Advices and help on self-publishing

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Asperatus
 
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Advices and help on self-publishing

Postby Asperatus » Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:35 am

Hi there all,

I am about to finish my first book and I am exploring the possibility of self-publishing. As I've searched the internet I found this option very good and most likely I will try to self -publish myself.
I know there are lots of online guides and tips and know-hows on how to successfully complete the process. But, I value your experience more, and if you recently self-published your work and are willing to share advices it would be great! So can you help a little bit? :D

Thank you for your time!!

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pls
 
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Re: Advices and help on self-publishing

Postby pls » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:48 am

Here's what I did. I've written several YA novels, and I posted an entire series on Smashwords, which then distributed them all to other venues (except Amazon, which acts like the 900-pound gorilla and so far has resisted any kind of an alliance with Smashwords). I uploaded the novels to Amazon myself to find that Amazon outsells all other e-book venues by a large margin.

Network as much as you can. Join online groups (such as Facebook groups) and post intelligent ideas (not just "So true" and "I agree") in the forums. Communicate with other writers. Offer constructive suggestions for improvement when the opportunity arises. Be active locally in groups and your library. Try to get your name out there as someone who is reliable and useful.

I am currently offering the first novel in the series for free and the second at a reduced price ($1.99). The others are still at "full" price of $2.99. You'll have to gauge the market yourself, based on your sales patterns, and react accordingly, but be prepared for single-digit sales over a time period, as books are not selling well right now.

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wondo
 
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Re: Advices and help on self-publishing

Postby wondo » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:26 am

Everything Paul said is pertinent. I find though, for me, Amazon is the slowest sales site. I do much better on the Smashwords affiliates. I am currently producing a POD version of my the first fantasy novel series on CreateSpace. I am hoping that this will improve the ebook version of the book. I will publish several more novels in the series this year (they are written but in various stages of editing, so are not yet ready for publication). My thinking is that since I did not enroll the book in the KDP Select program Amazon is suppressing the novel in search results. There is no comparable program, to my knowledge, for the POD versions so it is my hope that the POD version will pull the Ebook version up in results as they should appear alongside the POD version in search results. That is my thinking. Of course, I have been wrong before.
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pls
 
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Re: Advices and help on self-publishing

Postby pls » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:27 am

Wondo, you need an avatar!

I've held off on creating a POD version of any of my novels, as sales have been too slow for me to warrant such an endeavor. Keep us informed on your experiences with POD, Wondo.

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wondo
 
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Re: Advices and help on self-publishing

Postby wondo » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:57 pm

Is that better, Paul? It is tiny but the blasted uploader kept slapping my hand until I had it so tiny you can't see it with binoculars. Anyway, I have read that Kindle suppresses search results for any ebooks not enrolled in KDP Select. Since my sales on Smashwords are doing okay, my feeling is that Kindle is holding my sales down. I don't want to enroll in KDP Select and kill my sales elsewhere. I haven't heard of anything similar for CreateSpace books so I figure I will start putting some of them up as PODs. it doesn't cost anything until you decide to allow distribution into other sites, then it is only 25 bucks. Any search for novels like mine should turn up the PODs. The ebook versions should show up alongside. I am hoping it will jumpstart my ebooks and sell some PODs to boot. Time will tell.
This is all one big experiment for all of us. So far I am happy that I have chosen to self publish. I am making a bit of cash, seeing my sales rise and learning things I didn't know before. I will never probably have a best seller, but that isn't my goal. My goal is simply to make some money writing and that is what I am doing.
A garden is a place not just for growing plants. It is a place to grow the soul as well.

http://www.mossyfeetbooks.com/

http://www.facebook.com/ae.mableson

http://www.indianaplaces.com/

http://www.aemableson.com

Asperatus
 
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Re: Advices and help on self-publishing

Postby Asperatus » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:42 am

Hi all...

Thank you pls and Wondo for your quick replies. Surely, I will pass the POD for now. I will still focus on eBook self-publishing and I will check out the sites you recommended.

I was thinking in using Smashwords and KDP... And after these comments I will definitely check out CreateSpace and their platform.

Also, as a promotional tools, I was thinking about KDP select program: https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/KDPSelect

What do you think about it? Would it be useful on the long run?

Thank you on your comments so far.

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wondo
 
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Re: Advices and help on self-publishing

Postby wondo » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:26 am

As I said, I don't like KDP Select because I would have to pull the book off of Smashwords with no guarantee that the Kindle sales would take their place. It works for some people, I guess. I just wouldn't do it because I don't want to limit my market. Some writers are bypassing Smashwords and putting their books directly into Barnes and Noble and, damn, I forget the other. I don't do this because I am a bit lazy and it would involve setting up another account, etc.
I have been self publishing for almost two years and this is my first venture into CreateSpace. I think you are wise to hold off a bit, but I do think you should explore doing it and start to plan now. After all, almost 70% of book sales are still hard copy books, so most of your sales should be in that medium. There are other places to do POD, but CreateSpace is free and easy to learn. Some of the other POD publishers may be better. I don't know, i haven't investigated them. Plus it is my (possibly mistaken) belief that POD books may, because of Kindle suppressing the search results for ebooks not in KDP select show up higher in search results with the ebook version beside them, thus possibly enhancing the ebook sales.
Like I said, this is all one big experiment. But it is fun and you do make a bit of money playing around. It takes TIME. this is not a get rich quick or make bundles of money overnight kind of thing. You have to work at it and commit yourself to it to be successful. Like I said, I have been at it for almost two years and am just now seeing sales that make me smile a bit. In another year I hope to be smoking better cigars and drinking better beer.
A garden is a place not just for growing plants. It is a place to grow the soul as well.

http://www.mossyfeetbooks.com/

http://www.facebook.com/ae.mableson

http://www.indianaplaces.com/

http://www.aemableson.com

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pls
 
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Re: Advices and help on self-publishing

Postby pls » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:32 am

wondo wrote:Is that better, Paul? It is tiny but the blasted uploader kept slapping my hand until I had it so tiny you can't see it with binoculars …


Yup, much better. I have a feeling that your av is tiny because it should have been run through "Save for web" to cut down on the size in megabytes; the physical size is fine.

KDP Select for me was useless. I enrolled a book in the program for three months, which meant that I offered it exclusively through Amazon. I had several sales but not a single "borrow"; I would have had the sales on Amazon anyway had the book not been enrolled in Select, and I may have missed sales in other venues.

At the end of the minimum Select program, I pulled it and uploaded it on Smashwords, et al and immediately noticed sales. So much for the effectiveness of Select.

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wondo
 
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Re: Advices and help on self-publishing

Postby wondo » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:54 am

I have heard similar stories. I don't see a purpose to KDP Select other than an attempt by Amazon to corner the market. I don't blame them, I just don't see the advantage
A garden is a place not just for growing plants. It is a place to grow the soul as well.

http://www.mossyfeetbooks.com/

http://www.facebook.com/ae.mableson

http://www.indianaplaces.com/

http://www.aemableson.com

Asperatus
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:24 am

Re: Advices and help on self-publishing

Postby Asperatus » Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:08 am

Thank you for your answers ...

I do believe I understand what to evade in the publishing process. Surely I will not use the KDP select program. But CreateSpace and Smashwords on the other hand will surely be my choice - at least for now.

Now, I am interested in promotional activities and reaching out to the readers.

Have any thoughts about that?

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