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Author Topic: Is Self-Publsihing Better?  (Read 1862 times)

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Offline Rainman

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Is Self-Publsihing Better?
« on: November 28, 2014, 07:45:52 AM »
Earlier in the week I got an email from someone who needed a ghost writer to polish a 70K word novel which was later to be uploaded and sold as a Kindle book on Amazon. The man's budget was about $370 which quite obviously was too low and the job offer was promptly rejected.

This got me thinking though . . . if this man was willing to spend $370 then quite obviously he expected to make a little bit more than that. I'm guessing he good at internet marketing because this wasn't the first time he was hiring a writer to polish up/edit a book for him and for him to keep hiring writers, it means that he makes some profit from selling his books on Amazon.

Since everyone can learn how to promote their products online, is it better for a writer to write and publish their books and make more money rather work for a [low] fixed fee?
« Last Edit: November 28, 2014, 07:47:25 AM by Rainman »

Offline WelshGirl

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Re: Is Self-Publsihing Better?
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2014, 07:54:15 AM »
This is a real 'How long is a piece of string?' question.

Writing and selling your own books is a risk. You may well make more than $370, but for the vast majority of people it will take a couple of years if they only have one book.

From what I hear there is a tipping point - once you have a certain number of titles, probably 5, out your prospects improve greatly. However, I've known people with 20 titles out who were only making $100 a month. It's a really difficult thing to predict.

For me, it comes down to what I am able to do. I don't have the time to promote and sell my own books so I'd probably take the money, but if I were in a position to spend a year, publish a book every couple of months, and do nothing but sell them, I'd definitely do that instead.

Re: Is Self-Publsihing Better?
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2014, 07:54:15 AM »
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Offline GemmaRowlands

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Re: Is Self-Publsihing Better?
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2014, 10:20:45 AM »
Being honest, I think a lot of people underestimate just how difficult it can be to self publish things. The actual publishing of the book isn't all that bad, however the stage after that - actually selling copies of your book - can be very hard. The majority of authors find that they never make enough money to cover the time that they spent writing and editing the book. I have two books self published, and I have only ever made around $100 from them, and even that's more than a lot of the people I know.

Re: Is Self-Publsihing Better?
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2014, 10:20:45 AM »

Offline Jinny

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Re: Is Self-Publsihing Better?
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2014, 09:36:18 PM »
I have a book that I wrote a few years ago for NaNoWriMo that I'm tempted to polish a bit and publish.  It's already written, you know?  So I figure, if it sells occasionally, great!  More money to buy more books to read.  If it doesn't sell, it won't be a great loss.  I think people are disappointed with self publishing when they write for money and don't make what they expect.  I write because I enjoy it.  Sometimes stuff gets finished, sometimes it doesn't.  If I published some of that and it sold, ANY small amount would be a thrill because I would have turned a hobby into a small amount of income, you know?  Of course, I haven't done it yet so perhaps I underestimate the work involved in polishing and converting it. 


Offline Alex

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Re: Is Self-Publsihing Better?
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2015, 10:29:03 AM »
Depending on the genre, self-publishing is good for short stories, poetry and 'How to' books which are harder to get published. It does take more time and is hard work so for other books I would look for a traditional publisher.

I self-published a book to see the process and it is hard and it does cost money if you want a cover and a proofreader. In some cases it's not worth it and you end up doing it yourself as each app still formats itself differently anyhow.

I wouldn't invest too much money into it, a friend of mine did and now has boxes of her books unsold that she needs to market, but hasn't. She is too set in her ways and didn't listen to her publicist and  was a writing professor too.

Offline paf_2

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Re: Is Self-Publsihing Better?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2015, 12:47:05 PM »
I think there are pros and cons to self publishing.  The pros being that finally I got to see my dream of being an author full filled.  I have now shared my writing to the world.  The cons being its up to me to promote the book to get readers for the book.  To get an audience for the book.  Needless to say that hasn't been an easy venture, and I am certainly not making the money that some talk of making as a self published author.  But I am not giving up on my books or my dream.  I have had this dream for decades now and its a dream I refuse to ever give up on.

Offline hellonamesdana

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Re: Is Self-Publsihing Better?
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2015, 12:17:30 PM »
I haven't gone through the process yet, but as I'm writing a book currently I'll be going through it very soon. I think it's good for someone like me, who wants to write a book to share with others, but I don't necessarily need to become wealthy from this book. If I make a little bit of money off of it and I'm able to publish it for free, then that's what really matters to me. I want my friends and family and other people with chronic illnesses to be able to read it.

