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Self Publish on CD instead of online? : General Questions & Discussions • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Self Publish on CD instead of online?

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Self Publish on CD instead of online?

Postby Oldtimer » Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:47 pm

There is so much competition at Smashwords and other online bookstores that I am seriously considering copying one of my novels onto a CD and selling it in car parks and bookstores, if I can get permission to do so. I have jewel-case label software and Non-ReWritable CDs so, apart from having to buy my own ISBN, are there any other setbacks to this idea that you can think of? :)
Read samples of my Martian series (by Dorothy Piper) and two romances (by Joni Havel) on Smashwords.
Hard copies of all are on Amazon.

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Re: Self Publish on CD instead of online?

Postby Elibet1 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:25 pm

Hi Dorothy,
What do you mean copy onto a CD? Is your book on audio? I'm not tech-savy so maybe I'm misunderstanding your post.

Elizabeth :)

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Re: Self Publish on CD instead of online?

Postby Oldtimer » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:20 pm

No, Elibet. I was thinking about making, say, 100 copies of my story on CD and selling those CDs for about $4 each. (Not audio). I'd have to do my own promotion but I've done that before (in a WalMart car park where I couldn't get out of the sizzling sun, but at least I sold 20 books). It would also be easier to carry 100 CDs than 100 print books. I just wanted other people's opinion as to whether this way of story-selling has any merit.
Read samples of my Martian series (by Dorothy Piper) and two romances (by Joni Havel) on Smashwords.
Hard copies of all are on Amazon.

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Re: Self Publish on CD instead of online?

Postby pls » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:22 pm

Dorothy - you'd definitely would want to copyright your novel and probably publish it as a .pdf on the CD. You probably could also fit the audio version of it (if one exists) on the same CD, depending on its length. And don't forget cover art, which is very important in promoting any published work via attracting attention to it.

But why limit yourself to just one venue? Offer the CD in addition to all the other e-book distributors. That way while you're freezing or sizzling at WalMart, your work could also be selling online.
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Re: Self Publish on CD instead of online?

Postby Elibet1 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:57 pm

So then a buyer would read the book on the computer?

Does Walmart charge you for promoting your book in their parking lot? The Walmarts here won't even let us distribute flyers in theirs.

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Re: Self Publish on CD instead of online?

Postby Oldtimer » Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:29 am

Read samples of my Martian series (by Dorothy Piper) and two romances (by Joni Havel) on Smashwords.
Hard copies of all are on Amazon.

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Re: Self Publish on CD instead of online?

Postby Linton Robinson » Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:22 pm

This is definitely a "do it also", not "do it instead" kind of thing.

As one of the very few writers to sell books on CD, let me make a few suggestions.

First of all, it's not really an end run around online publishing. The CD has a function or niche. The obvious one... physical presence.
I did a DVD of my manuals so I'd have something to sell at writers conferences. The manuals are pdfs with tons of links--useless in print.
I produced CD's with a nice cover design printed on the disk, and visible through a round window in the paper sleeve. Second time, that is. First time I produced labels on gold foil, stuck on nice stiff black sleeves. This seems to work in that application--people right there looking for your stuff. I had a display rack for my other books so they were visible.

Mayan Calendar Girls was another story. I wanted to offer it in specially shops where the potential local readership would see it. (OK, mostly head shops) What it needed there was shelf presence. I produced the CD ("authored it" as they say) and put them in DVD boxes with a wrap-around color cover, just like DVD's in film rental stores.
It had a spine people could see if it was shelved, could set up on the counter, had a "reality factor" about it.

PDF files have been mentioned, but I would say for a novel they are kind of pointless. You aren't downloading or emailing here. You have the huge advantage of selling somebody a lot of space that you can do COOL things with. Toss in your videos. Have a choice of mobi, epub, etc. for the book. Artwork. BIos.

Mayan Calendar Girls is an exe file that opens up into a website-like page with clicks and navigation and all that. (The book started life as an online blog serial.)

If you are going to do this, find out how to do the whole autorun file thing so it will open itself up. Or have an "index" html file called CLICK ME FIRST, STUPID or something like that.
You want to have it ope up to a page. It can be really elaborate, with links to your bio page and all that. Or just a simple headline, cover art, and links to the various files you have included.
The manuals one I sell even has programs to open the pdfs and videos--small, free programs like Foxit, just to make sure people can access everything without having to screw around outside the "book".

The creative potential for this is enormous. You can be providing an entire "website" if you want. The more you give them, the better it will go over.

Big problem--uploading the Kindle is free, CD's cost money. I am lucky to live in Mexico, where there is a large, open industry of pirating music and movies. I just went to the pirates and got a dozen or so printed CD's for two bucks apiece.
You might be able to find some kid who cam print them for you. If you go with the DVD box, or printed CD box, you can get away with lazer printed, title-only CD's, which many people can burn on their own computer. You can buy printable CD's at Office Depot.
There are lots of companies that produce bulk CD's. Careful shopping might find one with good prices for short runs. There are companies online that sell nothing but sleeves and boxes. It's cheaper and easier, I'd say, to produce your own sleeve/box labels by printing adhesive labels for them. Labels available in many colors (the foil ones are a poin in the butt)
So, this is do-able.
And for the right person/book/situation might be worthwhile. But it's definitely no substitute for online sales. If you're clever, you might be able to figure out ways to make the two work together. A Smashwords coupon on the CD, maybe.






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Re: Self Publish on CD instead of online?

Postby Linton Robinson » Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:26 pm

Oh, I forgot, I also did a volume of poetry and collection of shorts on CD.
This is MUCH more useful presented as an html page where people click links to see poems and stories one at a time.
A cool thing about it is that since it's not online, you can use frames, making it easy to do a "blog" kind of presentation where sidebar links open in a main central window.






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Re: Self Publish on CD instead of online?

Postby Oldtimer » Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:57 pm

Wow! My head is reeling ... information overload :shock: :shock:

But THANK YOU! Linton. I'm going to have to print out your posts and assimilate them a little at a time. I'm heartened to read that you and pls think this is a doable proposition. First things first, though. Gotta finish writing! :D
Read samples of my Martian series (by Dorothy Piper) and two romances (by Joni Havel) on Smashwords.
Hard copies of all are on Amazon.

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Re: Self Publish on CD instead of online?

Postby pls » Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:04 pm

It's doable.

However, an .exe file will not run on a Mac (unless it has been preloaded with some kind of Windows clone system). I suggested .pdf's specifically because a .pdf will run on Macs, PC's, and I believe even Linux (dunno about smart phones and stupid phones and the like). Make your file an .exe, and there goes more than a third of your market (I don't have market share figures for tablets in front of me, so that figure is a bit vague).

And if you willingly sat in a WalMart parking lot and hawked your wares, Dorothy, you definitely have the motivation to market your wares.
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