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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-03-11 02:50 PM
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On self publishing
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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-03-11 04:44 PM
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1. She's not alone
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-03-11 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I know many mid list writers
are just giving up om the "mainstream"
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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-03-11 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I've been the NYC paperback route -- never again
Incompetent editors, lousy covers, no PR, and pathetic royalties on top of everything.

The only downside I can see to self-e-publishing is that there is sooooooooooooooooo much dreck out there. Readers used to be able to go into a bookstore and know that they had probably a 50/50 chance of getting something at least marginally readable if they were picking up something by an unknown-to-them author. Now, there's a much better than even chance that it's crap.

Because there is a lot of crap being self-e-published. A lot.



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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-03-11 11:49 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. As a reader, that's my problem with
self-published books. Every time I buy one, I wind up regretting it.
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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-04-11 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. There's a big difference, though, between self-published paper
and self-published e that "protects" the reader.

Paper is essentially cast in stone (pun intended). The self-publishing author (SPA) who opts for paper has one shot, and it's an expensive one, even with POD.

Epublishing, otoh, leaves the product available for unlimited revisions. Reviews are available at the point of sale. There are usually free samples. Savvy buyers who still have taste buds -- I'm convinced many have lost theirs entirely -- can still be discriminating and get the good stuff if they're willing to look.

An acquaintance recently alerted me to a couple of books put on Amazon Kindle by a first-time author. The books were priced at the upper end ($9.99) and were heavily promoted on the author's website. The acquaintance read the free samples and told me they were awful; would I, being a writer, take a look and let her know if I agreed with her assessment?

I looked, and I agreed. The books were formatted wrong for Amazon and so badly that they were virtually unreadable -- no paragraph indents, quotation marks missing throughout, etc. The writing itself was horrible, but that's another whole issue. Had the books been PRINTED like this, they'd have been out there and unalterable. In e-format, they could be reviewed, reformatted, and returned to the "catalog." The author, thinking she could make big bucks at the higher price eventually figured out no one was buying an unknown at top dollar and lowered her price.

E-publishing offers, as far as I'm concerned, much more opportunities for writers and readers than print ever could just by their natures.

I think the next few years are going to see a virtual revolution (pun again intended) as e-publishing and e-reading advance.

1. Price of e-reading devices will drop dramatically. Under $100? Certainly. Under $50? Probably. Under $25? Very possible.

2. Development of a library e-reader (or library app?) that allows limited-time downloads on dedicated ereaders that don't have to be physically brought back to the "library." This would be great for people with transportation or mobility difficulties as well as limited budgets.

3. Development of dedicated education e-readers for downloading of customizeable e-text books for schools. (The techy BF told me he saw something related to this in the news a week or so ago.)

There are a lot of middlemen -- booksellers primarily -- who will not welcome this revolution, but I'm sure the carriage makers resented the horseless carriage, too. I think e-readers will prove to be as liberating as moveable type, maybe even more so.


TG, who can't afford even an inexpensive e-reader but loves her free Kindle for PC
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MorningGlow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. I do wonder how many authors can police themselves
How many SP authors know how to format, plus know proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation...not to mention realize when they're writing crap and rewrite it and/or edit it to be a better story?

When SP authors say they're writing "for themselves", that can veer dangerously into vanity territory, making for more dreck. I'm not saying the editors at publishing houses always make good choices when it comes to editing authors' work, but having "other eyes" check a MS helps a lot.

I'm also a little alarmed that the SP author at the link in the OP said she's writing what her fans want. Yikes, plot by committee--there's a sign of the apocalypse!
:rofl:
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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Writing what readers/fans want
Lisle writes sf/f, which can be very much fan driven. But when publishers dictate what they will and will not publish based on how many copies they can sell, authors end up restricted. Very often a small faction of fans will latch onto a character in one book and want a sequel written featuring that character -- this happens a lot in romance -- but if the publisher doesn't think they can sell enough copies, the book will never see the light of day. Writing the book for the e-market, on the other hand, can produce sufficient royalties to make it financially feasible for the author when it wouldn't be feasible for a print publisher.

