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WriteRead
06-23-2005, 07:27 PM
I read that many editors (newspapers and magazines) won't review self-published books.

Is this true, and if so, what's the remedy for this?

Dan

brinkett
06-23-2005, 07:51 PM
It depends on what you mean by "self-published". If you mean publishing under your own imprint, then it's possible to get reviews, though some reviewers do refuse self-published books of this nature. If you mean POD (not using POD just to print, but using POD to publish), then I don't know of a remedy.

If you're interested in self-publishing, I'd suggest reading Dan Poynter's book and Tom & Marilyn Ross' book before you do anything.

WriteRead
06-23-2005, 08:07 PM
Thank you for the re.

If at all, then I'd contemplate POD. Stock, you know. I think that this should be a major concern, if I understand it rightly.

Can you give me the names of the bks you mentioned?

Thanks,

Dan

brinkett
06-23-2005, 08:42 PM
Well, you can self-publish and print the books using POD. Just make sure you own the ISBN. There are advantages and disadvantages to using POD over an offset printer, so do your homework before you decide what's right for you. There isn't a "right" answer - it depends on what your goals and circumstances are.

Before you do anything, read these two books:

The Self-Publishing Manual by Dan Poynter
Complete Guide to Self-Publishing by Tom and Marilyn Ross

WriteRead
06-23-2005, 08:49 PM
Thank you, brinkett!

Trafford establishes an ISBN w the Canadian N'l Lib, I believe, as part of their services. I think that I can ask them to establish it w the Lib of Congress, too.

They say : "Although you are 'self-publishing using our services, the book trade considers Trafford as the 'publisher' for ISBN purposes"

Does that mean that they own the ISBN, not I?

Dan

brinkett
06-23-2005, 09:15 PM
Yes, that means Trafford is the publisher and owns the ISBN.

WriteRead
06-23-2005, 09:35 PM
Oh! What's the implication for me?

Dan

maestrowork
06-23-2005, 09:57 PM
That means you are not really "Self-publishing." It's vanity/subsidiary. Trafford owns the ISBN, and it's listed as a Trafford book.

To really self-pub, you need to purchase your own ISBN and establish your own imprint... read the books -- they are very helpful to understand the pros and cons of everything.

WriteRead
06-23-2005, 11:08 PM
Thank you, maestro!

Still, bear w me one q.

It says that some rights don't belong to me, or is it only a kind of categorization of publishing?

brinkett
06-23-2005, 11:58 PM
I'm not sure I understand your question. Can you post what you're referring to?

WriteRead
06-24-2005, 03:25 AM
If they own the ISBN, what does it mean to own it in general, and what does it mean for me?

Or is it only a form of categorizing/classifying the publication, the bk?

Dan

brinkett
06-24-2005, 03:50 AM
It means they're the publisher. As far as the book trade is concerned, it'll be their book, not yours. All orders must go through them.

WriteRead
06-24-2005, 06:37 PM
I see. Okay. Thank you, brinkett!

Dan

Lauri B
06-24-2005, 06:46 PM
I read that many editors (newspapers and magazines) won't review self-published books.

Is this true, and if so, what's the remedy for this?

Dan
It's true that most trade publications and larger newspapers and mags won't review self published books, as well as most vanity press books (and they know who they are). Publishers Weekly, the main trade magazine in the publishing industry has a policy to review self- or vanity-pubbed titles only if the print run is over a certain number of copies and the publisher has a distribution arrangement with a known and reputable distributor. School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, The New York Times, and a whole lot of other national papers have a policy not to review self-pubbed books. Why? Because so many of them are terrible. The remedy is to work on your manuscript until it's so good that no traditional publisher would want to pass it up.

WriteRead
06-24-2005, 10:11 PM
Nomad said:


The remedy is to work on your manuscript until it's so good that no traditional publisher would want to pass it up.

This goes w/o saying, but there's a vicious circle. You're self-pubbed, you're not reviewed, no matter how much you rewrite and edit and strive to make it best.

Thwe q still there how you break it.

My take on it would be to sell (a good bk, of course) it up to a level which would be catched by the eyes of the industry.

My q was intended as a first step, before I sell, so as to draw attn and to be able to refer potential buyers to the, hopefully, positive review.

