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Author Topic: Self publishing?  (Read 2343 times)
Luy22
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« on: June 23, 2014, 05:40:02 am »

Does anyone have any tips or guides on how to go about self publishing?

What're all the steps? Does it cost anything? What's the best site to do it?

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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2014, 06:31:19 am »

To quote "The Artist and writers Yearbook 2014" http://www.amazon.co.uk/Writers-Artists-Yearbook-2014-ebook/dp/B00FQH0642/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403501062&sr=8-1&keywords=the+writers+and+artists+yearbook+2014

There is a wealth of information online, explorer the services available to see which one better suits your needs.
Be sure to comply with regional taxation requirements, and make sure that you manuscript is finished before contemplating any of them.

My own tip: Use grammar and spelling services and get someone with a high-grade of grammar and spelling to go over it afterwords.
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Heckler
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2014, 09:11:02 am »

Back in the day, self publishing was also called vanity publishing and was seen as an excellent way to waste a great deal of money.  For a few people it was the only way they could get their work into print because the subject was too outre or niche to get into mainstream print (I'm thinking here of a lot of Magic and Magick books that wound up being self published) but for most it was simply because the book either wasn't what agents/publishers wanted or the work wasn't good enough.

Amazon and digital publishing has been a bit of a game changer, the act of publishing costs nowt, the costs are taken from sales so once you've got an MS that is ready* and as J Percell says above, grammar and spell checked then if you go onto the Amazon site they walk you through what you need to do. 

*Something I've found useful is to put the MS aside for a few months then re-read to give a fresh perspective.  Sometimes something that sounds clunky stops sounding clunky if you read it enough, with a distance of time you'll have a more honest viewpoint on it.
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pakled05
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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2014, 06:06:13 pm »

Gad, there's dozens of books on self-publishing (what Russians used to call samizdat...Wink out there, many free. If there's a search function at Smashwords, I know of a good dozen already.


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Luy22
Deck Hand
*
United States United States



« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2014, 09:07:39 pm »

Back in the day, self publishing was also called vanity publishing and was seen as an excellent way to waste a great deal of money.  For a few people it was the only way they could get their work into print because the subject was too outre or niche to get into mainstream print (I'm thinking here of a lot of Magic and Magick books that wound up being self published) but for most it was simply because the book either wasn't what agents/publishers wanted or the work wasn't good enough.

Amazon and digital publishing has been a bit of a game changer, the act of publishing costs nowt, the costs are taken from sales so once you've got an MS that is ready* and as J Percell says above, grammar and spell checked then if you go onto the Amazon site they walk you through what you need to do. 

*Something I've found useful is to put the MS aside for a few months then re-read to give a fresh perspective.  Sometimes something that sounds clunky stops sounding clunky if you read it enough, with a distance of time you'll have a more honest viewpoint on it.

My first volume I've been working on since summer of 2012, and I've gone over it coooonstantly. Checked everything. I've also got myself a MS!

So I just go onto Amazon and... they'll guide me through everything? What about cover art and stuff?
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Gaijin_King
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« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2014, 11:14:30 pm »

They have a cover creator you can use, though I highly recommend finding someone on DeviantArt to make a cover for you if you have the money. Amazon's process is pretty simple, but there are a few VERY important things I suggest you pick up first:

1.) MobiPocket Creator to make the Kindle file

2.) Kindle Previewer to preview said file

3.) Martin Crosbie's book How I Sold 30,000 Books on Amazon's Kindle (http://www.amazon.com/Amazons-Kindle---Follow-Self-Publishing-Guidebook-ebook/dp/B00EZ5G8E8/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1403561379&sr=1-3&keywords=martin+crosbie). It's incredibly helpful. I just recently used it to launch my free book promotion. Mr. Crosbie will also help you spread the word if you friend him on Facebook.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2014, 11:16:10 pm by Gaijin_King » Logged

Luy22
Deck Hand
*
United States United States



« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2014, 02:29:56 am »

They have a cover creator you can use, though I highly recommend finding someone on DeviantArt to make a cover for you if you have the money. Amazon's process is pretty simple, but there are a few VERY important things I suggest you pick up first:

1.) MobiPocket Creator to make the Kindle file

2.) Kindle Previewer to preview said file

3.) Martin Crosbie's book How I Sold 30,000 Books on Amazon's Kindle (http://www.amazon.com/Amazons-Kindle---Follow-Self-Publishing-Guidebook-ebook/dp/B00EZ5G8E8/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1403561379&sr=1-3&keywords=martin+crosbie). It's incredibly helpful. I just recently used it to launch my free book promotion. Mr. Crosbie will also help you spread the word if you friend him on Facebook.


