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View Full Version : It's tough not to push the button.........



snook
01-10-2009, 04:25 AM
to self publish. I'm still querying and have a few partials that haven't been rejected yet. I've got the finger on the trigger to go the Createspace route when I get the hankering. I still have five months to go (self-imposed six month time frame) before I go the POD route, but it's tough just waiting for responses.

I'll take some cheese with my whine thanks.

I know that there are others in the same boat, so let's stop rowing and start drinking..............

Fenika
01-10-2009, 04:36 AM
Write down the goals for your book.

Note how much fun it is to promote your own book.

Read though threads about self-publishing. Check the reality against your goals list.

Learn patience. Who cares if your book comes out in '09 or 2015. Although, if you want it to come out in 09, you'd have to self pub, and chances are you won't have an audience...

Patience. Big picture. Stop worrying about those queries and go write something else. It's not just vague advice. Patience comes from focusing on other challenges.

Cheers

Brindle Chase
01-10-2009, 04:39 AM
Don't go into the light!!! *lol*

Seriously though, I've felt that temptation and am thus far, glad I did not. If I cant sell my book to an agent after a truly diligent effort, it means I need revision or scrap the WIP altogether... self publishing will get it out there, but likely it wouldnt be a hit! Not that I care so much about that, but a agent or editor has alot of experience with what sells and what doesnt... alot more than me, so I'm looking at it from that perspective.

Thus far, I havent submitted anything... but I will be there soon and I'll then get a better taste of your torment then, methinks! =) Hang in there!!

Nandi
01-10-2009, 04:43 AM
Oh, Snook! I know exactly how you feel. I got my 55th rejection this evening. I still have some partials and fulls out there but it's been quite a while since I've sent them off.

Originally, I had told myself that I'd give myself one year, but there's somthing about getting all these rejections that prompts me to want to call it quits before then.

In the interim, I've developed a list of about 2 dozen small, independent publishers that I think might be interested in my unagented MS. Have you done that? My latest thinking is that I'll send my work to them--maybe 5 submissions a month--and then see where things stand. That will take me close to my one-year deadline.

I really feel your pain, though!

scarletpeaches
01-10-2009, 04:47 AM
Meh. Over 60 knockbacks and never been tempted to self-publish.

Honestly, six months is nothing. I know that sounds dismissive, but...it really is nothing. Try ten years. Twenty. More.

snook
01-10-2009, 07:44 PM
I'll give it a while longer. In the meantime I'm starting two new books, I'll switch between 'em when that particular well dries up.

cpickett
01-10-2009, 09:01 PM
Just a note that fee-based/POD like CreateSpace isn't the only option beyond traditional. If you do decide you want to move on, make sure you weigh your other options carefully. As has been mentioned, you need to assess lots of other aspects about your project to be able to make the best choice.

GirlWithPoisonPen
01-10-2009, 09:23 PM
I wouldn't even consider going the self-publishing route until your second book is done.*

While you work on it, query the one that's done. You'll be more attractive to a publishing house if the agent can say, "as a matter of fact, her second book is almost done.

Repeat this mantra: Things to do not happen quickly in publishing.



* Even then, I'll still try and talk you out of it.

VinsenMDV
01-19-2009, 02:44 PM
to self publish. I'm still querying and have a few partials that haven't been rejected yet. I've got the finger on the trigger to go the Createspace route when I get the hankering. I still have five months to go (self-imposed six month time frame) before I go the POD route, but it's tough just waiting for responses.

I'll take some cheese with my whine thanks.

I know that there are others in the same boat, so let's stop rowing and start drinking..............

I'm in exactly the same boat. I've been shopping my own 'script around, tightening it up, and trying to find a home for it. I'm weary of self-publishing b/c of all the bad preconceptions about it, but it continues to look as though I may need to seriously consider that route in June (my self-imposed deadline). I haven't exhausted all my options yet as it's only January and some publishers will be reading for new submissions soon. However, several of the publishers I have (or had) looked at are either swamped, not accepting anything new, not financially stable, or just plain gone out of business b/c of how the economy is.