Dan

Edgarallenwannabe
07-31-2005, 06:40 AM
I can understand some of the hoops you're jumping through; I've been doing that a lot myself lately. I was balking at the idea of self-publishing because of the fact that to do that, you need to be in the finnancial position to buy a decent amount of books yourself to sell at signing events and whatnot. A recent self-publishing author; http://www.alienlog.com/, visited my area Barnes & Noble, and was kind enough to answer my questions over email, and he suggested self-publishing under my own imprint, buying the isbn, the whole works. Of course, look at his bio....he's a retired Physics professor with a PHD; got money and time to market himself. I'm a teacher at a not very well funded Catholic school with a wife and new baby...so I was thinking about the POD's, their packages, the new "specials" they always seemed to run...

I finally, (thanks to some great advice to Mr. McDonald here), decided to try self-publishing with www.lulu.com (http://www.lulu.com). You end buying the isbn, at the very least, you own the rights. Not to make this thread not belong here, but give lulu a try. I cannot give you a guarantee, because I have not yet finished my project with them yet, but it looks very promising.

Anyway, this may be fatalistic, but I figure if it's meant to be that you'll be in the big time, you'll be there, POD or not. The thing is.....if you own the ISBN, you really ARE in control of your own publishing destiny.

Kevin Lucia
www.kevinlucia.net (http://www.kevinlucia.net)

PVish
08-05-2005, 11:38 PM
Regardless of whether you self-pub or POD (I've done both), your market is primarily local/regional. In order for readers to want your book, you must already have a local readership.

If you don't already write for a local publication or haven't already gotten your name out to the public in some way, few will be motivated to buy your book. If you are already known as a writer in your area, you stand a better chance to get your book onto shelves at the independent bookstores and other shops (three in my area now order copies from the POD publisher).

If you are already known locally, you will get readings/signings/lectures at local stores, schools, and libraries. You will even get a few local reviews.

A rule of thumb: If you expect to sell more than a thousand books, complete self-publishing (off-set, from a good printer) will make you more money. If you expect to sell less than a thousand, POD will work better.

book_maven
08-06-2005, 10:39 PM
I have tried to re-write this so it sounds if not upbeat at least not harsh. I think I am just going to take it out, and say that vanity books (and to a lesser extent, self-published books) have a difficult time getting reviewed because they have not gone though the normal gatekeeping processes of a commercial publishing house.

veinglory
08-06-2005, 10:51 PM
In the meantime I suppose you could target online or less picky reviewing mags and websites. bookpleasures.com takes POD

brinkett
08-07-2005, 12:30 AM
Conventionally self-published books (the author owns the ISBN and publishes under his/her own imprint) can and do get reviewed by the big reviewers. It's books with a POD or vanity publisher's ISBN that are automatically tossed aside. Just wanted to make that clarification.

Jamesaritchie
08-07-2005, 05:54 AM
It's a matter of time and space. No review source that's any good has enough room to review even a fraction of the books they receive from mainstream publishers. And no reviewer who's any good has time to read even a fraction of the books he receives from mainstream publishers, let alone time enough to wade through stacks of self-pubished books when experience has taught him that 99 our of 100 will be absolutely horrible.

The though is that if a book is any good at all, it should have been published by a legitimate publisher, and this thought is true at least 99% of the time. Most self-published books are horribly written, and like it or not, this is simply a fact.

Good review site have very limited space, and good reviewers have very limited time, and no one wants to review badly written books. Time and space are precious, and there are already far more good books out there than anyone has the time or the space to review.

Glynn
10-25-2006, 05:41 AM
I have a book review blog (http://www.wwwglynnsbooks.blogspot.com) where I prefer to review small-publisher, self-published and POD fiction--and sometimes non-fiction that interests me. If I don't have any small press books to review, I generally review whatever I read, and try to keep up a fairly constant flow of activity at my blog.

I never trash the books I review. Although I may mention a flaw or two in a review, if I can't recommend spending the time and money on a book, I won't review it--simple as that. There's too much good stuff available from small presses and self-publishering & POD to waste time writing reviews of bad books. It I think a book's bad, or not my taste, I probably won't finish much more than a page or two. If I don't like a book, I may write you and tell you why, but I won't promise to do so. I don't charge for book reviews ever, although you do have to send me a free copy that I can keep. I don't return any books I receive whether or not I review them. I also don't edit other people's work or advise them how or where to get editing done. I just review books people send me for free--if I like the books.
Also--
I only review books that exist as published, bound books. No manuscripts, pfc files, or ebooks. Just books.

