publish and be damned?

Discussion in 'General Writing Discussion' started by springs, Mar 6, 2012.

?

what's your preferred option?

  1. traditional

    20 vote(s)
    62.5%
  2. e publish

    3 vote(s)
    9.4%
  3. no preference

    9 vote(s)
    28.1%
  1.  
    springs

    springs Juggling life

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    Ooh, getting controversial in my old age.

    I've worked around books for a lot of years. Now I look around and think; there's more - and less - opportunity than ever.

    This isn't about quality - about putting rubbish out - but about where we see the best opportunity.

    And the q. is, where is that?
  2.  
    David Evil Overlord

    David Evil Overlord Censored Member

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    A friend of mine is tempted to go the e-publishing route. Mainly because she's sick to death of agents who can't even be bothered with a form email rejection.
  3.  
    Scott R. Forshaw

    Scott R. Forshaw The Darth Knight

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    I think if it's good enough it'll be given a chance - even if it means trawling through every publisher under the sun before it gets its moment of glory.

    The problem with e-publishing is where do you begin to seperate the diabolical from the sublime? There is no straightforward answer, and the only real way to find out is to begin to read what's out there - good and bad. And there lies the problem - eventually boredom will get the better of even the most hardened of book-worms if everything they pick up is an abomination.

    My personal view would be to stick with it; some sensible publisher will come along at some point, and see the potential if the story is well writen and captivating.
  4.  
    Warren_Paul

    Warren_Paul Banishment this world!

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    From what I've seen, and apart from the odd exception, traditional publishing has always got more sales, and is respected more by readers. Now, there are certainly cases for successful e-books that work out just as well as traditionally published but I believe these are few and far between.
  5.  
    David Evil Overlord

    David Evil Overlord Censored Member

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    I sent her an email yesterday, telling her that one day those publishers will spend a portion of each day kicking themselves for failing to recognise the Next Big Thing. Got a much-needed laugh out of a sad girl.

    She is in that "trawling through every publisher under the sun" phase. It's kind of like Sisyphus and that boulder of his.
  6.  
    Glitch

    Glitch #452

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    At the moment I think people like the feel of a real book, but that's not to say you shouldn't look at ebooks. Ideally you would want to do both.

    The problem, as I see it, is marketing. If people don't know about your book they are not going buy/download it. A book store is probably going to display a new book from a respected publisher. Can you get the same level of attention?
  7.  
    David Evil Overlord

    David Evil Overlord Censored Member

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    Next you'll be saying that Dragging LexLuthorCon Triumvirus was a steaming pile of self-published dragon s**t...oh, wait a minute...:p
  8.  
    Scott R. Forshaw

    Scott R. Forshaw The Darth Knight

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    The insanity very nearly descended there, didn't it? I'm glad you scrambled back away from the edge in the nick of time. :p

    In regard to the publishing industry, I think it's a case of finding that precise window of opportunity. Publishers on a whole don't publish an awful lot in the grand scheme of things, but when something good comes along, and it fits their criteria, they'll jump all over it if it's good enough.

    Springs, I beg you to stick with it; your writing deserves more than a kindle screen. It deserves to be bound between sheet upon sheet of wonderful smelling paper. To be touched, adored, to have its pages torn in eagerness to reach the next chapter...

    Let's not forget: Rome wasn't built in a day; Jk Rowling almost gave up... but didn't, and look what happened to her! And being of an Irish persuasion, I'm sure Springs will understand when I say: good things come to those who wait. ;)
  9.  
    springs

    springs Juggling life

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    :eek: TY. What about a rose smelling kindle screen?:)

    I have to be honest, I don't even have a e reader, nor want one, but I read an article, danged if I can find it, though, probably away with the recycling, that essentially said the big publishers are holding their horns in and waiting to see what way it goes. I suspect a year or two might clear the picture for us all, and I genuinely believe open opportunities for all of us, and I hope in both mediums. Cos I love to hold a proper book - and I'd like to be in a proper book. :)

    in the meantime, book retailing is rubbish, shops are closing all the time, while amazon goes from biggest to - erm- let's hope not; only?:eek:
  10.  
    David Evil Overlord

    David Evil Overlord Censored Member

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    If smell-technology takes off with e-readers, there will be no more zombie stories...:eek:
  11.  
    springs

    springs Juggling life

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    Of course there will - damp rotting earth scented? Pestilence d'eau? Pus filled wounds? There is no limit
  12.  
    Glitch

    Glitch #452

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    What agent would turn you down with prose like that! :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012
  13.  
    Scott R. Forshaw

    Scott R. Forshaw The Darth Knight

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    Let's be honest, Amazon has its heart set on world domination; it's the illuminati of book retailers... :rolleyes: But let's look at it logically - will books ever die? No, they won't, because the likes of you and me, and all the other folk around here want to 'feel' a book as well as read it. We'll always buy books, and so will millions of others around the world. So as a result, the death of the traditional book wouldn't be a viable option.

    Piracy hit the music and film industries hard, but people didn't stop recording songs or making movies, did they? They took it on the chin and carried on, much the same as publishing houses will do in the future; where there's demand, there will always be supply. They can dress it up how they like, scaremonger, cry poverty, but in truth they will never cease doing what they have always done - and that's publish books. These companies will evolve, no doubt, but they will never give up on what they believe in.

