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Self Published Books

A place to debate issues or to rant about what's on your mind. In addition to discussions about historical fiction, books, the publishing industry, and history, discussions about current political, social, and religious issues and other topics are allowed, so those who are easily offended by certain topics may want to avoid such threads. Members are expected to keep the discussions friendly and polite and to avoid personal attacks on other members. The moderators reserve the right to shut down a thread without warning if they believe it necessary.
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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Mon June 21st, 2010, 12:51 pm

Don't know about other POD companies but Lulu has a preview feature that I encourage prospective buyers to use. That way you can sample the writing without spending anything.

I also make a point of keeping my prices down. I won't even consider a hardcover for my books until I get to a point of collectable status. And I make a point of low pricing on my paperbacks.

Not able to speak for all self-pub authors, but I can answer the question about letting a book languish based on my own experiece: 1) life got in the way; 2) realized I could have done a better job; 3) published the book four years ago and I'm nowhere near done writing the second in the trilogy (kind of funny asking people to buy the first book, if you can't guarantee the second will be available within a decade); 4) deliberately used a very bad pun that some people could mistake for truly awful writing.

On second thought, scratch that last one...people with so little sense of humor wouldn't like my writing anyway.

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N. Gemini Sasson
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Post by N. Gemini Sasson » Mon June 21st, 2010, 4:48 pm

Pricing is something that independent authors definitely need to keep in mind. Yes, a hardback is sturdier and a lovely collectible, but their pricing often puts them out of mind for many a reader - myself included. These days the only hardbacks I get are usually the ones others purchase for me as birthday or Christmas gifts - or from the library and sadly I have to give those back.

Independently published paperbacks can be priced competitively with those from traditional publishers, if the indie author is willing to do a bit more of the work on their own, like creating the pdf file of the text and cover or submitting listings in the appropriate places. CreateSpace books are generally reasonably priced (and the quality of the physical book quite good). Lightning Source POD books can be even cheaper to produce - and keep in mind that Lightning Source is the same POD printer that many traditional publishers use.

E-books are definitely the lowest cost way to go - for both reader and writer. But here again it pays to have the work properly edited and presented.

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Look Inside!

Post by Sonia » Mon June 21st, 2010, 5:47 pm

I couldn't agree more.. That Look Inside feature on Amazon is wonderful. If a book is over ten bucks and doesn't have that wonderful Look Inside feature, forget it! Self published or not. LOL

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Mon June 21st, 2010, 6:33 pm

[quote=""Sonia""]I couldn't agree more.. That Look Inside feature on Amazon is wonderful. If a book is over ten bucks and doesn't have that wonderful Look Inside feature, forget it! Self published or not. LOL[/quote]

I cannot recommend doing that enough. If I'd only bothered with that God-awful Heir Apparent I'd never have wasted my money. That said, if it hadn't been for Michele and I both reviewing that awful book we might never have had Miss Moppet's Time Travels. I guess that $18 was spent wisely after all :p
At home with a good book and the cat...
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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Mon June 21st, 2010, 7:22 pm

See Misfit, there really is a blessing in everything! :D

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Mon June 21st, 2010, 7:42 pm

[quote=""LoveHistory""]See Misfit, there really is a blessing in everything! :D [/quote]

Remember that the next time you freak out over a critical review - some good may come out of it.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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Michy
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Post by Michy » Tue June 22nd, 2010, 4:55 pm

[quote=""MLE""]
The first is print-on-demand technology, which is used for 90% of what is sold online -- not just for the self-pubbers, but also the big guys on midlist and backlist titles. The book is produced from a digital file the day it is ordered, mailed directly to the customer, and the moeny shuffled electronically into all the right places. No returns, no pulping, no overhead from a brick and mortar store. All profit.

[/quote]

I'm curious -- is this the method that Amazon uses? Because they carry sooooo many titles. Otherwise they would have to have absolutely huge warehouses to hold all the books, which would make profitability very difficult to achieve. I've often wondered how they can turn a profit with so many books on hand, but perhaps this is the answer. Or maybe their book division doesn't turn a profit, but is subsidized by sales of all their other products (that turn over faster and don't take up so much shelf space).

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Tue June 22nd, 2010, 6:11 pm

Amazon uses POD for the vast majority of the books it lists, which is to say, everything in the Ingram Catalog (about 7 million titles, at last count). Every major online bookseller lists the Ingram Catalog. For the larger orders, like the new Twilight novel, for instance, they will stockpile a supply at their warehouses. And for the small titles that are not in Ingram, (Ingram owns lightning source, which is the only POD publisher that matters, having 99% of the POD market and being about one-third the cost of its nearest competitor) these are carried by the Amazon affiliates, like my bookseller friend.

Edited to say, Lightning Source isn't actually a publisher, they provide POD printing services to publishers. Lightning-Source titles are produced for every publisher in the English language, all of the big guys, plus iUniverse, AuthorHouse, LuLu, and anybody with the basic skills needed to set up their own publishing company.
Last edited by MLE (Emily Cotton) on Tue June 22nd, 2010, 9:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Tue June 22nd, 2010, 6:58 pm

[quote=""Misfit""]Remember that the next time you freak out over a critical review - some good may come out of it.[/quote]

I shall try to remember that. Though in my defense I only ever freaked out over one review. It doesn't bother me anymore, but at the time I was devastated. As they say, the first cut is the deepest. Now I'd love to get just about any reviews.

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Tue June 22nd, 2010, 9:54 pm

[quote=""LoveHistory""]I shall try to remember that. Though in my defense I only ever freaked out over one review. It doesn't bother me anymore, but at the time I was devastated. As they say, the first cut is the deepest. Now I'd love to get just about any reviews.[/quote]

It's OK to panic personally. It's when they try to scheme to get the awful reviewer thrown off of Amazon over a three star review (no, I am not kidding) that I have an issue. :) ;)
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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