When I review a book, I provide a link at my blog to the book at Amazon.com (if the book is available there) so the reader can purchase it from my site. I also post all reviews at Amazon.com with a link to my book review blog. Anyone interested in my reviewing their published books should contact me at the address I provide at the blog.

veinglory
10-25-2006, 06:14 AM
Lulu and ERWF forums list places that review self-published books.

JanDarby
10-25-2006, 08:38 PM
Are we talking about fiction or non-fiction?

There are significant opportunities for NON-fiction to do well via the self-publishing route if the author has a platform and is willing to spend the time marketing it, but there are very few examples of fiction doing well via self-publishing.

The business plan of selling a lot of copies of fiction as a means of interesting larger publishers or agents has seldom succeeded, and it would seem premature to go that route if the manuscript hasn't at least been sent out to garner a few rejections from the more traditional route and perhaps run past a critique group or two.

JD

Glynn
10-30-2006, 07:52 PM
Are we talking about fiction or non-fiction?

The business plan of selling a lot of copies of fiction as a means of interesting larger publishers or agents has seldom succeeded, and it would seem premature to go that route if the manuscript hasn't at least been sent out to garner a few rejections from the more traditional route and perhaps run past a critique group or two.JD
I agree that non-fiction is much more likely to do better via self-publishing, but I'm not so sure that POD (as opposed to conventional self-publishing) is necessarily a bad choice for fiction, particularly if you are a writer like me who detests the whole demeaning business of writing an infinite number of query letters (which I have done and for which I have little talent,) to a great host of agents who reply by form letter that they do not want even to see a synopsis (or do not want new clients, or that what I write--based on reading, or not reading--or having an assistant read, a one-page synopsis) or that my work is "not for them."

I have tried that route and the lack of positive results means either that what I write is crap or the conventional system does not work for me. Rather than continue year after year the same fruitless attempts to get published, I've finally decided that the POD route is better, at least for me.

I know that what I write is not crap. Only one of the many agents I have queried has actually seen a manuscript from me and I have no confidence that she actually read more than the first page, and all she had to say was "not for me." I know what I write is better than most of what actually gets into print going the conventional route. If I didn't think so, I'd junk the word processor and take up finger painting.

At least with POD I have a book in hand to share with my friends and to send to POD and small press competitions. Sure, turning a POD into a best seller is a very long shot; like winning the lottery or getting hit by lightning, but from my experience the needle-in-a-haystack business of finding an agent who will sell my manuscript to a big-name publisher is also a very long shot and there's no actual book to show for it after years of effort.

Wishing for something is to depend on luck, but the definition of "hope" is the expectation of success. Since POD means that some people, no matter how few, will actually read my work, it offers me more reason to hope than does conventional publishing. Conventional publishing seems to me to be merely wishing for success since unless and until a receptive agent happens upon my work no one will ever read it.

mooncars
12-04-2006, 12:04 PM
I wrote a book in 2003. It was a journal of my musical recordings. Went with Lulu. When the book arrived, the margins were varied. Many pages looked like broken skinny poetry. The title page was divide over two pages itself. In short, the innards were a complte wreck.

I know it was my lack of skills as to setting up pages properly, but it seems Lulu would have alerted me that it was messed up before actually printing and sending it out.

I still don't have a clue as to setting things up for print, and reading about it seems like gibberish.

Just my two pennorth.

veinglory
12-04-2006, 07:08 PM
Lulu, just being a print, doesn't offer that service. But you do get that review copy and a chance to make changes, as far as I am aware, at no cost?

mooncars
12-04-2006, 07:27 PM
No review copy. Of course this was 3 years ago. They may have changed policies since then. I still couldn't format if you held a gun to my head.

ResearchGuy
12-04-2006, 08:10 PM
I wrote a book in 2003. It was a journal of my musical recordings. Went with Lulu. When the book arrived, the margins were varied. Many pages looked like broken skinny poetry. The title page was divide over two pages itself. In short, the innards were a complete wreck.

I know it was my lack of skills as to setting up pages properly, but it seems Lulu would have alerted me that it was messed up before actually printing and sending it out.

I still don't have a clue as to setting things up for print, and reading about it seems like gibberish.

Just my two pennorth.
Dunno about then, but now, at least, Lulu lets you download and examine the pdf from which the book will be printed, so you can see exactly what it will look like before a single copy is printed.

