View Full Version : Self Publishing Vs Being Published

06-14-2008, 02:55 PM

06-14-2008, 07:10 PM
Very well done and enjoyable video clip.

While many will come away from the clip with different viewpoints, I believe it clearly shows (and tells) why so many people don't have the "stuff" to self-publish successfully. AS I'VE TOLD YOU BEFORE, YOU ARE TRULY ONE OF THE EXCEPTIONS.

06-16-2008, 07:20 AM
The video was helpful as a high-level overview. I felt some of his quantifiable factoids were not supported - probably because he'd cover these items in more detail later. For example, which self-publisher, in his right mind is going to print 100,000 books?! Gimme a break!

06-18-2008, 01:54 AM
Thanks for the link. Very informative.

Chris Huff
06-19-2008, 08:08 PM
Wow. That guy's selling something stinky.

I am pro POD, I'm pro self-publishing (under certain circumstances), and I'm pro ebooks. I'm also very pro publishers.

Pros: No capital outlay. Leverage on experience. Guaranteed distribution.

Cons: Lower income. Little to no creative control. Slower time-frames.

Pros: Greater income potential. Total creative control. Speed to market.

Cons: Significant upfront cost. Can be very time consuming. No guarantee of distribution.

The typical publishing contract yields 7-10% of retail to the author, minus any advance. With a publisher you have a much larger print run and that pesky "guaranteed distribution" thing that will get you much more money than self-publishing.

Sure, you can make more per book as a self-publisher, but without "leverage on experience" of a publisher you have to do your own editing, layout, cover design, sales, and marketing. That and you have to shell out the cash to print the books, and that pesky "guaranteed distribution" thing again, meaning you have to find a way to distribute them yourself.

Note he says "greater income potential". That's a tell. Don't buy anything from this guy. Note also what parts he rushes through and what parts he's goes over slowly. He glosses over everything except the cons of going with a publisher. He even tries to turn the pub pro around to be a con, "they know how to sell books in bookshops, they may not know how to sell books elsewhere."

The whole bit about self-publishers making more. It's a shell game. Yes, you make more per unit, but it's so unlikely you'll get your book into a store that you'll end up hand selling or trying to find an online store to take them. Again, not very likely. I'll tell you at the bottom for what you really should do.

"Little to no creative control". Yes, publishers decide what the cover will be. Some of the self-published book covers are horrible. Some are great. There are more bad than good though. Wouldn't you want a professional to work on your cover? Even for ebooks, the cover is still the feature most important when a customer purchases a book. You're a writer, not a cover designer. Let the professionals do their job.

The "we'll cover that later" part that he's trying to sell is digital short run and POD. If you go the self-publishing route, don't go with an off-set printer and run thousands of copies. Even the professionals get the print run wrong. The point of a self-publisher is that they're so enthusiastic about their book that they "just know it will sell". When you translate that into deciding on a print run, you could get in trouble, and fast.

Insist on self-publishing?

Option 1. Digital short run 100 copies and try to sell them. See what happens. You can always go back and print more. Sure, you miss out on a bit of a discount, but you also don't have to shell out thousands of dollars up front. You still do all your own editing, layout, cover design, sales, and marketing. You really should hire someone to edit and design your book. If you want to be taken as seriously as you can, find professional help.

Option 2. Lightning Source and Book Surge. You have to do all the same work, but you can POD your book, sell it as an ebook, and have it listed on two heavy traffic sales sites. LSI gets you on Powells (POD and ebook) and a few other sites, also they're owned by Ingram so you have more access to their distribution. More access, but no guaranteed distribution. Surge gets you on Amazon. There is some back and forth about Surge and Amazon. Better safe than sorry until the dust settles. You need separate ISBNs for the POD and ebook version. You can use the same ISBN with both LSI and Surge for the POD version.

Note: POD books have barcodes on the last page of the book block. Most stores refuse to consider stocking them. Most reviewers also refuse POD books. They literally open the book, check the last page, and toss it if there's a barcode. Some digital short run books have the barcode. Some don't. They're printed on the same machines, but some printers don't code 'em. Some do. Ask first.

06-19-2008, 08:11 PM
'That guy' is Dale Beaumont. As with any speaker you need to know who they are even beofre considering what they say. he makes his living selling sell-publishing advice and so will naturally excentuate the potential positives for those who buy his material and then self-pub.

06-20-2008, 02:25 AM
I started to wonder if anyone took him seriously around the point that he said (paraphrased) I'm objective, you're free to do it either way - if you're in the business and have picked one route, you cannot be objective - if you're selling something, you have a slant one way or the other.

06-20-2008, 03:44 AM
I listened to the first half, he didn't say anything I hadn't already learned and with less bias here on the AW forums, and AW is a lot more fun.

The video was helpful as a high-level overview. I felt some of his quantifiable factoids were not supported - probably because he'd cover these items in more detail later. For example, which self-publisher, in his right mind is going to print 100,000 books?! Gimme a break!
Well, there was "A New Kind of Science," an infamously self-published and very fat book by a rich and famous scientist, so he could afford howevermany he printed for the first printing. He did manage to sell a lot, so it paid off for him, but his book got mixed reviews, including the famous "A New Kind Of Review." (http://shell.cas.usf.edu/%7Eeclark/ANKOS_humor.html)

Of course, the whole situation was very rare for a self-published book.