Are all those besides the book free?

And what IS the cover creator like? I'm just curious, I do have some pretty artsy friends.

And, finally, why do I need the Mobipocket to make the kindle file? Doesn't the Amazon process do that for me if I select "publish kindle"?
« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 02:33:15 am by Luy22 » Logged
Gaijin_King
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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2014, 04:16:31 am »

Yes, they are free. You don't technically need MobiPocket Creator, but it does a very good job of converting your HTML file to mobi format which works well on Kindle. I'm simply telling you how I do it. If you want, you can just upload your HTML file and skip MobiPocket Creator altogether. The important thing is to use a previewer to make sure the finished product looks OK. Amazon provides you with one, but I myself use Kindle Previewer because it better emulates the look of Kindle.

The cover creator is very basic. You choose from a list of templates, and you can search a limited collection of background images. I used it once, and you can see the results here: http://www.amazon.com/Hell-Everyone-But-Scott-Kinkade-ebook/dp/B00KQBTOGE/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1403579679&sr=1-2.. The only reason I didn't hire an artist for that is because it's just a short story.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 04:20:22 am by Gaijin_King » Logged
CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2014, 06:28:52 am »

Yes, they are free. You don't technically need MobiPocket Creator, but it does a very good job of converting your HTML file to mobi format which works well on Kindle. I'm simply telling you how I do it. If you want, you can just upload your HTML file and skip MobiPocket Creator altogether. The important thing is to use a previewer to make sure the finished product looks OK. Amazon provides you with one, but I myself use Kindle Previewer because it better emulates the look of Kindle.

The cover creator is very basic. You choose from a list of templates, and you can search a limited collection of background images. I used it once, and you can see the results here: http://www.amazon.com/Hell-Everyone-But-Scott-Kinkade-ebook/dp/B00KQBTOGE/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1403579679&sr=1-2.. The only reason I didn't hire an artist for that is because it's just a short story.


Kindles native compiler is free to download but it's a command line program.
I am in the position of having to pay an artist (Also a Member of DA) for my cover.

Also there is a big program called Scriviner that can export to the required file formats but it is big and sometimes baffling.
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Luy22
Deck Hand
*
United States United States



« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2014, 03:45:16 pm »

Okay! I'll download em later tonight.

Other than that, the process to publish to kindle is free, yes?

I need to figure out what to do for a cover... what's the price range go for covers?
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pakled05
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« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2014, 04:57:04 pm »

The Jury's still out, but there's also a program called Calibre (free) that converts to many different formats. Some folks say there's problems with it, but they come out with a new version fortnightly (always wanted to use that word...Wink. Whaddayawantforfree?...Wink

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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2014, 05:56:59 pm »

Okay! I'll download em later tonight.

Other than that, the process to publish to kindle is free, yes?

I need to figure out what to do for a cover... what's the price range go for covers?

For a proper commission, cover art is around the £250 mark but it varies by needs
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Gaijin_King
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« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2014, 05:06:47 am »

Yes, the process is free. Amazon takes a percentage of each sale. Different artists charge you varying amounts of money. It all depends on the artist. Take a look at their work and decide if it fits with your vision for the cover. Be sure you understand their terms before you agree to them.
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Luy22
Deck Hand
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United States United States



« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2014, 01:34:52 pm »

Okay!

Also, price? I've heard you set your own price?

My nov's at around 60k words, on kindle, how much would you say that would cost someone?
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Heckler
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« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2014, 01:43:18 pm »

Okay!

Also, price? I've heard you set your own price?

My nov's at around 60k words, on kindle, how much would you say that would cost someone?