I've always read that you should never get in to book writing for the money as most authors will never get rich from it, and the same can be said for self-publishing. However, if your goal isn't to make mad profits and rather to begin building a fan base, then perhaps self-pub. isn't such a bad idea (that's assuming you'd do it a minimal expense to yourself). And with the internet being the force it is today, anyone with the knowhow and the means to do so can reach an audience very quickly.

Clair Dickson
01-19-2009, 07:26 PM
If you're book is good enough to be published (story as well as narrative) then it will find a home someday.

If your book isn't good enough to be published... who's going to to want to pay POD prices for it...? (Not saying it is or isn't-- I haven't read it-- but many many many POD books are not ready to be published. Which is why agents/ publishers reject them.)

I buy a lot of things from the internet. I don't pay for anything until I'm sure. Even when I buy from a small press (which usually costs a few more of my dollars than larger presses) I make sure that the author is one that I like and would not begrudge the price.

While it's possible for a novel to break out from self-pub roots, it's not very likely. If you don't have the patience to learn your craft to the point that you're getting partial and full requests from agents, how on earth are you going maintain the efforts required to push and sell a self-published novel, especially if it carries a higher-than-normal price tag than books at Borders?

Just saying.

mab
01-19-2009, 07:59 PM
If you just can't wait to hold a nice-looking book with your name on the cover, you could try using lulu to print a couple of copies just for you.

Or make the wait easier by getting a new project started- hopefully all the planning, drafting etc will occupy your mind so the wait doesn't seem as long.

scope
01-19-2009, 08:38 PM
You only gave yourself six months to land and agent? You are being very unfair to yourself. I think the very minimum you should have given yourself was three years to five years. In the meantime you should be working on other books. Publishing always works at a snails pace, even more so today what with all that's going on. For many reasons I don't believe in self-publishing, although there are some very rare exceptions where it can work for a very few. But to give yourself a "self imposed" deadline of six months to land an agent before turning to self-publishing makes no sense at all.

victoriastrauss
01-20-2009, 07:01 AM
If you're thinking of self-publishing as a way to build a fan base, be aware that most books from self-pub companies like Lulu.com sell around 150 copies. Obviously some authors do better, and some do worse--still, it's a sobering statistic. For most writers, self-publishing isn't an effective way to gain a readership.

- Victoria

VinsenMDV
01-20-2009, 07:48 AM
If you're thinking of self-publishing as a way to build a fan base, be aware that most books from self-pub companies like Lulu.com sell around 150 copies. Obviously some authors do better, and some do worse--still, it's a sobering statistic. For most writers, self-publishing isn't an effective way to gain a readership.

- Victoria

Being published by a more traditional house isn't necessarily a guarantee of a fan base either, although it may be more likely.

snook
01-20-2009, 04:54 PM
Thanks for the advice folks. I'm not really interested in having a fan base, I'm under no illusions as to my writing ability or subject matter salability.

I wrote my narrative memoir about my dad and dog Bunkie for one reason only. That reason is to get their story in print for my family history and for folks that have in interest in the story, however small that readership may be. My dad was a great guy and I think that his life and the way he lived it might interest and benefit some folks that didn't have the pleasure of knowing him. I owe my dad more than I can ever repay and this is my way of paying homage. I included the story of Bunkie because he was my best buddy for years; the laughs and heartache we went through marked both the best times and worst times in my life. I owed Bunkie as well and it was/is a pleasure telling their story. It gives to me as well as takes away, but worth every second I take to tell their story.

I'm not going to lie; it would be nice to turn a profit on my work, but if I don't, I'm ok with that too. If nothing else, the book is a small historical snapshot of life in 60's and 70's California and may serve some small purpose in the future for history's sake.

I'm working two other narrative memoirs; one about the SoCal drag racing/street racing scene in 60's - 70's and the other is about life on US Navy Fast Attack & Ballistic Missile submarines in the 70's - 80's. These two should interest a broader base of readers, but if not, they too will add to the family history as these are first person narratives.

I'm not a young man, so my interest is in getting the stories in print before I kickoff or lose the urge to tell the stories in ink. I'm a bigmouth, so the family will be subjected to auditory renditions as long as I can still blabber; but I still want to get them down on paper and in a binding.

