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Thread: Are you going for mainstream or self-publishing?

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW
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    Are you going for mainstream or self-publishing?

    I keep thinking about an Ebook myself.
    But I'm not convinced it's the promised land.
    I'm thinking of PDF.
    Something universal.
    I don't need Amazon getting a dollar.
    What about you?
    Are you shooting for a publishing house or your own way?
    I'm just curious. I have these thoughts every day.

  2. #2
    _ SomethingOrOther's Avatar
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    Excellent poem.

    I'm going for conventional publishing. At a well-respected house too, not some seamy podunk one with a penchant for hanky-panky.
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  3. #3
    Book Slut Kelsey's Avatar
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    Mainstream.
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  4. #4
    Writing Anarchist DeleyanLee's Avatar
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    Depends on what I decide once I A) finish the novel and B) take a serious look at both markets when the novel's ready for marketing.

    Now, I will write it well enough to shoot for traditional print publishing. But whether or not I'll go for a print publisher, an e-publisher or self-publishing won't be decided until I know what kind of product I have to offer and how much bother I'm willing to go through to market it--to either an agent/editor or direct to customers.

    I've been through the agent/editor marketing before. I don't like it, but I know what's going on there. I totally suck at sales, so I'm less enthused about the self-publishing/direct to customers aspect. That would need more understanding of that process.
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  5. #5
    Queen of the Upmarket Bagladies HoneyBadger's Avatar
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    I want respect, fame, and money.

    So.. you know. Big 6 or Bust.

    (Self-pub and e-pub aren't necessarily the same thing, just for everyone's reference.)

  6. #6
    Plotting Princess rynthewin's Avatar
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    Definitely mainstream. There's nothing wrong with self-publishing, but it's not my cup of tea. Both have their pros and cons, though.

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  7. #7
    figuring it all out Swordfish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HoneyBadger View Post
    I want respect, fame, and money.

    So.. you know. Big 6 or Bust.

    (Self-pub and e-pub aren't necessarily the same thing, just for everyone's reference.)
    What (or I suppose who) are the Big 6? I've never heard that before

  8. #8
    figuring it all out
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    Mainstream. I'm writing for fun, but if I can get paid for it, so much the better. I'm just going to go on the idea that until someone accepts my work, I still have to get better.

  9. #9
    is watching you via her avatar jjdebenedictis's Avatar
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    Mainstream.

    The Big 6 refers to the really big, traditional publishing houses.
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  10. #10
    here and there again fadeaccompli's Avatar
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    "Mainstream" sounds about right. Nothing against self-publishing as such--I have friends who publish their own work--but I want professionals to handle all the editing and proofing and cover design and back cover blurbs and placement and promo and so forth for me. If I do happen to write something I think is amazing but there's absolutely no market for, I'd rather toss it up somewhere for free than try to sell it myself.

  11. #11
    Fantastic historian Anne Lyle's Avatar
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    Mainstream - I already have one book out and two in the pipeline.

    Why? Because I wanted to see my book professionally produced and on the shelves of bookstores across the globe, same as the books I've been reading all my life. I love ebooks, but you can't (easily) sign them for fans
    Elizabethan fantasy N1ght's Masque - out now from 4ngry R0bot Books.


  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW meowzbark's Avatar
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    Mainstream.

    I won't be satisfied until I see my name on the front of a hardcover book.

  13. #13
    Travel biologist, piss-poor fluffer quicklime's Avatar
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    big 6, or get better until they want me...or pack it in. I'm not interested in being my own business manager...I'm underqualified, and my potential client is a total asshole.

    nothing wrong with e-pub, BUT i can enjoy being a part-timeor full-time writer--I can't handle being a business person too.
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  14. #14
    Treading the Borderland Solunar's Avatar
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    I'm going for online publishing for now. I don't think my writing is up to scratch yet. I received a lot of edits back from the editor. There's also the complication that I don't live in the US, so I'm a little worried about taxes and payment. The good thing is that the other two publishers I'm aiming for also have a bookstore presence.

    I might try out the big six one day, once I've leveled up a little more. They seem to move slower and I need to support myself within the next three years.

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  15. #15
    late to the party ladybritches's Avatar
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    Mainstream. I'm not confident enough to go it alone.

