I've been reading some old books from the 70s and 80s over the last couple of years and, in many cases, calling the writing 'not very good' would be a compliment. Yet some of them are popular enough to sell for $50 used, and others sold millions of copies at the time. Readers will forgive 'not very good' writing if the characters and plot appeal to them.

    I'd also add that I recently visited a book store for the first time in months and found two trade-published books on the shelves which had typos in the back-cover blurb. If they let that get through, who knows what horrors might lie inside?

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by movieman View Post
    I'd also add that I recently visited a book store for the first time in months and found two trade-published books on the shelves which had typos in the back-cover blurb. If they let that get through, who knows what horrors might lie inside?
    I really think we should be able to get past the "I found errors in a trade published book!" - because whether trade or indie or self-published, the editing is done by humans. And in the end, whether trade or indie or self-published, it's still the author's responsibility to catch as many of these things as possible before their book is published (because, y'know, it's their book). So unless we can find some perfect people out there to do the editing, I'd still say the overall error rate is generally less for the trade published books than the self-published (indie publishers would be a bit of wild card). But yes, there will still be errors.
    Has left the building.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowwalker View Post
    But yes, there will still be errors.
    Perhaps, but I've never seen something so blatant in a trade-published book before, and I found two in around an hour of browsing the shelves. Inside the book, yes, most have at least one typo, duplicated word, etc, but the back-cover blurb is maybe a hundred words and one of the first things a potential reader reads.

  8. #28
    People get excited when they do something they're proud of. As a result they can be rash and impulsive. Authors are definitely no exception. Many also think of writing as "easy money".

    I've noticed that a lot of people will write a book and then rely solely on friends and family for input. They have someone they know check it over for "editing" even though the person isn't any where near qualified. Everyone tells them that their writing is excellent and can be the next bestseller. They send it out to multiple agents or publishers and get nothing but form rejection letters. Feeling that there's something wrong with the process, their work isn't appreciated, or because they're impatient, they decide to self-publish with dreams of being a millionaire off of their most excellent novel. They then sit back and complain when they don't make more than $20 in sales after a few years and say that "self-publishing isn't worth it" or some such.

    In reality their novel may have done exceptionally well had they just taken the time to have it properly edited. It could also be that the writing was horrible but their friends and family were being kind. A friend or family member could edit it but they should be qualified. Someone with an English Lit degree, or experience in editing, or perhaps an English teacher/professor would work in a pinch if you can't afford to pay for someone. You could also find an editor who is professional but just starting out if money is tight. They're usually way cheaper than the ones who are already established yet they still do well. Or, you could save up the money to pay for someone who you know for sure is qualified. Paying for someone to do the cover art, preferably an artist who has already done several books, is nearly as important since most people do judge a book by the cover. If the cover sucks then they may never pick up the book to read it. This is as true with online sales as it is with brick and mortar book stores. As a matter of fact, there are many dos and don'ts when it comes to cover art. There's a reason why, as an artist, I'm not doing the cover art for my novel. After learning about how a cover should be, I realized I don't have the experience or skill to do it as well as it needs to be.

    Don't rely on the reviews or editing by loved ones. Try to find a professional to let you know if your work is good or not. It's their job to be as honest as possible with you. They won't coddle you and they won't tell you something is shelf worthy if it's not.

    I highly doubt that there are many books out there without at least one or two errors in them. As shadowwalker said, books are edited by humans. Humans are fallible. So, it would make sense that even a professionally edited book would have some mistakes. Traditional publishers don't have magic wands that can ensure that their editors don't miss a thing. With traditionally published books mistakes are usually ignored. With a self-published author it stands out more. That's just a matter of perspective though. Also, a lot of self-published authors, who are serious about their craft and treat it as a business, call themselves indie authors to avoid misconceptions. But, even indie authors make bad decisions like the ones I mentioned above.

    It's simple really. Treat your work as a home-based business if you're serious about it. Put in the work to produce something good. Put in the time to edit it properly. Be willing to cough up the money to get professional help with your work to make sure it's the best that it can possibly be. Learn how to market and pay attention to the social networks. Blog. Have a web site. Never stop writing. Learn learn learn to help your work and marketing to improve.

    *hugs*
    Jayelle
    "To be professional, you need to be professional." ~ Jayelle Cochran
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