Links: Self-pub? or not?

21 12 2011

Shelli Johnson’s post on that little word ‘try’ stemmed from a lecture with a neurologist, who emphasized that the words we use affect our mood (and I’d add, health!).

Unlike saying you’re trying or will try,saying you’re doing or will be doing something equals commitment.

And what does that have to do with being a writer? “I’m trying to blog twice a week.” Yep. That’s what I’ve been trying to do since I’ve been on vacay… um. Yeah. You see the result! I haven’t blogged twice a week, because I didn’t make the commitment to do so. More on commitment when I join up #row80 in January.

On to self-publishing! Or not self-publishing! Or something!

I’ve enjoyed reading many differing points of view on self-pub – not that I have anything worth self-publishing right now, you understand – and I’m no closer to making any decisions, which is probably a good thing, as self-editing is not my strong suit.

Derek Haines’ lively blog gifts us with this post which documents his experience with offering a free e-book on Amazon. In short:

Be very prepared to receive a lot of bad reviews along with the good and understand that this is the price you will pay for offering your work to the world for free. Of course while most readers will understand it is a gift, there will be many who will not, and take pleasure in writing a venomous review.

Ouch.

Then the Synaxis Chronicles blessed us with a two-part post: Why it’s Foolish Not to Self-Publish.

The key to success used to be having your book prominently displayed in brick-and-mortar bookstores.  Let me tell you a secret:  That’s not even an issue anymore!  We’ve entered an era when a smaller and smaller percentage of books are sold in bookstores.  Think of it like this:  When was the last time you went down to a record store and bought a vinyl LP so you could listen to your favorite music?   See the point?  The same thing is now happening with books.

The post enumerates the problems with traditional publishing, and emphasizes the positive aspects of self-publishing.

I was heartened by Robin Sullivan’s post on the successes that mid-list authors are having with self-published e-book authors.

High volume combined with good revenue is providing self-published e-book authors five and six figure yearly incomes allowing them to quit their “day jobs” and make a living by doing what they love most–writing.

That’s just what I wanted to hear!

Roberta Trehan’s post on the New Media Melee follows on a post by Anne Allen on Amazon reader reviews- just go to the latter and read it first.

And so, after reading Anne’s blog post, I got to thinking — are there any strategies that we can trust, when it comes to author marketing? The answer is yes…

My fav tip is number 3: Just Because You Build It Doesn’t Mean That They Will Come

Do any of these posts resonate with you? Let me know in the comments. I’ll be around from time to time over the holiday, and much more after the New Year. Which brings me back to the first link: I won’t be trying to be around – I will be around!



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6 responses

21 12 2011
Kaitlin

Whoa. The bit about a free book scares me… I mean, that would be terrible, to offer a book up for free and then have it lambasted…

21 12 2011
Julia Indigo

Yep. I would have a problem with that, too, Kaitlin.

21 12 2011
Lori L. Otto

Yes. Many resonate. First of all, Derek is so right. I have a short story that’s out in the wild for free, and people are unafraid to be downright mean… and this was an award-winning short story. Not only that, but it’s a reworked chapter from a novel I’m NOT offering for free that has quite good reviews. It’s to the point that I think I might take the short story down. I can’t charge people a dollar for 4,000 words. I know many people do, but I just can’t.

I don’t believe that there are a LOT of self-published e-book authors that get five- and six-figure salaries. Initially, that was just the kind of lure that sucked me in… but it takes an insane amount of marketing and price adjusting to get just one sale, let alone enough to allow me to quit my day job. My books are well-reviewed and well-liked, but right now, I’m sitting at 13 ebooks sold this month on the Nook store… and I don’t get paid until I sell 25. So, uh… yeah. Not quitting my job anytime soon. (On that note, though, I’ve sold 10 paperbacks, all to a girl who loved the series and is giving all three books to friends for Christmas. So having a paperback available is a great option, and easy to do. I make nearly 10x as much on those than I do on the ebooks at this point– it all depends on your pricing strategy, though.)

It’s frustrating, yes, but I don’t regret self-publishing for this one reason: I published my series just as I wanted it to be. I mean, maybe an agent would have known better than me, and could have given me that one tweak that would get that six-figure income… but I seriously doubt it. 🙂 I love the books, and I have some fans, and those two things are enough to keep me writing. I’m in the middle of four other books right now, and I know I’ve found my passion. And even though some days I don’t sell any books, it still isn’t as crushing as any one of the rejection letters I received while trying to get an agent.

21 12 2011
Julia Indigo

Lori, thank you for the thoughtful reply. I appreciate hearing your experiences, and how epub has worked for you.

I’m sorry that people have given you awful reviews… nothing like the internet’s anonymity to bring out the worst in people. I’m quite certain that I do not have the backbone to deal with that right now.

Did you use a pro editor? I’m planning to do that eventually, after I’ve done what I can. Looking for beta readers, too… once again, eventually.

How have you handled having paperbacks available? Pub-on-demand? Lulu.com?

24 12 2011
Lori L. Otto

I didn’t use a pro-editor, but I had enough highly intelligent betas help me that it’s pretty error-free. I even had a review on goodreads that was quite complimentary of the good grammar and lack of typos. 😉

I use CreateSpace, which is affiliated with amazon.com and does print-on-demand. I’ve been very pleased with them. (They’re the company that gives free proofs to nanowrimo winners.)

Sorry it took so long to respond. I forgot to check the box to have wp notify me. I’ve remembered this time, so let me know if you have any more questions.

5 01 2012
Julia Indigo

Hi, Lori, thx for the further reply, and the tip on CreateSpace. I’ll try to keep them in mind, tho it will be a while before I’ll need them. I don’t think that I have more questions right now. I’m glad you got good grammer reviews!

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