The dangers of self-publishing

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Thanks will do

calstars, Sunday, 21 November 2021 13:15 (five months ago) link

Mine is more a mix of positive/negative. (I actually liked Createspace until they were bought by Kindle/Amazon.)

clemenza, Sunday, 21 November 2021 13:17 (five months ago) link

why not post your thoughts here, clemenza? i'm curious too

just staying (Karl Malone), Sunday, 21 November 2021 23:35 (five months ago) link

I guess I can. Some of them can be found here, the question about getting published:

https://musicjournalism.substack.com/p/phil-dellio-interview?r=1jtu0&utm_campaign=end-post-cta&utm_medium=web&utm_source=copy

That may or may not work...Anyway, it comes down to writing the book you want vs. making money. Self-publishing is great for the former: you can loosen up, not deaden (or artificially hype) the way you write, and publish exactly the book you want to publish. As I say in the link, that cuts both ways: I know I have 1,001 mannerisms when I write, all on display when I post here, and a really good editor would help get rid of those. But I'd rather keep them in than risk a bad editor who wants to turn the writing into someone I'm not. (I am, by now, pretty aware of those mannerisms and am able to catch most of them myself.) That's just stylistically--then there's the issue of content. I know that with the last one I self-published, some of the entries would have been dropped, entries I really wanted in there. And the book will look exactly like you want it to. The first book I ever did, with an actual publisher, my co-writer and I accepted a trade-off: we okayed a cover we hated so, we hoped, there wouldn't be much editorial interference. It worked...but wow, did we ever hate the cover. (We had a different idea that was so plainly obvious and a thousand times better...overall, though, the publisher was a good guy.) The self-published books all have covers I really like.

The money: forget it, unless you have the greatest idea ever (and even then you'll have to know how to promote it, something I'm terrible at) or hundreds of friends and family members who are committed to buying it--who are willing to go beyond a thumb on Facebook. Each of the three I've self-published have sold between 50-100 copies each. You won't lose money, because it can be done without any outlay whatsoever (or you can pay someone to design the cover, format it, etc.), but you won't make any, either. Because I've always had a good job, I didn't need to make anything; having the books exist was more important to me. But if you need the money, look for a publisher.

I've gone through Lulu and Createspace (before and after they were bought by Amazon/Kindle). Lulu I didn't like--it was my first time, and trying to get someone to help me through a couple of steps was an ordeal. No phone support whatsoever. Createspace, when they were an independent, was so much better. I was able to get someone right away, and they walked me through everything. Now that they're part of Amazon--and the pandemic figures in to a degree--they're terrible. Phone support is hit or miss (luckily, I have a better idea of what I'm doing now), and, infuriating, they stopped making discounted author copies available in Canada during the pandemic. So anytime I want a copy of the last one for whatever reason, I have to order it at full price (with some of that coming back to me as a royalty, but still ridiculous). If you're in the States or England (I think), you won't have that problem. The books themselves have always looked fine, and no problems with binding.

clemenza, Monday, 22 November 2021 00:26 (five months ago) link

If you're just looking to publish an e-book, I think that's much easier, with a more in the way of choice.

clemenza, Monday, 22 November 2021 00:28 (five months ago) link

"a lot more"

clemenza, Monday, 22 November 2021 00:29 (five months ago) link

nice, thanks for sharing! (link is only for paid subscribers i think)

just staying (Karl Malone), Monday, 22 November 2021 01:12 (five months ago) link


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