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How have those who have published stories or books, published them?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Avadyyrm, Dec 30, 2019.

  1. Avadyyrm

    Avadyyrm Scribe

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    I am interested in publishing what I have written. I know that getting it to an actual publisher, is hard, long, and most likely wont end up in my book being published. (though I like to think it would). My question is, for those who have self published, or that sort of thing, how have you done it? ive seen some books from people here on amazon and stuff, and I want to know how I can get what I have onto platforms such as those, or maybe even just published so I can have a copy for myself, and a few others to read. Thanks!
     
  2. R.H. Smith

    R.H. Smith Minstrel

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    Hi Avadyyrm! This is a somewhat daunting task. I have not self-published yet, but am soon to do so and have done the research. Mainly to self-publish the easiest way is to take your manuscript and convert it into the format that the Kindle can read. If you look online you will find the converter. Sooooo much editing! I cannot stress editing your MS until you want to rip it up, then grab it again and edit 20 more times. Neither myself nor you have any experiencing editing so what i can suggest is to find a freelance editor that will edit your MS. Once the editing process is done, it's time for the artwork (cringy yeay!) Studies have shown that even with a simple cover art-work, the MS will get more views than if it did not have one (think about the same thing for dating profiles, people with pictures get more likes!) Once all that is done (i would suggest leaving the conversion of your MS to Kindle till the end) it's a matter of registering your product with Amazon and uploading it to their store once you input all the necessaries (like you bank account, the priice of the MS, etc.) and let your baby fly! It's very daunting, as I previously stated, but is so rewarding. Whether you sell one book or 100K, you are now a published author!
     
  3. Avadyyrm

    Avadyyrm Scribe

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    Ok. thanks for the advice! would love to read what you are about to publish.
     
  4. oenanthe

    oenanthe Minstrel

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    I'm published, but through a traditional publisher. you might want to join the facebook group 20 books to 50k and get advice from them? I know a couple of people in the group and they're savvy.
     
    Ned Marcus likes this.
  5. Avadyyrm

    Avadyyrm Scribe

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    Ok. sounds good, I will do that.
     
  6. Insolent Lad

    Insolent Lad Maester

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    Ebooks only through Kindle is the simplest route, if you want to hitch yourself to Amazon. It works well for some but I've always been leery. I do my print with Lulu's POD service and have for about 15 years (started out so I would have poetry books to carry with me to sell at readings, well before I wrote my first novel). I'm happy with them but if going that route one needs to be knowledgeable of design and a whole lot more, or know someone who is. One can use their paid services but I haven't heard good things about them--the way I go requires almost no up-front investment other than paying for proof copies. And of course, all the software I've accumulated for graphics and book design!
     
    Esudeath likes this.
  7. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    I spent many months trying to get an agent before I finally said screw it and self-published. I knew that there was much to learn about the process itself, so I had a short book (about 14k) that was basically my training wheels. I knew novelettes don't really sell well, so I was ok if it didn't move much. I did my own editing, my own cover, got an account at KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing, which is what authors mean when they say Amazon), and just stumbled my way through. What I learned in the process let me make better choices for my first novel, which I really did want to succeed.

    Plenty of people cut their KDP teeth on their first novel, but if you can avoid that, I recommend doing so. Pick a training book. There are lots of advice columns, and the Kindle forums are great and filled with advice, but in actually publishing you will learn *your* lessons. So, if you have a short work you can use for learning, I encourage you to try that. Go to kdp.amazon.com and set up an account and get ready to learn.
     
    Malik likes this.
  8. Insolent Lad

    Insolent Lad Maester

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    Exactly my route. I spent a year or so sending my first novel (a mainstream YA) to agents before deciding to go it on my own. Fortunately, I'd already learned some of the process by putting out a poetry collection.
     
    Malik likes this.
  9. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    There's another aspect to self-published that I rarely see mentioned. When I hit Publish, I'm done. Sure there's still marketing *shudder*, but the writing part is done. I've dressed the poor darling--edited, proofed, covered-- and sent it out the door into the big wide world.

