View Full Version : The pros and cons of Kindle self-publishing?

04-02-2013, 01:03 PM
I'm a writer myself, but have not had time to really work on editing my journals into manuscript; I'm in college and even though I'm only a half-time student, I'm backlogged with two , 5-6 pp. essays to write and strongly considering applying to another, far more creative/liberal arts-based university for creative writing major. New Mexico State, while offering English-emphasis: creative writing; is more of a agricultural-science, engineering, education, business university.[ SUNY's Purchase College-a top liberal, LGBT-friendly, 90% creative/performing arts university offers the BA; while SUNY Potsdam has both BA and BFA. California College for the Arts is also tops-but costly. All are highly rated.]
Anyway, cut to the chase here; I'm considering eventually publishing with Create Space [ Amazon]. This after discovering the TRUTH about PUBLISH AMERICA! My acquaintance who's in our English-CW emphasis BA gave me this sheet from her professor; " Stay away from Publish America! Google Search will reveal why". My friend, the one who has yet to publish on Kindle but switched to Create Space from PA; he said the same, " No I would not recommend Publish America!" [They demanded he " buy back the publishing rights" for $150. Having sent the money last June, he has yet to hear back from PA".
I told him that I did not know too much about Kindle by Amazon; just that several of my co-students here at NMSU love it. One grad student in teaching/education Masters program said she buys/downloads all of her textbooks which are available on Kindle; said that it " lightens the load in backpack and is easier, more popular with busy people for all books".
Anyway, what are the pros and cons of self-publishing in Kindle? Currently he just self-published his third book with Create Space, after twice using the notorious Publish America [for his The Lonely Hill and The Woolridge Tale]; that one being The Ghost of Scheherazade. I don't know what to tell him, or myself, except what my grad student friend said.

04-02-2013, 02:11 PM
Moving to Self Publishing

04-02-2013, 08:22 PM
Do you want the pros and cons of self-publishing in general or specifically in publishing using Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing?

Ann Joyce
04-02-2013, 11:05 PM
lezbelle, Welcome to AW. :welcome: You've come to the right place to learn the answers to your questions. The best thing to do to get started is to read through the related threads in this forum. You'll find many have walked this way before you and there is a wealth of info just waiting to be gleaned right here, already written.

You may also find some helpful tips in the E-Publishing catagory. After you've spent some time availing yourself of the threads that interest you or pertain to you, you can always ask the questions you didn't find answers for. You will be sure to get the help you need.

I wish you much success in whatever you decide to do!

04-03-2013, 12:10 AM
Just to clarify, there are many other options than PA or Createspace. It'd be worth it to do research into all the options. Luckily, you picked a good place to start.

Michael Davis
04-03-2013, 04:02 AM
I've done it both ways. My preference? A recognized publisher hands down. More sales for me, they pay for quality editors and cover art and product source distribution to a wide network. That's MTCW.

Alice Xavier
04-03-2013, 08:38 PM
Do you want the pros and cons of self-publishing in general or specifically in publishing using Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing?
Seconding this. Pros and cons in what context?

In the realm of self-publishing, lots of nice pros and very few cons, but if you're asking about it in general and are also considering traditional publication, your answer will change.

I can answer in the context of just self publishing:

-70% royalties (if you price your stuff between 2.99 and 9.99)
-Amazon's insane book/content-selling infrastructure
-Good reporting tools and UI
-Relatively simple formatting requirements and submission process (I just upload Word docs and my ebooks look fantastic)
-Reliable, consistent payouts.
-You can set up an author profile on Author Central and link it to your Amazon books and blog and Twitter and stuff.
-I have not used CreateSpace personally, but everyone I know who has has had a good, painless experience. And no fishy business either.

-Tread very carefully with KDP Select (where you make your book Amazon exclusive in exchange for some perks) because they've been known to accuse you of breaching their terms if some jackass pirates your content.
-Stricter content rules than B&N and other vendors. But this is more an issue if you write erotica.

04-03-2013, 08:44 PM
Publishing what exactly, and for what reasons?

The pros are: you are self-published in ebook form on Amazon
The cons are: you are self-published in ebook form on Amazon

If you use your real name the work will probably come up in searches by potential colleges, employers, stalkers etc and make whatever impression it makes.

Alice Xavier
04-03-2013, 08:50 PM
Well, I'm getting the idea that his publication will have some academic purpose, so you don't have the same stigma issues as you do with publishing a creative work.

I went to a top notch college, and in a couple of classes we had Lulu-printed text books by other professors. It's a common thing (and the purpose of small university presses, even though you don't really need the university press if you have CreateSpace and Lulu), so maybe 'being self-published on Amazon' isn't necessarily something the OP is concerned about, if he just wants to get professionally bound copies of his academic work in the hands of colleagues. If that's the case, then CreateSpace or Lulu is a good choice.

04-03-2013, 08:57 PM
If it is academic work you will have the stigma of not having chosen a peer-reviewed/juried/editorially-reviewed venue. Which is arguably worse?

If you just need bound copies, there is always Kinkos.

Alice Xavier
04-03-2013, 09:03 PM
Yeah true. I think the issue is that we don't know exactly what the OP needs, either.

Maybe he does have a peer-reviewed thing and wants to go a step above the regular comb-bound book for the physical copies? Dunno.

04-13-2013, 07:17 PM
So far the biggest pros for me on KDP Select have been:

(1) ONCE YOUR BOOK STARTS DOING WELL THEY WILL MARKET FOR YOU!! I love getting emails asking me if I'd be interested in downloading my own book. Very cool.
(2) Ease of use.
(3) Freedom to publish on my own terms - i.e., freedom to tell my story, without worrying about word counts or other requirements.
(3) 70% royalty.
(4) It is very difficult for almost all of us to sign with a traditional publisher.

(1.a) No marketing help from the start. Sign with a big publisher, and they'll do their best to make people know about your work.
(1.b.) Sink or swim. It can be hard to get a book rolling, and if you can't sell it to anyone, nobody is going to help you.
(2) No editors, marketers, cover artists, etc. You are in charge of every aspect of the operation, which can be daunting and difficult.

04-13-2013, 08:12 PM
Sign with a big publisher, and they'll do their best to make people know about your work.

That's not even a sure thing. I know writers who've had to basically promote themselves because they weren't Dean Koontz or Nora Roberts.

04-13-2013, 08:27 PM
Most marketing is invisible, though. They're trying to get your book into bookstores at least. Not all make it in, but there's a push for it.

Laer Carroll
04-13-2013, 10:20 PM
Lezbelle, please add some paragraphing to your posts. Your post was torturous to read.

Iíve self-published six books so far, each as CreateSpace print-on-demand 6x9 trade paperbacks and ebooks for Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Iíve been reasonably happy with my experience. It pretty much matches what others have said about the pros and cons.