This may also be more along the lines of what the author wants to write. This is precisely what is driving Connie Brockway's foray into e-publishing (which has been slightly derailed by her going with Amazon's publishing arm) -- a desire to write books that may not be financially lucrative enough for the print publishers.

As for whether self-published authors are capable of formatting, dealing with grammar, etc., there's no reason why not. Every print-published author was unpublished at one point and wrote well enough to get a manuscript accepted, so it stands to reason that self-publishing writers have the ability to learn the same skills.

Are they capable of recognizing dreck when they write it? :shrug: Who knows? Even readers reading publishing books disagree on the merits of individual books, so sometimes it may just be a matter of opinion. I think we've all read print books that we wondered what drugs the editor was on when he/she acquired that title. And I for one have read many an unpublished manuscript that's better than a lot of stuff in print.

So again, it's ultimately going to be up to the reader to determine. I just checked my Kindle library and I have 19 free samples of books I decided not to buy. Of the 19, 16 are by authors who are ONLY self-e-published -- in other words, their works have never been accepted by traditional publishers -- and in 16 of the 16 cases, the reason for my not buying the full novel after reading the sample is that in my humble opinion, they are badly written books. Yes, every single one.

But I am only one reader. I hated the Clan of the Cave Bear series, too, so maybe my reading tastes are not representative.



TG
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DavidDvorkin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-03-11 06:45 PM
Response to Original message
3. I suppose I would qualify as one of
those former midlist writers who gave up and turned to self-publishing.

No riches yet, but the stress level has dropped enormously, and I feel liberated as a writer.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-04-11 12:25 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Hi, I thought about you, immediately
I did this for my RPG... but reworking fiction for more gritty and adult ... and I will not go through a publishing house... no way...

I will do this myself again.

I am also working on a series of short stories.
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carolinayellowdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
8. similar trajectory with my non-fiction
Now working on three projects for a new publisher that just released its first book, simultaneously in print and as an e-book. All the writers involved in the collaboration have been published by a major trade press, or a university press, and don't see either of those options as feasible for the kind of material we're working on.

The motives for fiction writers moving to self-publishing are pretty well laid out in this thread. For scholars working with forgotten 19th century authors, the motive is simply that no one sees any commercial market for the material. What we care about is promoting historical scholarship, and quality annotated editions of long-OP primary sources are crucial to that enterprise. Amen to the sense of freedom the new electronic landscape gives a writer.
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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Yes, yes, yes, a bazillion times yes!
At least from my perspective, the e-format for small-audience scholarly non-fiction is a true blessing.

Can you reveal which authors you're working on?




TG
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carolinayellowdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Sarah Stanley Grimke is my big project, but two others are here:
Edited on Fri Aug-05-11 07:25 PM by carolinayellowdog
http://www.thetyphonpress.com/catalog.html

I'm Paul Johnson. Have a chapter for the collection on Con Artists... etc. that includes a dozen minor characters, and will help with editing and annotating the Ghost Land edition. But my interests are more 19thc political history, Americans of mixed race, abolitionism etc. than occultism. Spiritualism etc., and the Grimke family story endlessly fascinates me. Here are wikipedia entries on my heroine's husband and daughter; it's my job to earn her one for herself:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archibald_Grimk%C3%A9
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angelina_Weld_Grimk%C3%A9

Sarah has been out of print since 1900 and confidently predicted that no one would value her books for at least a hundred years. It's quite a responsibility to bring an author back to life after such an interval and to make her meaningful to contemporary readers. Wish me luck.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. Yep, very much so
I do not even see a scholarly press picking this up right now.

And there is another factor... I want the "little people" to pick it up... and a scholarly print run will put out of reach... at average 45 \book, and sky is limit.

So self publishing and selling for dirt cheap is my option to put it into people's hands.
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