Daily Challenge: How to Face Reality in the New World of Publishing

I hope that it is true that an active, engaged mind sometimes lets one idea go in favor of another.

I hope that what I have to say isn’t just a sell-out.

Here’s the deal.  Those who know me know that I have been a strong opponent to the idea of self-publishing and not too fond of the idea of e-publishing either.  My concerns have perhaps been old-fashioned.  The “way” books were published as I grew up was a wonderful thing.  An agent or publisher would discover the short stories you got published in magazines after some serious work, and you would be offered a contract.  Your editor would roll up his sleeves and work with you to polish the book, and the publisher would send you all over the country to do readings and signings.

That dream crashed to the ground some years back, but I’ve been reluctant to let go of the idea. 

Image: onlineeducationhelp.co.uk

That said, after having speaker after speaker come to the Fremont Area Writers Club to relate his or her experiences and challenges on the road to publication, I fear it is time for me to finally “get the message.”  At least get a part of the message.

Only a part?  Yep.  I’m still not sold on the idea of paying someone to print high-priced books for me that I have to go out and peddle by hand.  So far as I’m concerned, there’s no cheese down that tunnel

What I am beginning to learn—and trust me, I’ve been kicking and screaming the whole way—is that a quicker, and more reasonable method to find your way to physical print is to have success in the eBook world.

This is not to say that getting your book published as an eBook is a walk in the park.  It takes some work.  You have to edit the thing.  You have to format it.  You have to find the publisher, and you have to click on SEND.  OK, maybe that isn’t all THAT difficult.

A novel that has had even moderate success as an eBook can show up as having the legs to make it in print.

Today’s challenge is to take a look at your own point of view about the ladder to publishing success.  If you are in the camp that I huddled in for years, consider a change.  If you are already sold on the idea of using ePublishing to get a leg up in the industry, I challenge you to find three or four ePublishers you would feel comfortable with.

If you still think paying someone to print your book is a good idea… well, sigh, I’m not sure I can help.

Your thoughts?

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11 responses to “Daily Challenge: How to Face Reality in the New World of Publishing

  1. For what it’s worth: E-book is fine if your content is restricted to what? 250-300 pages. As has already been pointed out this would be best under the e-format – UC!
    However, for a book the size of what I expect mine will be, it will have to be in book format. I am therefore fully prepared to take on the responsibility of distribution, as well as editing chores etc. Something to keep me busy. As far as I’m concerned I have no ‘problem’ with self-publishing. Have already tested this through with the draft, and so my next endeavor will have that experience behind me, so that I am prepared for the obstacles to be found within this endeavor. P.S. I also intend to go with a publisher who also works with book distribution in case mine would be one they would draw out of the self-distribution field. One step at a time.

    • Clearly not all things work for all people. I’ve been dead set against both eBooks and self-publishing for quite awhile… and there is no way I could afford self-publishing at this time.

      Publishing is publishing, after all, and whatever works, well… works.

      • It’s true that there can be quite a high initial output with self-publishing. Altogether the two runs of the first two parts of the trilogy cost me about $1500. I gave away most of these. Didn’t earn a ‘Penny’. But I would have paid that much for a writing course and feedback at Humber College, so I think it was a good initial attempt at getting some advice and feedback, which didn’t go with the rule of the writer’s college. I am banking on the fact that you can order copies to fit what orders you can dig up for the book. So the idea would be to publicize the book, get orders, and then make put out the money for copies of the book to fit the order. This, of course, is only speculation. Have you investigated how you can make money with the e-books? I say this just because of your Blog on this coming up at 2:30 eastern time.

        • Didn’t give you good idea of cost. Altogether I got 40 books, but a copy of each (the proof) for an additional four books. i.e. l0 x 4 + 4

    • Loreen, I just ran across an interesting site I thought you might find interesting: It is called Philosophy Talk. The link I am including is to their past shows.
      http://www.philosophytalk.org/notesPastShows.htm

  2. It’s always a new age and it’s never going to be like it was in the “good old days” no matter where you go or what you do. And it’s always a matter of holding on to the good things of the past while learning the new techniques of the present, never mind predicting the future!
    So whether its ebooks or self-publishing, free serialization in blogs, or postcard salutations, we have to try and preserve and reward quality, IMHO.
    Denny
    Stein Ink Thinks
    http://www.steinink,wordpress.com

  3. Pingback: Thoughts on the World of Publishing « Stein Ink Thinks

  4. I WAS against the idea of paying a publisher to print my book.

    When I started writing my novel. I changed my mind soon after talking to a published author friend of mine with 3 books under his belt. His advice was to do it.

    Just yesterday I paid AuthorHouse to publish, market, sell, and distribute my work for $1,000. It will take MY efforts to get it out to the public much easier than doing alone.

    The plan I bought would get me to use their services for e-book as well. I thought it was great.

    This is my blog: http://whoselenamartina.blogspot.com/

    • Hi, Elena

      It’s a pleasure to meet you. Thanks for leaving a comment.
      I visited your website and attempted to leave a comment, but a technical failure kept eating what I wrote.

      I hope you will visit UhW again in the future.

    • Elena

      Another comment to your comment: Many people have taken the path you have chosen and are happy they have. Please don’t mistake my comments as being against what others do. It is that this particular way of being published does not work for me. )

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