How much do you think it's worth, how much do books from first time authors in the genre go for?  Take a look on Amazon, we can't tell you.

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Luy22
Deck Hand
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United States United States



« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2014, 03:13:07 pm »

Probs gonna be in the $5-8 dollar range, somewhere in there I guess.

I've downloaded the programs! Do I just throw the word file into the mobipocket and then the mobipocket into the kindle previewer?
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2014, 05:31:01 pm »

A little tip, if you're writing a series and want to get readers:
Set the price to 99c and knock it down to free as much as possible.
It's a proven method that always attracts new readers.
Mine will be 99p or $1.56c (stupid conversion rate) but free copys are already floating around (see the diaries of James Purcell). its only 30K words but several readers have already seen the rough drafts of the first trilogy and are hooked!
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Luy22
Deck Hand
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United States United States



« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2014, 10:51:29 pm »

Ohhh, that sounds like a better idea. I was GOING to make it free because I mean, it's my first published work. But I do want some sort of royalties from it as I am a pretty poor college student.

What is the cover art program like in the Amazon process in case I don't get an artist?
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Damnd of Hell
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United States United States



« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2014, 01:11:39 am »

I have a friend who did the self pub routine, it didn't go well for him.  I suggest you take a look at small publishing and e-pub houses as well.
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Gaijin_King
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« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2014, 05:34:29 am »

Stay away from vanity publishers like Dorrance Publishing. I've read nothing but bad things about them and they make you pay them for the privilege of publishing.

Also, definitely have a free book promotion at some point. Use this site to help you with that: http://authormarketingclub.com/members/submit-your-book/.
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Luy22
Deck Hand
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United States United States



« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2014, 01:33:47 pm »

I have a friend who did the self pub routine, it didn't go well for him.  I suggest you take a look at small publishing and e-pub houses as well.

Could you give a few examples?
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pakled05
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« Reply #21 on: June 26, 2014, 05:00:53 pm »

There's a site called Predators and Editors that has a list of bad apples...apparently they're being sued by same, because the bad guys have a right to exploit (!?)
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #22 on: June 26, 2014, 06:28:59 pm »

Ohhh, that sounds like a better idea. I was GOING to make it free because I mean, it's my first published work. But I do want some sort of royalties from it as I am a pretty poor college student.

What is the cover art program like in the Amazon process in case I don't get an artist?

Amazon can't do 0.00 unless it's listed for free on another site. It can set it to 0.00 for 5 days in 90.
Cover program? never heard of it but if your a college student, go ask the art department ..... (when college reopens)

Watch the tax system, I have to apply for an ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number) to prove I'm NOT a US citizen and that I do NOT have to pay US tax!
My god this is a painful exercise and I have to take a day of work to speak to the US embassy in London  Shocked Shocked Angry Angry Angry
« Last Edit: June 26, 2014, 06:32:42 pm by CPT_J_Percell » Logged
Gaijin_King
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« Reply #23 on: June 26, 2014, 10:02:05 pm »

Makes me glad to be a spoiled American. Anyway, it wouldn't be such a bad to idea to submit to credible publishers and/or agents and see what they say. You'd have to be patient, but if you make it big, then it was worth it. And if they say no, you can still self-publish. Remember--these people aren't all-knowing. They reject good books as well as bad. Just because they say they don't want it doesn't mean it's not worthy of publishing.
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Damnd of Hell
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United States United States



« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2014, 01:48:07 am »

I have a friend who did the self pub routine, it didn't go well for him.  I suggest you take a look at small publishing and e-pub houses as well.

Could you give a few examples?

Several issues.  Printing cost; this came out of his own pocket.  Depending on the printer, they will only print off a minimum of copies, and this sometime means a thousand or so upward.  Distribution; Amazon, Barnes and Noble and such won't think unless you spend a bit of money, maybe a few thousand to begin.   Advertisement; you got to get the word out on your book.  This too costs, as with advertisement, you need access to a majority of groups.  Book panels, marks, and cards, print and radio, all these need to be financed.   Then there's the self promoting, going to book fares, and conventions.   Granted some self pubbed authors make it, but not many; take a look at Amazon or Barnes and Noble site, and just look over your genre, this is your competition.
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