    With trad publishing, the child is forever half-dressed, standing in the hall. It's not done because I'm forever writing query letters, and even if it's accepted, an editor is going to work it over and I'll be revisiting and rewriting maybe even several years after I was "finished" with it. It's painful to think of my four novels still sitting as manuscripts, mumbling at me from across the room. Having self-pubbed, they're sitting as completed books on a shelf. Yeah, yeah, unsold books, but finished even so. That matters to me.
     
  10. oenanthe

    oenanthe Minstrel

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    I see it very differently. Which is to be expected. the editing and production process is just a natural part of making the novel to me.
    I don't write perfect first drafts, and once I've worked on a manuscript long enough i can't see it any more. this is where I need help. the production schedule for my books is just part of the process. so I write it, do a quick revision and then send it to my editor - which gets it off my desk and out of my head for a while, but it's not just languishing in a drawer making me feel guilty. it's literally someone else's job to look at it, identify opportunities to strengthen the story, and it's just not my responsibility until it gets back. so then I do the editing rounds the book needs, and then someone else who has fresh eyes looks it over for copy editing errors, continuity problems, fact-checking. then someone else goes over it again, paying really close attention to proofreading. I love the support and the time built in to get distance and improve the story.

    The rapid release style is really not for me. I believe that novels are cooked low and slow.
     
  11. LadyErynn

    LadyErynn Dreamer

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    This may not be what you're looking for, but collaborating with other authors is also something to consider. I'm not talking about co-writing a book, but all of my published works are part of anthologies that I found through networking/ working with other authors. Most are self-published through KDP, but one is self-published through an independent publishing company.
     
  12. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Sure, editing is part of the process. I was talking less about the weeks and months involved in editing and more about the years and years involved in writing query letters and waiting for agents to *maybe* get back to you to say no.
     
  13. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

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    Hell, I contacted my top 3 agents figuring they wouldn’t take it and went Indie. LOL. Oh, I spent a year contemplating the convention scene and yadda yadda, had it all mapped out and finally (<—-a word you won’t see in my MS, heh heh) I went pbbbt. I talked to too many indies making more money than most of the trad people and listened to too many horror stories... including from folks still in the trad industry. Noting against Trad, I’m always open to an agent and pub to expand my reach, and I like the idea of hybrid, but I’m not going to settle.

    The opening post is confusing... like to go trad, but copies for self and friends? Those are polar opposites. KDP fulfills the latter in a matter of days. Trad or successful indie publishing are both going to take time and money and time.
     
  14. oenanthe

    oenanthe Minstrel

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    yeah, the agent process can take a while. i got lucky and completed that phase fairly quickly. another place where you might have to wait is when you're on submission, when your agent is sending your stuff out to editors. that can take a while too.
     
  15. The Dark One

    The Dark One Auror

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    I've had three (quite big) agents in Australia - all of them useless and wasted a heap of my time. That said, I have had four books published by small trad houses, both of which have now gone under (despite two of my books doing well enough to get into the airport bookstores - which is a big deal over here).

    My next novel is sci-fi and there simply aren't (to speak of) any sci-fi publishers in Oz except for one quite small one (who likes my book but hasn't quite said yes), so I've just today sent it to a small, boutique American publisher.

    I also had a huge amount of time wasted by a mid-sized publisher (with a strong reputation for quality) who accepted my masterpiece, and then emailed a month later to say they were in trouble so were dropping nearly everything in the pipeline. That really screwed with my brain, but I now have two highly polished and completed mss (in different genres) which I shall certainly self-pub before the end of the year if they aren't accepted by then.

    I am worried about the marketing situation with self-pub but with some very well received books out there, maybe I have enough of a following to to make some sort of dent. People ask me all the time when the next one is out. You do need to be active as your own marketer. I've always been happy to do talks/readings/signings wherever I can and these have mostly been arranged by myself as the small publishers I've worked with have never had the resources to push me.
     
