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  • Self-Publishing

    http://www.briankeene.com/?p=3265

    Just in case anyone is thinking about self-publishing their fiction...read this first. (And no, the part about being a mid-list author with an established fan-base does not apply to you unless you are making a decent amount of money from writing...)
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  • #2
    Very nice article; "for every decent self-published novel there are 1,000,000,000 really shitty self-published novels." I know a few self styled "authors" that contribute to the 1,000,000,000.

    Our ignorance is not so vast as our failure to use what we know. ~ M. King Hubbert

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    • #3
      Great article.

      I've been on a bit of a writing kick lately but I am by no means an author.
      Too much work!

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      • #4
        Really good read. Thanks for it! Hopefully people will see it before they try the self-publishing thing.
        "The cosmos is also within us, we're made of star stuff.
        We are a way for the cosmos to know itself."

        Carl Sagan, as quoted by The Symphony of Science

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Infinite Grey View Post
          Very nice article; "for every decent self-published novel there are 1,000,000,000 really pooperiffic self-published novels." I know a few self styled "authors" that contribute to the 1,000,000,000.
          To be fair, for every decent traditionally-published novel there's probably at 500,000,000 really pooperiffic traditionally-published ones.
          Patrick Stewart
          {Historian|Writer|Memeticist|Artist|Transhumanist|Blogger} {in}errant
          Homo sum: humani nil alienum a me puto
          "Every generation has the obligation to free men's minds for a look at new worlds... to look out from a higher plateau than the last generation." - Ellison S. Onizuka
          "The scorn of Nazis is a benediction." - Little Billy
          "Squick is not a valid moral compass." - Chamelaeon

          Did I really just attack you?

          Today's Logical Fallacy: Appeal to Consequences

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Zibblsnrt View Post
            To be fair, for every decent traditionally-published novel there's probably at 500,000,000 really pooperiffic traditionally-published ones.
            ...but at least they're gettin' a paycheck outta it! (As opposed to the self-published author, whose only paychecks most likely come from the friends and family members who bought his/her book out of pity.)
            ________________________________________________________________________

            Buy my latest book, ACHERON, as an exclusive audiobook from Audible.com now!
            (Or sign up for a 30-day trial of Audible.com, and get it for free!)


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            • #7
              Originally posted by BryonMorrigan View Post
              ...but at least they're gettin' a paycheck outta it! (As opposed to the self-published author, whose only paychecks most likely come from the friends and family members who bought his/her book out of pity.)
              A lot of published writers would probably find that a small comfort.

              I dunno, anyway. Either form of publishing isn't going to lead to a lot of money for anyone out of a fairly lucky few in any case. I definitely like people paying attention to how the process works, though, and as far as Yog's Law is being observed by the writers, more power to them in any case.
              Patrick Stewart
              {Historian|Writer|Memeticist|Artist|Transhumanist|Blogger} {in}errant
              Homo sum: humani nil alienum a me puto
              "Every generation has the obligation to free men's minds for a look at new worlds... to look out from a higher plateau than the last generation." - Ellison S. Onizuka
              "The scorn of Nazis is a benediction." - Little Billy
              "Squick is not a valid moral compass." - Chamelaeon

              Did I really just attack you?

              Today's Logical Fallacy: Appeal to Consequences

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Zibblsnrt View Post
                To be fair, for every decent traditionally-published novel there's probably at 500,000,000 really pooperiffic traditionally-published ones.
                No doubt, some are also inexplicably popular, for example Stephenie Meyer. I'll never understand why such below average writing can be so successful, it says a lot about current standards.

                Our ignorance is not so vast as our failure to use what we know. ~ M. King Hubbert

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Infinite Grey View Post
                  No doubt, some are also inexplicably popular, for example Stephenie Meyer. I'll never understand why such below average writing can be so successful, it says a lot about current standards.
                  Folks can have multiple levels of taste, too. I've got a number of Baen-published books or books from the Harry Potter series among my SF/F collection, but there's also plenty of Alastair Reynolds and Robert Charles Wilson there too.

                  The fluffier stuff can have a pretty wide appeal, but it certainly doesn't mean a lot - certainly not all, of course! - of those people aren't also going for various more sophisticated pieces of work with smaller target audiences. (And of course, once something becomes popular enough people read it for social reasons as much as for its own sake.)
                  Patrick Stewart
                  {Historian|Writer|Memeticist|Artist|Transhumanist|Blogger} {in}errant
                  Homo sum: humani nil alienum a me puto
                  "Every generation has the obligation to free men's minds for a look at new worlds... to look out from a higher plateau than the last generation." - Ellison S. Onizuka
                  "The scorn of Nazis is a benediction." - Little Billy
                  "Squick is not a valid moral compass." - Chamelaeon

                  Did I really just attack you?

                  Today's Logical Fallacy: Appeal to Consequences

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Zibblsnrt View Post
                    Folks can have multiple levels of taste, too. I've got a number of Baen-published books or books from the Harry Potter series among my SF/F collection, but there's also plenty of Alastair Reynolds and Robert Charles Wilson there too.

                    The fluffier stuff can have a pretty wide appeal, but it certainly doesn't mean a lot - certainly not all, of course! - of those people aren't also going for various more sophisticated pieces of work with smaller target audiences. (And of course, once something becomes popular enough people read it for social reasons as much as for its own sake.)
                    Oh don't get me wrong, I love me a good does of "junk food" novels, Novellas & Novelettes. I have a few of Rowling's books myself, the difference is that despite their fluffy plots and even writing styles, they're still well written. Meyer's writing is comparison to a high school student's creative writing assignment. The only real redeeming feature of the Twilight series is the endearing supporting characters.

