PDA

View Full Version : Self Publishing -which is best?



dascmom
11-24-2009, 11:18 PM
I realize that everyone has an opinion as to whether self-publishing is the way to go or not, but I'm currently looking into it because I've become frustrated with the querying process. For a person who has basic (but not at all advanced) computer skills and wants some help with marketing, and also would like their book listed on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble,(Ingram as well as Baker Taylor for book distribution)... let's see... and doesn't want the book to be way too expensive, do any of you have any suggestions for a self-publishing company that might be a good fit? (It sound like I want it all, and maybe I do, but I don't want the book to retail for too much.) Thanks for the suggestions.

Barbarique
11-25-2009, 12:30 AM
My novel has just been published by Outskirts Press. I'm pleased with the result; however, it was a LOT of work as I, in my OCD fashion, rode herd on them through six months and nine revisions.

If you'd like further details, feel free to PM me. :)

ResearchGuy
11-25-2009, 01:06 AM
. . . a self-publishing company . . ..
If you are self-publishing, you ARE the company.

Presumably you mean subsidy (pay-to-play) publisher. Look around the threads on AW for information on options. And read my booklet on "The Pursuit of Publishing."

Study Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual.

Aventine Press, of San Diego, has a good reputation. So does Booklocker.com. But they will cost you a bunch. Lulu.com has do-it-yourself options and full subsidy-publishing options. Some folks think highly of CreateSpace, if you have the skills for it. Run screaming the other direction from PublishAmerica. Bear in mind that you will have to do ALL of the promotional work, and probably will have to sell pretty much all of the books directly yourself.

--Ken

dascmom
11-25-2009, 01:15 AM
Ken-
How computer savvy do you have to be to use CreateSpace or Lulu? I have LIMITED computer skills.
I don't mind paying for good service but I don't want the book itself to be so expensive that no one can buy it. Also, do you know any self-publishers (or subsidy publishers)who allow returns as that seems to be important?
By the way, I'm reading your booklet right now. It is very helpful. Thanks.

ResearchGuy
11-25-2009, 01:24 AM
Ken-
How computer savvy do you have to be to use CreateSpace or Lulu? I have LIMITED computer skills.
I don't mind paying for good service but I don't want the book itself to be so expensive that no one can buy it. Also, do you know any self-publishers (or subsidy publishers)who allow returns as that seems to be important?
By the way, I'm reading your booklet right now. It is very helpful. Thanks.
In my opinion, to make a good looking book, yes, you need a lot of skills. Mine are pretty good (but not ideal), and I've spent years learning what I know.

"Self-publisher" means the author who controls the project and owns the ISBN. I know that a lot of folks are careless about that distinction. I am not among them. Anyway, sure, books can be priced reasonably BUT you will still be out maybe a couple of thousand dollars up front for services. There is pretty much no chance you will ever earn a net profit. Returns? Oh, maybe, but you'll pay extra for that, too.

The odds of getting a print-on-demand book on bookstore shelves are about as good as bicycling up and down Pike's Peak. Yeah, I guess someone might have done it.

Glad you like the booklet.

--Ken

dascmom
11-25-2009, 01:33 AM
Ken- Are there any subsidy publishers that let you own your ISBN? Are there any companies like Lulu or CreateSpace that do not require you to be a computer specialist and will guide you (a great deal) through the process? (Sorry, but I have SO MANY questions... ) If I was going to go the subsidy route, which do you consider to be the best in terms of pricing, marketing, service? THANK YOU for helping me.

dascmom
11-25-2009, 01:36 AM
Barbarique- I also appreciated your comment. In fact, I sent you a PM. Could you describe the services with which Outskirts Press has provided you? What specifically did you like about them? Thanks.

ResearchGuy
11-25-2009, 01:47 AM
Ken- Are there any subsidy publishers that let you own your ISBN? Are there any companies like Lulu or CreateSpace that do not require you to be a computer specialist and will guide you (a great deal) through the process? (Sorry, but I have SO MANY questions... ) If I was going to go the subsidy route, which do you consider to be the best in terms of pricing, marketing, service? THANK YOU for helping me.
Lulu has an option that lets you buy an ISBN that is issued in your name. I have some of those (although Baker & Taylor still shows the books as coming from Lightning Source). You can pay any of the subsidy publishing companies to do all the work you want, for a couple thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. I cannot tell you which is best. I mentioned a couple that are well regarded. I know folks who have used them. None of them does anything that can be considered marketing in any meaningful sense. It all falls on the author.

Other than Lulu.com, I know of no subsidy publisher that would not own the ISBN in its own name. Might be some, but I don't know them.

I'd have to know a lot more about your book and your goals in order to provide advice. My "Pursuit" booklet boils down the essentials, and reflects conversations with a wide range of writers and publishers over years. Alas, it puts the burden on the reader to do a great deal of homework and thinking.

One key suggestion: take your time. Oh, another: find a local organization of independent publishers (an IBPA or SPAN affiliate), go to meetings, join, learn. An example is www.norcalpa.org (http://www.norcalpa.org) -- I've been in that one for years and cannot tell you how much I have learned. (The website is a bit out of date as we don't currently have a webmaster, and have to make do with part time efforts, albeit by a guy who does know what he is doing when he has the time.)

--Ken

JFBookman
11-25-2009, 01:56 AM
Dascom, I'd like to second Ken's advice to go slow and research thoroughly. I would include in this querying book designers and editors. If you purchase your own ISBN independently from Bowker ($125) you can set up your own account at Lightning Source as a publisher. The advantage to this is that you will be a real self publisher with control of your book and its ISBN. And your books will cost much LESS in the end since you will be paying the printer directly instead of going through a middleman who will mark every one of them up over the lifetime of your book.

If you want a book that's professional looking, you might be surprised to find that you can hire the talent you need pretty economically, in fact for less money than many subsidy (vanity) presses charge. This would also eliminate your computer reticence. You don't really need to learn book design, cover design, editing, etc. just to produce one book. It's not a very efficient way to go about it.

There are many informative articles about this subject on my blog, link in my signature file. Good luck!

Barbarique
11-25-2009, 04:04 AM
In fact, I sent you a PM.

I've sent a reply. :)