    Demesnedenoir likes this.
  16. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

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    One of many types of stories that made me shrug and go indie, on top of the indies later signing with pubs, and the success of some hybrids in general. The market has a lot of flooding to sort out, but having a following is bound to help. How much is the great mystery.

     
  17. J.W. Golan

    J.W. Golan Scribe

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    My first book, a non-fiction historical text, was published traditionally. For that particular market, I needed the inroads that only a university publishing house could provide, for an audience that tends to shun eBooks. I learned a lot from that exhaustive editing process, and have no regrets about going that route.

    My first two novels, on the other hand, I published indie, through KDP. They’re available in both eBook and paperback.

    The editing process for an indie book needs to be no less exhausting than for a traditional publisher. That’s how you maintain a reputation for quality. In terms of formatting, KDP will read directly from an MS Word manuscript. Paperback formatting is a little more involved, but if you work from a template you can do fine.

    I learned a lot from studying indie authors in my genre who had gone “pro”. People have made a living at this, but not on the basis of one novel. You should plan on having a portfolio of at least twenty titles under your belt if you want to retire as a novelist someday. Each addition builds your reputation and following, and contributes to the overall revenue stream. I’m on the first draft of book 3 in my first series. I’ll get there.

    Best of luck to you. ;-)
     
  18. Mallet

    Mallet Acolyte

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    I read a LOT. And I listened to a lot of podcasts. But all the material I digested didn't completely prepare me. I'd recommend things that I thought were useful, but it's probably all dated at this point. So much changes, and it changes all the time.

    If you just want a few copies for friends and family, you might want to consider hiring someone to do it.

    But, if you want to give it a go, Reedsy.com has lots of useful advice, as well as tools that let you produce both ebooks and print books.
     
  19. Samantha England

    Samantha England Scribe

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    Self-published here!

    I wrote a little novella (little over 11,000-word count) and I self-published it through Amazon Createspace (though now merged with Kindle Direct Publishing; KDP) I had done a lot of research, and while most of it didn't end up helping me as I had no prior audience, no real social media presence (and I am not savvy in this area), and though I did make a cute little book trailer, it was no commercial success. HOWEVER, just the fact that I had published a complete story boosted my self-confidence concerning publishing.

    Presently, I am revising a proper novel-length story that I am planning on seeing if I can get it traditionally published. I had done more research since that novella and when it comes to self-publish versus traditional publishing, and it (kind of) depends on how much control you want/how much work you want to do. Though I am a prolific world-builder, it takes me a while to really get to the writing and I am no NaNoWriMo winner (though I have tried XD). I'm improving, but I'm not shelling out a fully revised and edited book every 8-12 months. Personally, I believe traditional publishing will suit me better because I can (depending on the publishing house and how good my yet to exist literary agent is) have time to develop my worlds and write my drafts and then the publisher will handle the marketing. That was what really killed my novella in the Amazon Marketplace.

    Overall (though extremely simplified)
    Self-publishing pros: More control, more time, more royalties per sale.
    Self-publishing cons: You have to do a significant part of, if not all, of the work. This depends on how much you're willing to spend on professionals doing the cover, book interior, editing, marketing even, etc.

    Traditional pros: They handle the editing, cover (sometimes you have a say), interior formatting, and most importantly the marketing of said book.
    Traditional cons: Fewer royalties per sale (though that also depends on the book advance) and less control over things.

    In the end, it really depends on what you believe is best for your stories and you as a writer. Good luck in your writing/publishing endeavors!
     
  20. J.W. Golan

    J.W. Golan Scribe

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    As someone who published my first book (non-fiction) traditionally, let me clarify this misconception. In this age, the author pays for the proof-editing. The publisher might suggest an editor, but it comes out of the author’s pocket. The only editor the publisher paid for was the copy-editor, who formats the book for print. By the time it gets to them, the prose had better be flawless, or you can expect them to reject the manuscript and send it back to the author to go find an editor.

    The only real pro to traditional publishing is the marketing (I’d include cover design as part of that). That’s it. Depending on the publisher and your genre, their professional marketing strategy may or may not be something to brag about.
     
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