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Old 02-05-2013, 04:09 PM   #1
acockey
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Another Self-Pubber saying there is a Revolution

NPR Article yesterday:

http://www.npr.org/2013/02/04/171103...r-some-writers

Where a guru of self-publish is saying the ship is sinking, meaning the big four, and we should all self-publish, because those money grubbers at the Big Four take most of your profits.

Also, he went into how everyone, at every point in their life has a right to publish. Now to some extent, I believe this, but if everyone publishes then aren't we just gonna stop reading so much because of all the terrible writing.
I have been through this, where I just wont read one night, because I am disgusted by all the terrible grammar and formatting of some "free" books, that were self-published on my kindle, so I just gave up for the night.

Let me know if I should move this to a different Venue
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:32 PM   #2
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Mark Coker has a serious financial interest in writers self-publishing. Of course he wants more of us to do so.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:49 PM   #3
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:48 PM   #4
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Self-publishing is a good venue for certain niches in writing that are unattractive to traditional publishers, and gives all writers a chance to "try the waters" of writing/publishing.

It also feeds the generations of humans who have been raised in the "everyone gets a medal" mentality of shunning competition and gaining immediate gratification. Unfortunately, it frequently short-circuits the chasing of excellence through mastery of the craft of writing and of peer review of that mastery.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:49 PM   #5
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Self-publishing has opened up great opportunities. But it is not a cult that has the 'answer' for every writer.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:52 PM   #6
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The way things are going with SP, the revolution is soon to come, where the readers abandon self publishing.

I have grown to believe that all SP is...self published writers supporting other self published writers and readers be damned...
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:02 PM   #7
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My original intent I think of posting this was to one: say the interviewee is wrong headed, and two: to say that cant we all just coexist, why is always all or nothing with most of these self pubbing die hards

People need to chill on that point. I mean itunes and record companies coexist, so why not SP and TP
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:08 PM   #8
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Gotcha.

Good job all us non-self-pubbers get our grammar and punctuation correct, eh?

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Originally Posted by acockey View Post
My original intent I think of posting this was to one: say the interviewee is wrong headed, and two: to say that cant we all just coexist, why is always all or nothing with most of these self pubbing die hards

People need to chill on that point. I mean itunes and record companies coexist, so why not SP and TP
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:11 PM   #9
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I think, just from what I'm seeing on a variety of forums, that the tide is turning from 'all or nothing' thinking to 'warts and all' thinking. Trade publishing fanatics and self-publishing gurus are becoming the minority; writers willing to concede that both avenues have pitfalls and problems along with benefits are becoming more outspoken, and this is good for everyone.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:13 PM   #10
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@Bufty Think about the editor your not technically paying for...And then the self pubber who may think he is the God of Editing

@Shadow walker is there an article that shows that..if not.. how many forums...how many people?
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:15 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Stacia Kane View Post
Mark Coker has a serious financial interest in writers self-publishing. Of course he wants more of us to do so.
I wrote a long reply, but you know, never mind.

That's it, right there.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:19 PM   #12
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SP is just another tool for authors. It has advantages and disadvantages. I will admit, I'm extra picky when I look at the first chapter or so of a self-published book. The chances of it being written, edited, and formatted to commercial standards are often not good.

But one of my favorite fantasy books, which I'd always hoped would get picked up by a commercial publisher, was self-published by a friend. And I'm seeing a large number of AW folks who have self-published well.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:27 PM   #13
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acockey has an excellent point in comparing the publishing world to the music world. For years now, it has become acceptable for a musician or band to record and release work on an independent label. Great music, too. In fact, a lot of indie music—IMO—is better than mainstream because it remains honest and simple.