Offline Jinny

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Re: Is Self-Publsihing Better?
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2015, 11:24:44 AM »
I don't think it's better really, I think it's very different from traditional publishing.  Neither of them is better for everyone.  I think it's important to weigh the pros and cons.  One thing I keep reading is that if you have a novel finished, there's no reason NOT to submit it to a traditional publishing house because if it's rejected, you can still self-publish.  I don't think that's strictly true because it assumes that traditional publishing is better in every way and that's not the case.  Publishing schedules can be slow, taking years to get books in print.  New authors in traditional publishing often don't have much more exposure than new authors who indy publish.  The advances for new authors are typically VERY small and for that small advance, you give up a ton of control over cover art, timing, etc. 

Offline Kayla109

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Re: Is Self-Publsihing Better?
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2015, 01:16:34 PM »
In my opinion, I honestly don't think one is better or worse than the other.  Each has its pro and cons at the end of the day, but that's neither here or there.  Personally, when I think of self-publishing, the overall opportunity is what speaks volumes.  If everyone who wanted to have a book published could afford it, self-publishing wouldn't even be relevant.  Then, when there are individuals who write for the passion rather than the profit, a whole different segment is present, who may prefer to devote the effort and time to take responsibility of all endeavors.  Nevertheless, concerning the discussion, as someone else previously stated, I think it solely depends on that person and his/her circumstances and preferences at that given time. 

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Re: Is Self-Publsihing Better?
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2015, 03:23:44 PM »
If you can write and publish a successful ebook or physical book through self-publishing, then you definitely stand to make more money compared to writing for other clients. Most people are terrible at writing books of any length, though, so they shouldn't even consider this endeavor. Self-publishing isn't an easy task, and it comes with inherent risks and downsides, which means that people need to think about these things before proceeding.

Offline dyanmarie25

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Re: Is Self-Publsihing Better?
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2015, 12:24:49 AM »
If you are just a newbie writer, and just want to try and test the waters, I guess it wouldn't hurt to self-publish your own works as long as you have got the budget for it. :)

Offline MyDigitalpoint

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Re: Is Self-Publsihing Better?
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2015, 10:31:53 PM »
Unless you are are already a best-seller author, self-publishing is not the best way to make money for a freelance writer living on a tight budget.

My best approach to this is keep writing even if for a low, fixed fee, but income for sure, while putting aside a small stash of money every now and the for self-publishing, give it go, but keep on writing fixed-rate gigs until that book in mind proves to be paying off the effort to publish it.

Offline Onionman

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Re: Is Self-Publsihing Better?
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2015, 10:45:39 PM »
It's definitely not an easy process. I tried it in the past and I'm yet to see much of a return.

Admittedly, I could do a lot more marketing and could be paying people to promote it on my behalf. But the writing element is only part of the story. Yes, you will get a bigger piece of the pie if it works out but you are investing more of your time and money to make it work in the first place.

I still feel that it's the direction that I should be going down. I just need to map it out more effectively.

Offline Alex

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Re: Is Self-Publsihing Better?
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2015, 04:14:10 AM »
Sometimes people rush into self-publishing without realizing that the book (if they hope a publisher will see it and want to take it on) cannot be published elsewhere. Many publishers will not take on a self-published work, though it's not impossible.

That's why many publishers state if any work has been published elsewhere they can't accept it. Usually because it's a legal headache.

I self-published an e-book just to see how easy it was and it wasn't hard, but time consuming. The hardest part is making money from it, but that wasn't my aim.

Offline ctfranklin28

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Re: Is Self-Publsihing Better?
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2016, 08:49:38 PM »
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Sometimes people rush into self-publishing without realizing that the book (if they hope a publisher will see it and want to take it on) cannot be published elsewhere. Many publishers will not take on a self-published work, though it's not impossible.

That's why many publishers state if any work has been published elsewhere they can't accept it. Usually because it's a legal headache.

I self-published an e-book just to see how easy it was and it wasn't hard, but time consuming. The hardest part is making money from it, but that wasn't my aim.
Very smart words, Alex. Chasing easy profits or quick recognition from a publisher is definiely something that won't work in self-publishing (usually). Publishers don't accept self-published books for several reasons: stigma of self-published books, fear of working with an "unvetted" author, etc.

The best solution between self-publishing and traditional book publishing is the one that works for the author. Authors have a variety of motivations for wanting to write and a variety of environments from which they write. This means that it's an exciting time for writers, but hard to generalize advice for those writers.

Re: Is Self-Publsihing Better?
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2016, 08:49:38 PM »

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