                    Our ignorance is not so vast as our failure to use what we know. ~ M. King Hubbert

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Infinite Grey View Post
                      I have a few of Rowling's books myself, the difference is that despite their fluffy plots and even writing styles, they're still well written. Meyer's writing is comparison to a high school student's creative writing assignment.
                      Yeah, that's why I specified Baen novels.
                      Patrick Stewart
                      {Historian|Writer|Memeticist|Artist|Transhumanist|Blogger} {in}errant
                      Homo sum: humani nil alienum a me puto
                      "Every generation has the obligation to free men's minds for a look at new worlds... to look out from a higher plateau than the last generation." - Ellison S. Onizuka
                      "The scorn of Nazis is a benediction." - Little Billy
                      "Squick is not a valid moral compass." - Chamelaeon

                      Did I really just attack you?

                      Today's Logical Fallacy: Appeal to Consequences

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A few considerations:

                        --The author is writing about self-publishing fiction. Publishing and marketing fiction and nonfiction are two different worlds. With nonfic, it's a lot easier to figure out who your specific target audience is, and it's also much easier to compare your work to existing works on the topic at hand, which makes selling the book easier. I don't self-pub, other than a couple of small ebooklets that I make available for free, but I do work with a small press that uses print on demand technology (and functions as a traditional publisher in all other ways), and there are ways around the not getting into the big box stores thing. Again, though, for fiction it can be different.

                        --The publishing industry is changing. Most of the people who are balking at things like self-publishing, ebooks, print on demand technology, etc. are older people who have been in the industry a good long while, as are the people who are still currently in charge. However, the consumer base is changing as technology changes, and I think we're going to see less stigmatizing of non-traditional routes (though vanity presses still need to be drawn and quartered).

                        --I agree that if you're going to self-publish, hire an editor. The problem isn't self-published authors. The problem is self-published authors who don't hire professional editors.
                        http://www.thegreenwolf.com (my main website with books, artwork and other goodies)
                        http://lupabitch.livejournal.com (I'm quite active on Livejournal)
                        http://paganbookreviews.com(book review blog)
                        http://therioshamanism.com (my path)
                        My Etsy Shop

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                        • #13
                          Self-publication is usually not the way to go if you want to be a serious writer until you have a fan base.
                          The reasons are many.

                          Fist of all, it takes time and effort to get a publishing firm to notice you properly. You have to send out things to EVERYONE and be prepared to not get an OK from anyone your first time around. (One at a time! Not several at once)
                          That's how things work when you start from scratch!

                          Unfortunately a lot of the good self-published writers fail to recognize this and are shooting themselves in the foot, because once you've gone down that road, there might be no turning back.

                          It takes years of writing, years of perfecting your manuscripts and years of sending them out, one at a time, to publishers If you send out more than one at a time publishers are going to turn you down.

                          And if you go with self-publishing you risk:
                          1. to have a far below good quality book
                          2. risk a lot of money and then sitting there with hundreds of copies of it
                          3. No publisher is ever going to touch you
                          4. Never learning to evolve and progress because no one's telling you what you're doing wrong

                          You're not an author just because you write a book, you're not an artist just because you drew a picture, you're not an actor because you were in a school play, you're not a recording artist just because you recorded a song in the school's recording studio and your uncle bought it.

                          An author WILL put the hard work in, will agonize by having their manuscript rejected of the 100th publisher... and an author will keep on trying.
                          The goal is to be a published author, and self-publication rarely counts.
                          It's like a scientist claiming publications when they've printed the magazine out themselves on the local lab's printer.

                          Just because you can, doesn't mean you should, and the easy way is rarely, if ever, the right way to go.
                          Previously known as Njorun Alma


                          "A mind of the calibre of mine cannot derive its nutriment from cows." - George Bernard Shaw

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                          • #14
                            As someone with 30+ years of professional writing, editing, and publishing experience...and almost that long on the Internet...

                            This is all true, as far as it goes. But just as the music industry has seen its traditional hold over bands collapse with the onset of "self-publishing" (i.e. bands recording, mixing, and producing themselves (something I also know quite a bit about)), and just as the movie industry is seeing all kinds of new directors coming out of the woodwork with self-published box office hits (Blair Witch Project, etc.), the book industry is next going to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, and I hope all the overpaid, name-dropping stuck-up book executives lose their jobs and expense accounts soon :-)
                            Are you a real cat lover?
                            http://CatReligion.org - The Order of the Divine Feline

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                            • #15
                              "3. No publisher is ever going to touch you"

                              That's a really broad generalization based on the usual scare hype of the dinosaurs of traditional publishing. While in a lot of cases a self-published author won't get picked up, a lot of the time it's because their writing is subpar to begin with.

                              And at least in the pagan and occult publishing field, self-publishing can actually get you picked up by a publisher--Robert Bartlett's "Real Alchemy", which got nabbed by Weiser, is one example that comes to mind.

                              The publishing industry won't change if people don't take risks to change it.
                              http://www.thegreenwolf.com (my main website with books, artwork and other goodies)
                              http://lupabitch.livejournal.com (I'm quite active on Livejournal)
                              http://paganbookreviews.com(book review blog)
                              http://therioshamanism.com (my path)
                              My Etsy Shop

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