But here's where we have a problem in comparisons. Whereas in music you can be sloppy and different as long as the songwriting is solid, in the publishing world sloppy and different won't hold up. Why? Because writing has a template of expectations: solid opening, good pacing, strong voice, likable characters, good grammar, good plot. All of these are possible with a good mentor, i.e. beta readers, editor. But how many sp'd people are getting proper mentorship? How many are spending two years laboring over a manuscript with proper feedback? An album can be cut and released the same day online. A book should never esteem to quick standards. Anyone who praises themselves for writing a book in a week and then publishing it the next, is truly doing themselves a disservice. So I would say, yes SPing is a good answer if you're willing to put in the same amount of effort as a traditionally published book. But it should never be done quickly.

My opinion only.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:29 PM   #14
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@Filigree I am not saying that self pubbing is bad in anyway...More to the point I am asking self pubbers to stop acting like that guy on the street with the "Apocalypse Now" sign around his neck

@folkchic a valid point. Counter Point, autotuning, and All of Paris Hilton's Music
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:36 PM   #15
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I would love to support more self-published writers, but like the OP said, the errors screw that up. Almost every time. I've honestly given up on it.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:48 PM   #16
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The comparison between music and literature also breaks down in terms of the audience's investment of time. You can download a song and it takes 3-4 minutes. When you download a self-published novel, you've got an investment of hours at least.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:04 PM   #17
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Quote:
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SP is just another tool for authors. It has advantages and disadvantages. I will admit, I'm extra picky when I look at the first chapter or so of a self-published book. The chances of it being written, edited, and formatted to commercial standards are often not good.

But one of my favorite fantasy books, which I'd always hoped would get picked up by a commercial publisher, was self-published by a friend. And I'm seeing a large number of AW folks who have self-published well.
One of my favorite fantasy books was also self-published! Which is funny upon reflection, because self-published and small press fantasy books are some of the ones I look most critically at--as my genre of choice, I have high standards for it and too often I read something that's like a first draft I could encounter in a critique group. I think it was our very own Uncle Jim who said "In a good economy, any fantasy book from moderately good on up will find a publisher. Even in a bad economy, any good fantasy book will find a publisher." Which is not encouraging for the self-published ones you see. But since then a lot of people, AWs included, are releasing very quality self published works, especially with Kindle.

I'm not really sure why The God Eaters didn't go with one when it was published some years ago, although judging by the reviews it's making steady sales on its own.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:11 PM   #18
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Self Publishing is just another tool for writers. It's not all or nothing, and SPs not going to out the major publishing houses.

Sadly, many writers just see SP as a way to get their work out there and self-publish without taking proper care with self-editing and professional editing services. When you publish your own work, you have to provide those services for yourself that would be provided with a traditional publisher.

On the other hand, my friend self-published a book of short stories (he doesn't write novels), made sure his book was in pristine condition prior to publication, and he got picked up by a small publishing house. It's not one of the big five, but the publishing house has a good reputation and my friend is very happy with two short story collections out.

This is one writer friend I will support through anything he writes.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:12 PM   #19
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@Mumbling Sage For some reason I can't justify paying for digital copies of anything of 9.99..just my opinion.. I like the painting esque cover of the book..price is an automatic shut down for me
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:15 PM   #20
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@Filigree I am not saying that self pubbing is bad in anyway...More to the point I am asking self pubbers to stop acting like that guy on the street with the "Apocalypse Now" sign around his neck
Yes, well that's a sweeping generalization. The self published authors I know don't act like that at all.

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@folkchic a valid point. Counter Point, autotuning, and All of Paris Hilton's Music
Music is music. Everybody has their taste.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:23 PM   #21
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@Susan Littlefield I can point you to one or more interviews were this holds true

http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidvin...-a-good-thing/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bernar...b_1821945.html

http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/05...books-instead/

these articles are more or less in the same vain as the first..Self pubbing equals "jet pack future"
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:25 PM   #22
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Anytime I see someone claiming there is only one true way to publish, regardless of what way, I assume it's a marketing ploy. It's to get people linking to them and talking about them. The balanced view is that what route is best depends on the project and writer, but that doesn't go viral or sell books for the person saying it.