So while I write, I'm also preparing, editing/re-editing and formatting the MS for a 6X9 trade paperback. If I go the self-publish route, I'll be doing the Createspace option as Lulu charges way too much for a copy of a 306 page book. Createspace is much more reasonable.

Thanks for the feedback folks.

cpickett
01-20-2009, 06:14 PM
Snook,
Now that you've clarified your objectives, it makes it a lot easier for us to give you our thoughts. As you've pointed out, one of your goals is to get the story down for your family, to preserve certain memories. That is the reason many people write, it's a great reason.

You are right in saying your audience could be limited as memoir is a tough sell generally unless a story is super compelling and unique (and as we've seen in recent years, publishers don't always make the best decisions in that category in particular).

In your case, for this first book, I see nothing wrong with either independent self-publishing or going with a POD/fee-based company like you mention. Just do your research to get the most value. It will certainly satisfy one of your goals, and can also give you a chance to try a little local marketing if you wish, to see if you like it/would want to do it for the other books you are thinking about.

If you do, next time you'll need to choose the option that will let you capitalize on sales. If not, continue to write, tell your stories and leave great memories.

VinsenMDV
01-20-2009, 10:08 PM
I agree with the above poster. A memoir would be a very hard sell, probably even more difficult than a sci-fi/fantasy tale would be. If it's just merely to see it in print, then POD is probably your best bet.

scope
01-21-2009, 01:00 AM
As cpickett said, now that you have clarified your objectives, it makes it a lot easier to comment. Since your goal seems to be a printed and bound book which you can give to family and friends, self-publishing makes sense. That is, assuming you find the cost affordable, can handle the editing, have some knowledge of production matters, and are not concerned about publicity, marketing, and distribution. If you leave everything up to the self-publishing company, it can get extremely expensive to do. If you want to produce a small number of copies I suggest you look into Lulu or a similar type of company.

snook
01-25-2009, 05:44 PM
Thanks guys, I'm pushing the button on this one when the final editing is completed this next week. My cousin April has done the cover art and it looks good. In the meantime, I'll be doing the other two books, which might have a more marketable experience and I'll try to get those traditionally published - but who knows?

ResearchGuy
01-26-2009, 07:30 PM
. . . I'll be doing the Createspace option as Lulu charges way too much for a copy of a 306 page book. Createspace is much more reasonable. . . .
One copy at Lulu (b/w trade paperback, standard paper, color cover, 6 x 9", 306 pp.) would be a $10.62 plus postage, with no other costs required. How much at Createspace?

--Ken

snook
01-26-2009, 08:33 PM
My cost at Lulu is ~$10.60/copy, my cost at Createspace (Amazon) is ~$4.52 (Pro Plan); I'm setting up an account at LSI and it's about the same as Createspace.

Nandi
01-26-2009, 10:16 PM
Snook, I hope you'll keep us updated as you go through the process. Just out of curiosity, since I may be where you are some months from now, could you let us know what factors other than cost are guiding your decision-making as to which company to use?

ResearchGuy
01-26-2009, 11:25 PM
My cost at Lulu is ~$10.60/copy, my cost at Createspace (Amazon) is ~$4.52 (Pro Plan); I'm setting up an account at LSI and it's about the same as Createspace.
Any upfront or maintenance costs at Createspace? (I know that there are at LSI.)

--Ken

snook
01-27-2009, 03:45 AM
Not that I know of; at least I haven't been charged for anything yet. They even fixed the book spine soacing on my PDF cover file. I have the proof and it looks great.

scottVee
01-27-2009, 11:46 AM
Another angle -- you can either work at it and sell your book to an agent once (and then have someone on your team helping out), or self-publish and have to make every little sale yourself, every night, over and over again, forever selling one at a time ... zoinks, I'm scarin' myself here.

I'm oversimplifying, but it still comes down to "one big sale" versus thousands of small sales to reach the same numbers.

StephenJSweeney
01-27-2009, 03:57 PM
I recently approved my own novel on Lulu for distribution (Published By You, with my own ISBN).

