A question for those who are self-published

Balthazar

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:)I'm just curious about something. For those of you who have gone the route of self-publishing, why did you do it? I am not up on all the various methods, but I have heard a lot of different terms: Publish on Demand, Lulu, Publish America, E-books and so forth.

I am sure everyone has a different reason for going this route, but what I want to know is this something that people do when all other traditional publishing opportunities are spent? Or is it something that is done in tandem with trying to find a mainstream publisher?

Or do people just want to see their work typeset and between the pages of a hardbound book?

Thanks
 

Marky Lazer

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I haven't been down this road, but I have read self-published novels and I have to say that I understand why they're self-published, if you know what I mean.
 

Marky Lazer

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I don't claim all self-published novels are rubbish or something. But I can see why they haven't been "really" published. I read a novel: Remember to Blink by Jason Heim, which is a great read, but I can see why it didn't get published.
 

scalem X

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I'm sure you'll get quite some replies to this thread from those who have done self publishing, but while we're waiting I'll sum up the reasons I've heard of:

1 -They just want their novel out there (for themselves, family and friends).
2 -They have a channel through which they can reach a decent public and therefore don't really have to bother with publishers (like if you attend fairs every weekend and can sell there about three books every week or so)
3 -Authors who self publish out of print books to supply to people who ask them.
4 -Charlatans who want to sell books with rubbish, with or without a free lucky charm.
5 -Specialized books, which no Editor will even consider because they are so specialized, but you know the circuit. (alse see number 2)

and many others.
 

Teresa Edgerton

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Well, scalem, you've said everything I would have said, if I had said it.

Sometimes, young scallywag, you come across as very wise.
 
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scalem X

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Sometimes, young scallawag, you come across as very wise
:eek:
With a major stress on SOMETIMES:D and on COME ACROSS:D.

No, the thing is I've read a lot on chronicles (in three years), so have I for example read every single post in the humour section.:p
 
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Teresa Edgerton

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Now, now, scalem, don't put emphasis where I haven't done it myself. I know where to find the italics key. None better.
 

Knulp

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Of course there are the self-published books which then get 'spotted' by a publisher and picked up. That happened with Tunnels on this side of the pond, and didn't something similar happen with Eragon (opinions on that book aside)?
 

daisybee

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I think scalem is right with those reasons-I have been looking into Lulu merely for a one off collection of some of my poems for my mum. :eek:Soft I know. Anyway, I like Lulu's attitude about self publishing, there are no false promises. I can see why poets, and specialist writers go down that route, to carve out their own sales in small markets. That said, I would never consider publishing a novel in this manner, simply because I think it takes a lot of work and experience to create a strong novel-fantasy or otherwise. I think you need that for a novel-someone to point out the impossibilities and bad grammar of your work - to send you away till you get it right. To self publish a novel is both brave and nuts I reckon, so good on anyone who does it and does well from it. :)
 

Rik Roots

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I think scalem is right with those reasons-I have been looking into Lulu merely for a one off collection of some of my poems for my mum. :eek:Soft I know. Anyway, I like Lulu's attitude about self publishing, there are no false promises. I can see why poets, and specialist writers go down that route, to carve out their own sales in small markets.
Do it. Lulu.com is perfect for that sort of small distribution product. I published a book of poems via lulu.com and have no regrets.
 

scalem X

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Maybe it is indeed a nice way to distribute poems. Never really thought about it. After all, besides contests and a magazine here and there, I guess it's very hard nowadays to get a whole collection of poems published (very hard compared to a novel which is already very hard to get published).

After all poem bundles are nice presents even when you didn't write them, while your book 'The Wrath of Acklabar' might be a bit weird of a gift.:p
 

Havlen

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There are some good reasons for self-publishing. Two good examples are when the author has built-in marketing, such as someone who gives speeches at businesses for improving customer service who writes a customer service book and sells it at these speeches, or books with regional-at-best interest. Also, books such as family histories that are printed mainly for family and friends are good for services like Lulu.com.

For those wanting mainstream distribution, personally, I think it would be better to table the manuscript if all possibilities are exhausted, write a new novel, get it published, and then take the manuscript out of the dustbin. I think that would give far better oppurtunities for the book than going the self-publishing route. (I believe Carrie was a dustbin book by King that was picked up after he had other books published.)

While there are some success stories, the percentages are in the same area or worse than the percentages of being picked up by a slush pile.

Personally, I have a novel I feel strongly about that might have a hard time being picked up because it is set in a world with superheroes and superhero books that aren't based on comic books are probably a hard sale, but I'll be resisting any self-publishing route in favor of trying to write a book that might attract attention and then selling them on the superhero book later.
 

Balthazar

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Thanks for all the replies. Some interesting comments. Yes, I do believe that Eragon was self-published first and then picked up by one of the big houses.


Lucky little brat.

Just kidding.
 

dustinzgirl

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I self published to share with friends and family on lulu, sort of to test it out. Then after I sold about 50, mostly to my nana, I took it down. The reason I did this is because I wanted feedback so I could work on it more, without paying for feedback cuz I'm cheap like that :D So, I'm kind of the oddball, I don't take it as seriously as I probably should. Like I always tell my nana, I'm a woman with great vision but terrible execution. :p
 

Teresa Edgerton

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Yes, I do believe that Eragon was self-published first and then picked up by one of the big houses.

Well, this is apparently one of those stories that gets passed around so often we all end up believing it. But Paolini's parents already ran a small publishing house when they decided to publish their son's book.

Here's a link that tells some of the background:

http://jimhines.livejournal.com/313073.html
 

Kissmequick

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Can I buy his parents?

How about the Rev Graham Taylor, and his book Shadowmancer? He sold his motorbike to pay for self publishing, hocked it around car boot sales and church fetes and it became very popular, then it came to the notice of someone at Faber. He now has a four book deal with them, and sold the film rights for over £2 million

I'd post the link but I'm not allowed yet.
 

Mark Robson

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Well I also started self-published, but I would agree with Marky's first comment. I can now see the flaws in my first book that prevented me from being picked up at that stage. Even given the self published sales success of that book (and the others in the series that I never sent to publishers) and my subsequent deal with Simon & Schuster for later titles, I would still say the two publishers and 6 literary agents I sent 'The Forging of the Sword' to were right to reject it. The publishers may pass stuff over that eventually makes it big, but they don't do it that often.
 

DMatusik

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I often see the extremes of this argument represented, but nothing in the middle. On one side, you have absolute rubbish that's self published while on the other you have perfection on a traditionally-printed page.

I have read several professionally-produced books that were awful; typos, grammatical errors - not even factoring in content, for the moment. I have also seen self-published fiction and non-fiction that was outstanding and not a single detail was missed.

Yes, self-publishing can lower the bar but the converse of that statement isn't necessarily true. Authors are up against time, quotas, editors' moods and all sorts of intangibles which can cause a perfectly good story to get rejected.
 

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