So for the most part, it's better to ignore "one true way" people, other than to warn others not to fall for the marketing ploy.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:27 PM   #23
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If self-publishing is so wonderful, why did James sell Fifty Shades to Random House? Also, Fifty wasn't technically self-published (as I understand it) but distributed by the e-and-POD publisher, The Writer's Coffeeshop. AFTER a shrewd platform-building campaign in the world of fan fiction.

Also, why did Amanda Hocking give up her self-pubbing empire? According to her, IIRC, it was to escape the grind of doing it all herself and to avail herself of the expertise of St. Martin's Press. But has her first (original) St. Martin's book, Wake, matched her earlier (much lower priced) successes? I didn't even realize it had been published yet, and I check the lists pretty regularly. Anyone been following her post-self-pubbing career?

Where Coker is disingenuous, in my opinion, is in ignoring how hard the self-publisher must work to perfect his work, learn to market like a pro, build a core platform. His remark that, well, at least self-pubbers might reach a audience of one is simply ludricous. Come on, does anyone self-publish with no more than that single reader in mind? Or do too many self-publish with stars in their eyes, only to wonder a few months later when the readers and revenue are going to start pouring in? Interviews like the one under discussion, which ignore the realities of any publishing venture, just feed into the frenzy of entitlement and plummeting standards and disappointment for writer and reader alike.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:28 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by acockey View Post
@Shadow walker is there an article that shows that..if not.. how many forums...how many people?
As I said, this is what I'm seeing on a variety of forums and from a variety of writers. I've not made a scientific survey.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:44 PM   #25
Stacia Kane
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Originally Posted by folkchick View Post
acockey has an excellent point in comparing the publishing world to the music world. For years now, it has become acceptable for a musician or band to record and release work on an independent label. Great music, too. In fact, a lot of indie music—IMO—is better than mainstream because it remains honest and simple.

But here's where we have a problem in comparisons. Whereas in music you can be sloppy and different as long as the songwriting is solid, in the publishing world sloppy and different won't hold up. Why? Because writing has a template of expectations: solid opening, good pacing, strong voice, likable characters, good grammar, good plot. All of these are possible with a good mentor, i.e. beta readers, editor. But how many sp'd people are getting proper mentorship? How many are spending two years laboring over a manuscript with proper feedback? An album can be cut and released the same day online. A book should never esteem to quick standards. Anyone who praises themselves for writing a book in a week and then publishing it the next, is truly doing themselves a disservice. So I would say, yes SPing is a good answer if you're willing to put in the same amount of effort as a traditionally published book. But it should never be done quickly.

My opinion only.

A lot of work goes into releasing a song or album on an indie label, at least it did with the bands I know. It's not just "Sit around a microphone in your living room and play the song, then release the file." You still--or again, the bands I knew did--hire an engineer at a recording studio, which isn't cheap. You record and mix the song; even if you're recording "live" (as in, everyone playing the song together) every instrument has a mic. Sometimes--often--vocals are recorded separately. Often there are several takes. Then it's mixed to make sure everything sounds good.

A track listing is chosen. Cover art is created. Records or CDs are printed--and that's not cheap, either. You have a list of stores you want to get your records into. You book a tour and have people to sell your records at your shows. Review copies are sent out to whatever magazines or whatever who review your type of music. You have people who collect money and mail out the product.

I'm sure a lot of the distribution process is now digital, in that people can buy the music off iTunes, but that means you have to get everything loaded onto iTunes, and I'm sure there are still a lot of labels and bands that produce physical copies.

I've watched quite a few records being recorded; I sang backup vocals on one. It's a complex, hours-long process.


I'm sure there are bands who skimp on all of that, and release an album the day it's recorded, but recording and releasing an album isn't generally just a matter of just playing a song and then instantly putting out a digital file--not if you want it to sound good, any more than self-pubbing a book means writing the last word of the ms and then instantly uploading it. And most indie labels are like publishers in that they have an audience already who is familiar with their sound and reputation, and will check out their new releases.

That might have changed to some extent, again, but I don't think it's that different from what it was when I was doing it.
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