There are lots of folks who, for a modest fee, will format a document for you. A little asking around will find them. Basically, it takes skill with Word plus familiarity with the conventions of book layout (pagination, section breaks, and so on). These are learnable skills, but not necessarily worth one's time if those skills are not part of one's regular work.

Lulu prints the books, pamphlets, or whatever, but does not provide editorial or design services. And its operation is automated. There is no way anyone would have examined your file for layout problems.

--Ken

mooncars
12-04-2006, 09:50 PM
I use MS Works. Is that like teaching an elephant to play banjo?

ResearchGuy
12-04-2006, 10:06 PM
I use MS Works. Is that like teaching an elephant to play banjo?
Dunno, having never used MS Works. I suspect that Works lacks many of the layout features of Word. But if it can output a Word (.doc) file, then anyone with the needed Word skills could take it from there. Even a plain text (.txt) file would be ok to work from, but might take more hand work.

Some Word features are quite confusing until the user gets the hang of them. But it is not necessarily Word per se that is confusing -- it is concepts of section breaks, headers, footers, margins, paragraph formatting, heading styles, tables of contents, cross-references, and so on.

(Serious professionals use page layout programs, such as InDesign or FrameMaker rather than Word -- I am not that serious, and get by for my purposes with Word.)

--Ken

mooncars
12-04-2006, 10:20 PM
section breaks, headers, footers, margins, paragraph formatting, heading styles, tables of contents, cross-references, and so on.


Aaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks Ken.

Old dog. New tricks. I'm screwed.:ROFL:

Best to you,
Rick

soloset
12-06-2006, 12:07 AM
Did you have a chance to browse Lulu's help forums? There are some really helpful threads on formatting for pdf over there.

And there are several free programs that will make pdfs for you. OpenOffice, Scribus (a little more complicated), even Google's web-based Documents and Spreadsheets (although I found the formatting wasn't as precise as OO's).

Unless you have a lot of fancy stuff you want included, it should be pretty simple.

PatriciaDianne
12-07-2006, 10:52 PM
I would like to know of any positive or negative experiences with Dogear Publishing.

Grampa Joe
04-22-2007, 05:53 PM
I would like to know of any positive or negative experiences with Dogear Publishing.
I had a very good experience with DogEar. It wasn't very expensive and the folks there (Ray, Miles, etc.) were VERY helpful. I recommend DogEar highly and will use them again for my publishing. I guess the best thing I liked about DogEar is the hassle avoidance. They do everything. I own the rights to my book, but they supply the ISBN. The price I had to pay (I used the less expensive route for $899 called the Basic Srvice) included:
Paperback or Hardcover format
Custom interior and cover design with up to 5 images
Up to 10 free paperback books or 5 hardcover (dependent upon format and page count)
Your own Author Representative who provides support throughout the publishing process
Book and author webpage in the Dog Ear Publishing website
Registration with all major online booksellers and national distributors
Registration with Books In Print database providing worldwide availability
Assignment of International Standard Book Number (ISBN)
Library of Congress control number and US Copyright information on the copyright page.
I might add that DogEar uses Lightning Press as the printer, so the books cost for printing is extra $$.

Anthony Ravenscroft
04-22-2007, 09:08 PM
Grampa, I don't want to come across as pickin' on you, but you bring up something I'd like to address to the Peanut Gallery.

I've been dealing with the POD People since 1999 -- let me tell y'all, I Really Really want to see this model succeed. However, most of the associated services have been at least a bit grey (including vendors like Digitz & major players like Ingram), which while not bad individually have swung the door wider for outright scams.

So, there I am on various writing-orientated websites, talking with people who are even bigger beginners than I can recall being. They're trying to figure out whether it's legal to reuse USPS stamps that don't show any cancellation ink (NO!!) & how to squeeze margins a millimeter so their mss. are a few pages shorter & save a few pennies on photocopying, & whether fulls are cheaper to send USPS or FedEx or DHL...

Then they turn around & start talking about "great deals" they're considering, that're "only" $895 or $1,295, that're "only" $15/unit....

Lulu still holds ground at being WYSIWYG, & for that alone I'd rank it highly. If you know in your heart that you're unlikely to sell many copies, look into Lulu -- but if sales start to pick up, you'd be a fool not to go have 1,500 copies done offset.

(Speaking of which. Does anyone know if Lulu will license/sell your PDF layout files back to you, to send off to a commercial book-printer?)