    We all need to hold our nerve in these dark times, and try our very best not to sell our souls to malign forces of Amazon. :eek: *Draws lightsaber, and charges the kettle... "Die droid, die!"*
  14.  
    Glitch

    Glitch #452

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    Hmmm, kettle v's Scott - my money's on the kettle :p ever an optimist ;)
  15.  
    David Evil Overlord

    David Evil Overlord Censored Member

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    You've never smelled a rotted corpse, have you?

    One with a sense of smell?

    I'm sorry, I lost my train of thought when you started talking about dominating Amazons.

    Curse that Kettle Of Evil!
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012
  16.  
    Gumboot

    Gumboot lorcutus.tolere

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    I've encountered this dilemma myself recently, and already have my book with publishers, but unless they come back with a particularly appealing offer I'm going to say "no thanks". The terms offered by most publishers to first time authors are frankly insulting.

    eBook self-publishing offers vastly greater potential for return, but it does mean more work for the author (actually that's debatable. Most publishers won't do diddly to promote a new author so you'll still have to work your rear off to make any progress regardless of which way you take it).

    I think the danger with eBooks is to think "I can do it all myself" and progress from there to "I should do it all myself". If you approach it as a serious business venture I think it can work. I won't be editing my book. I have a marketing manager, and we're putting in place a comprehensive marketing campaign. I am using every single contact I have to make this work, and I am somewhat fortunate in that I have considerable contacts; we're talking award-winning filmmakers, VFX artists who work at Weta Digital (LOTR, Tintin, Avatar, etc...), highly skilled designers, professionally designed website, a social media marketing campaign, media tie-ins, the list goes on and on and on. Aside from the donated efforts and deferred payment work, I'm expecting to invest thousands of dollars into the project myself. We're registering a company, and so on.

    I suppose if you didn't have the contacts to draw on that sort of talent, or didn't have the resources to hire such people, it could be near impossible, but for me personally, traditional publishing just doesn't make sense any more.
  17.  
    Bowler1

    Bowler1 Senile Member

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    The whole range is being discussed here from the traditional route to the Gumboot route (good luck by the way). I think the industry is under going massive change, there will still be a market for books; but I think electronic formats are here to stay.

    What is missing is a trusted source of material, Amazon have missed that boat and allow anyone who want to publish. At some point online books - and only online - will go through a vetting process, a new business venture. A combination of the old industry and new, until then, confusion will exsist for readers and sadly writers.

    I think there is more change to come; the end result is not here yet.
  18.  
    springs

    springs Juggling life

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    I actually think there's a fantastic business opportunity out there, sadly I'd have no idea how to go about it, but to go down the xxx reccommends, trip advisor (yes, I know they have their problems, but it's still somewhere I go to to check things out) route for books, because if they can tie down the quality assurance aspect of e books, then it becomes a much, much more viable option. I've still to vote here - I don't have a clue which model is best cos I'm with Bowler, in a couple of years the whole market will have changed, and I'm sort of saying I'm better biding my time, not hitting in when its in a state of flux (ergo risk-adverse), but wait until it's settled down and I can give myself a better chance - whichever route I take.
  19.  
    Peter Graham

    Peter Graham New Member

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    The devil is in the detail. I cannot see many circumstances under which any self publishing initiative could genuinely assuage the concerns of intelligent readers about quality control.

    The whole point of self publishing is to Do It Oneself. The companies who help you with that have a vested interest in churning out as much as possible, as otherwise they don't get paid.

    Matador might just cut the mustard, but at present they still look like the poor cousin of proper publishing. Offering a sop to quality won't convince folk for very long.

    The traditional model - which can work for e-books aswell as paper books - ensures quality because the publishers and agents only get paid if a book sells. They therefore have a vested interest in only promoting work which they think is good. And given that they are very well placed to judge what is good and what is not, the reader can have confidence that their books cross a certain quality threshold.

    So, as long as authors are paying for the privilege of publishing, vanity publishers will continue to prosper.

    Regards,

    Peter
  20.  
    Gumboot

    Gumboot lorcutus.tolere

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    What is going to change is that the old publishing houses are going to be left behind by a new generation of online publishing houses. eBook publishing has very little overhead for the publisher which means the total sum of their investment in a new writer is an artist to produce a cover, a bunch of technical people for the format conversions, and an editor.

    Traditional publishing requires an enormous investment and enormous risk from the publisher. What is happening now with eBooks is what happened in the early days of traditional publishing; it's the wild west and every man and his dog can publish. Readers have to wade through garbage. But as new publishing brands establish themselves readers will flock to the works they release.

    What has changed, however, is the speed at which news spreads. The internet, and in particular social media, enables word to get out in a matter of weeks if a work is any good or not, so the good are quickly rewarded, even when buried in the rubble.

    But perhaps more importantly, the eBook revolution has dramatically reduced the cost of a book, which lowers the necessary standard. If you're spending ~$40 on a hardcover book you want to make damn sure it's actually good before paying for it. If you're paying $2 for a book you're less likely to care. You can buy 20 books for the same price, and even if only 1 in 20 is worth actually reading, you still end up with the same thing; a good read for $40.

    eBook buying is an impulse buy, and you can sell copies to thousands of people who might never even read the book. And they're far less likely to care if your book is actually any good or not. A couple of positive reviews on Amazon might be enough to convince them to fork out less that the cost of a coffee.

    The world of publishing is changing dramatically in favour of the writer, and as writers we should be very pleased and excited with this.
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