I'll add my own experiences if people are interested to hear - Won't write it all now, don't want to hijack the thread.

buttterflywilma
01-27-2009, 05:19 PM
I LOVE selfpublishing! It makes me feel so free.

snook
01-27-2009, 05:29 PM
Go ahead, hijack away! The more the merrier...............

KikiteNeko
01-27-2009, 05:29 PM
Snook, it sounds like you're cool with having a small readership and profit isn't a big objective. In your case I think POD publishing would be a good option if you can't get an agent ;) But don't beat yourself up if you can't get one in six months--a lot of published authors took longer than that to find one, I'm sure. Good luck and I hope your story reaches those who would appreciate it.

snook
01-27-2009, 06:07 PM
Thanks for the well wishes tomothecat, much appreciated.

ResearchGuy
01-27-2009, 06:18 PM
Not that I know of; at least I haven't been charged for anything yet. They even fixed the book spine spacing on my PDF cover file. I have the proof and it looks great.
Hmmm! Well, I'll have to check them out for upcoming projects.

--Ken

StephenJSweeney
01-27-2009, 08:24 PM
Okay, so where I currently am is waiting for the ISBN submission to process.

I would say that the Lulu experience is fun, if a little frustrating in places.

Uploading the content and the cover were very easy. I converted by finished manuscript into a 6x9 PDF and using Georgia 10pt as the font. I also set the margins as 5 all around, except for 8 in gutter. I played around with the line spacing for a bit, so that there weren't a crushing number of words per page. All this you can do in a PDF viewer. Just tweak and keep looking until you're ready to upload.

The frustrating bit I mentioned earlier is to do with covers. If you use a one piece cover, then you'll probably end up buying 3 or 4 copies, trying to get things like the spin to line up correctly. I also ran into this problem in printing known as RGB vs CMYK color spaces. The printed cover was darker than the on-screen version, but I managed to sort that out by converting the color space before uploading to Lulu (as you can imagine, that's probably not for the faint hearted).

Right... so the one thing you're probably wondering is - why did I self publish the book? Well, my pursuit for agents aside, I eventually sort some professional editoral advice. I was told that even after tweaking the novel, it was uncertain that the book could fit what the science fiction market was after at present; if ever. It was too action / gamey / tv series-like for a market that wants to read Alistar Reynolds and George R R Martin.

It left me with a choice - Don't bother or put it aside and write a completly different book. Thing is, this is the only series I've actually wanted to write. So I figured I should just self publish it, treat it as a hobby, and just have some fun with it.

Anyway, I'm currently waiting on the ISBN submission and listings to complete. 6 - 8 weeks apparently.

(phew - sorry for the essay, everyone!)

brainstorm77
01-28-2009, 06:18 AM
I recently approved my own novel on Lulu for distribution (Published By You, with my own ISBN).

I'll add my own experiences if people are interested to hear - Won't write it all now, don't want to hijack the thread.

Question: Lulu now has the option not to have them listed as publisher on the books?

ResearchGuy
01-28-2009, 07:50 AM
Question: Lulu now has the option not to have them listed as publisher on the books?
Sure. For quite a while. I've published four books with them under my own publishing company name (ISBN assigned to me).

--Ken

StephenJSweeney
01-28-2009, 04:18 PM
I actually wouldn't want my book to be listed as being Published By Lulu. I'm not even intending on linking to the Lulu purchase page from my website. The only mention of Lulu for me will be in on the last page of the book (which is mandatory).

This'll sound silly, but there are still a certain stigma attached to Lulu and self publishing, which I'd rather do without. It's silly, yes, given that there are an increasing number of people in the world who are doing things for themselves (musicians, being the prime example).

Still, I'm happy that my finished book looks very much like a traditional book, rather than a manuscript someone has put into print form.

snook
02-01-2009, 02:58 AM
My son and I just finished editing the last Createspace proof copy of "Dad, Dog and Fish" and made some corrections to the file and then re-uploaded the new file. Should get the final proof this next week and if everything looks good, it'll be go time on Createspace/Amazon this week.