  16. #16
    Benefactor Member JQTrotter's Avatar
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    I'm going mainstream. I know that there are a lot of qualified self-published authors but I think I'm more likely to be successful if I go mainstream than self-published.

  17. #17
    That hairy-handed gent
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    Quote Originally Posted by rynthewin View Post
    There's nothing wrong with self-publishing,
    Well, yeah, there is, if it's being done for something that just can't make the cut in standard commercial publication, even at a small-market level. Lots and lots and lots of utterly awful crap is now being self-published. Which doesn't mean everything self-published falls into that category, but does mean that anything self published falls into the cesspool containing all that miasmic crap, and needs to be damn good at swimming to emerge above it without a lingering stench.

    And if it's that good at swimming, there's no reason it can't make the cut in a standard commercial publication medium.

    caw
    Last edited by blacbird; 04-12-2012 at 11:16 AM.

  18. #18
    Cough up blood. Laugh, light cig kiwiviktor81's Avatar
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    Deifinitely mainstream. My number one writer's fantasy is to be at a bustop, someone is approaching the end of one of my novels, and then a friend approaches, goes "How's the book?" and the first person goes "This is earthshatteringly amazing. I'm a different and better person for having read it."

    Hard to get that though Kindle at the moment, though I know this is changing fast.
    Last edited by kiwiviktor81; 04-12-2012 at 10:33 AM. Reason: drunken typos
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  19. #19
    Shooting stars. lolchemist's Avatar
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    Big 6 for me too. I have no interest in the marketing and networking and promotion that self-publishing involves. I only like doing the writing part, the rest would be torture. So if I can't get a strong big-name company to go all-out for me, I'd rather just have ONE nice book made for my bookshelf and possibly just .pdf the book and share it online for free so other people have the opportunity to read it too. And maybe I'd get an ISBN number just for the lulz and put it up on GoodReads just so I can violate the 'never-respond' rule and scream and rage at every bad reviewer like "THE BOOK IS FREE YOU INGRATE! FREEEEEEEEEEE!"

    Current WIP (YA Contemporary) - Book 1: 32,958 of 90,000 X Book 2: 40,359 of 90,000
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    x Book 3:
    09,962 of 75,000 x Book 4:
    12,490 of 75,000

  20. #20
    I heart sexy elves and wizards. fredXgeorge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HoneyBadger View Post
    I want respect, fame, and money.

    So.. you know. Big 6 or Bust.
    This.
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  21. #21
    needs something clever to put here Ellielle's Avatar
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    Like most responding here, I'm hoping for mainstream. I'm aware that I'd still be responsible for some promotion, should I be so lucky to get a contract. But if I self-published, I'd also be responsible for things like packaging and a cover as well. And I know nothing about those sorts of things, and I don't think I care to learn.

    Plus, for me, there would be a lot more pride in being able to say "My book is being published by Awesome Publisher X" than "I'm self-publishing".

  22. #22
    practical experience, FTW MysticPunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blacbird View Post
    And if it's that good at swimming, there's no reason it can't make the cut in a standard commercial publication medium.

    caw
    I don't understand why the literary world is so behind the times with indie publishing. Indie Comics, Indie Music and Indie Film revere the indie markets for being "their own" and not needing to conform to market standards. There is a sense of freedom. A sense of honesty. A sense of dignity. Not so with prose novels. I don't get it.

    There are some amazing self published books out there. There are some major shit storms in the mainstream world. Some of the most popular books ever were just AWFUL. And if the market is looking for more Twilights, then, you know, I'd rather publish on my own.

    I know that isn't the current state, but the market chases trends and fight for shelf space in fading markets. You pay a lot of people who don't do anything to help your story that you can't do yourself. Most novels have lousy cover art. You can go on deviantart and find a good artist or you can make your own cover art (if you're artistic enough) and go punk rock DIY style. No paying an agent, no paying a publishing house, no paying lawyers for their retainer, no confusing copyrights.

    There are a lot of pluses to self publishing.

    I used to run an indie rap website and I have to say, while there were a lot of shitty dudes who spit over awful beats and on some kinda $5 mic with the tv on in the back ground, there were amazing artists who were doing genuinely amazing things that wouldn't work on "the radio". They did their own thing.

    It works in the literary world too.

    A woman who goes to my church has a daughter who publishes a new novel every month in her series (she had the series finished before she started releasing them). She tried to publish them but was told that fairy tales aren't selling and that the romance needs to start from page one, it starts in like book 3. They were very reluctant to publish her novels because her vision isn't book store friendly. She makes a buttload on ebooks, though. She did them herself and her readership grows with every novel she publishes. She may never be J.K. Rowling rich but she's basically just collecting money.

  23. #23
    crazy mean SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MysticPunk View Post
    I don't understand why the literary world is so behind the times with indie publishing. Indie Comics, Indie Music and Indie Film revere the indie markets for being "their own" and not needing to conform to market standards. There is a sense of freedom. A sense of honesty. A sense of dignity. Not so with prose novels. I don't get it.
    I don't think it's being "behind the times" to acknowledge that many really bad books are self-published, or that many books are self-published because they couldn't find a home with any trade publishers.

    You pay a lot of people who don't do anything to help your story that you can't do yourself. Most novels have lousy cover art. You can go on deviantart and find a good artist or you can make your own cover art (if you're artistic enough) and go punk rock DIY style. No paying an agent, no paying a publishing house, no paying lawyers for their retainer, no confusing copyrights.
    If you think all this is true, then you have a very poor understanding of the processes involved in trade publishing and a naive and inflated belief in the design capabilities of your average writer, and a very skewed understanding of copyright law.

    A woman who goes to my church has a daughter who publishes a new novel every month in her series ... She may never be J.K. Rowling rich but she's basically just collecting money.
    Hmm. Because she didn't have to write the books first, or edit them or revise them or work on the design or market or promote the books herself, or do any of the many other things that are involved in publishing. She just collects the money.

  24. #24
    practical experience, FTW MysticPunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    I don't think it's being "behind the times" to acknowledge that many really bad books are self-published, or that many books are self-published because they couldn't find a home with any trade publishers.
    It's very behind the times. Music started out being controlled by a small few and is now universally accessible. Indie Comics and Indie Film are not far behind. Indie Pubbing is.


    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    If you think all this is true, then you have a very poor understanding of the processes involved in trade publishing and a naive and inflated belief in the design capabilities of your average writer, and a very skewed understanding of copyright law.
    I stated an easy and cheap alternative that doesn't rely on the writer to make their own cover or advertisements. Most covers are garbage though. They're a boring photograph with simple filters, a cheesy symbolic representation or words with no image. There are few that strike me as genuine, on it's own art. This isn't true for every book, no, but it's true for most.

    That was actually a typo, I meant contracts, not copyrights. Mah bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    Hmm. Because she didn't have to write the books first, or edit them or revise them or work on the design or market or promote the books herself, or do any of the many other things that are involved in publishing. She just collects the money.
    She did her work, yes. But she collects the money she earned rather than paying a bunch of people a lot of money or relying on traditional (ie out dated) means of working.

    Another example:

    A rapper I did artwork for a few years ago was once signed to a major label. It was an amazing time. They gave him an advance. Nothing ground breaking, not high end. They hooked him up with a producer they said was "hot" and paid for decent studio time. He recorded a great album. He was excited. I got to see this unfold. It was "the dream". Then, the label canned him. Said they were going to sit on his project. Because his project wasn't making money, he had to pay them back the advance. They kept his reels. He lost a lot of money on the project. Their producer got paid. The album sits on a shelf somewhere because trends change very quickly and the label lost faith in the project. They will only sell him back his own project if he pays for the recording, the producer and other expenses, plus some cuz they have to make a profit, which he can't afford.

    Obviously, this is a different situation than what a writer would face but corporations, especially the biggest ones, are essentially out for nothing more than the bottom line and will screw you over. Selling your book through a main stream publisher might be the right thing for YOU but it isn't right for everybody and anybody who belittles the choices other writers make are the ones with narrow, naive views on publishing.

  25. #25
    Toughen up. gothicangel's Avatar
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    Mainstream. Currently have my book out on submission to one of the big 6.

    Though, I am open to the possibility to approaching the [real] indies like SnowBooks, and e-publishers [not KDP.]
    The Speculator: On submission.
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