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Self-Publishing support group?

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by MAndreas, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. MAndreas

    MAndreas Troubadour

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    Ok, a year ago--after much wailing and gnashing of teeth-- I made the decision to self-publish my humorous fantasy trilogy. The final kicker was an agent who loved the first book, stalked me (in a nice, non-creepy way) at a conference, but then passed. In part: too hard to sell funny fantasy to NY right then.

    That event, plus others in similar nature, and the issues I hear from my traditionally published friends made me go Indie (aka self-pubbed).

    My plan is to launch the series in March, I have an artist working on the covers, working on a second editor, and am totally freaking out.

    I figure crazy loves company, so thought I'd see if there were other self-publishing folks in the same boat!:D
     
  2. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    I've self-pubbed a novella. I'm going to start with trad on the novel when it's done, but who knows how that will turn out.

    When you say self-publish, which platforms do you intend?
     
  3. PaulineMRoss

    PaulineMRoss Inkling

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    I have a couple of fantasy novels self-published. It's a roller-coaster ride, for sure, but fun!

    The best resource I've found for the nitty-gritty of the business is the Writers' Cafe forum on Kboards. It's full of self-pubbers at all levels of expertise and success who share their collective wisdom. You can find them at:

    Writers' Cafe
     
    SeleneHime and MAndreas like this.
  4. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    I'm intending to self-publish my novel, but I haven't even begun to look into what it takes yet. I figured I should focus on getting the actual thing written first. Hopefully it won't be much longer until I'm there. :)
     
  5. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    There is SO much information out there on Self-publishing. We had a thread here about the Indie Power Pack...I highly recommend that as well as the Writer's Cafe.
     
  6. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    There is something to be said, though, for gathering information specific to self-publishing in the particular field of fantasy. Romance has theirs, mystery has theirs. This could include things like special considerations on the various platforms (e.g., choice of genres, keywords), places especially favorable or unfavorable, as well as magazines for our field.
     
  7. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    There is something to be said, though, for gathering information specific to self-publishing in the particular field of fantasy. Romance has theirs, mystery has theirs. This could include things like special considerations on the various platforms (e.g., choice of genres, keywords), places especially favorable or unfavorable, as well as magazines for our field.
     
  8. LWFlouisa

    LWFlouisa Troubadour

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    I'd be interesting in learning about self-publishing. I've actually heard its harder to sell novellas in traditional routes. (Which happens to be more natural than novels for me.)

    Also I'd love a fantasy comedy!:D
     
  9. FarmerBrown

    FarmerBrown Troubadour

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    Maybe we can get a sub-forum added? I self-published an epic fantasy and a short satirical 'paranormal' fantasy so far and I'm planning on continuing with self-publishing. I definitely agree there are certain considerations for fantasy, as Skip points out.
     
  10. MAndreas

    MAndreas Troubadour

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    Thanks all- I'm going with Amazon and a few other epubs with the option to print on demand via create space. I'm mostly hiring pros along the way as I believe Indie (aka self) publishing is going to be a better path for me. At least now, and with this series.

    One of the best sources I've found is a book, Write. Publish. Repeat. those guys really know their stuff! I've found sources, but it would just be great to have a place to come scream and have folks who understand what the scream is about. LOL. Right now I'm switching gears for a second editor and waiting to hear back if she can fit me in, I'm also waiting to see the first drafts of the covers. I'm having all three done at once so they have a similar look and the artist can use the same model.

    Obviously, if I don't make my March first deadline (I am behind on the editing especially) I'll move it back. But I figure aim for it then see what happens!

    A sub group would be fun :)

    I should add, waiting for these covers is KILLING ME! I think I'm checking the email hourly ;).
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2015
  11. MAndreas

    MAndreas Troubadour

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    YAY!! maybe you'll like mine then LWFlouisa! :)
     
  12. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    So, I brought it up; maybe I should speak to it.

    If there are special considerations for fantasy self-publishing, what are they? Rather than answer that, I'll offer up some categories.

    There's the whole writing side, of course, but honestly I think Mythic Scribes addresses that in detail. No need for anything special there.

    But what about editing? There again, I don't see any special issues--all editing has to address structure, continuity, voice, and so on.

    It's really when we come to publishing. I've already mentioned a couple. One would be creating and then maintaining a list of magazines, online or print, that publish fantasy. Another would be the various services and specific issues surrounding each.

    Another might be talking about agents, editors, artists and other folk that I think of as third-party people. Not a very nice label, but that's my own term.

    Another might be what I call social media stuff; that is, blogs, Twitter, etc. Sure, plenty of people talk about these things, but they don't always talk about what's specific to our genre. Maybe there's nothing special here, but I thought I'd throw it out.

    Anything else?

    I'm sort of on the fence about whether we really need a sub-group, but I do think it's at least worth talking about.
     
    LWFlouisa likes this.
  13. LWFlouisa

    LWFlouisa Troubadour

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    Yea social media aspects and magazine stuff is what I have most trouble with. Thanks!
     
  14. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Well, okay, here's my list of magazines that publish fantasy. Some (many) also publish SF. These are in the order they sit in my bookmark list; there is no other significance.

    Daily Science Fiction
    Penumbra is closed down! Augh!
    The Colored Lens
    Plasma Frequency Magazine Home Page
    Lightspeed Magazine - Science Fiction & Fantasy
    TTA Press - Interzone: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Latest News
    https://www.sfsite.com/fsf/
    http://www.anotherealm.com/
    http://www.aphelion-webzine.com/
    http://www.quantummuse.com/
    http://www.fantasy-magazine.com/
    http://bewilderingstories.com/
    http://www.strangehorizons.com/index.shtml
    http://spaceandtimemagazine.com/wp/

    I'm sure that's nowhere near complete. Anyone care to add to it? Maybe a document could be created (note the passive voice) to hold a curated list.

    I should add that anyone intending (I started with 'thinking' then switched to 'hoping' before choosing 'intending') to publish in a magazine should certainly start reading said magazine.
     
  15. MAndreas

    MAndreas Troubadour

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    The idea of a sub group would be mostly support for people planning on, or already publishing, self published novels with the intention of building a writing career. The issues facing the Indie pubbed are far different than trad pubbed.

    But I'm not sure how many people here are going that route. As for information, a place for artists, editors, and layout folks would be helpful- the pros, not just "my cousin draws really well" type ;). Also, good places to promote new books for our genre. I'm an RWA member (even though I don't write romance) to get info- those romance folks can MARKET. sadly, their sources won't work for me, so I'd love to see a place pulled together. To be honest, there is nothing like the RWA for our genre (don't get me started on SWFA) and maybe it's time there is ;).
     
    FarmerBrown likes this.
  16. FarmerBrown

    FarmerBrown Troubadour

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    The SFWA site is great for info, but I did cry a little on the inside after reading their membership requirements. The thing about romance writers is that they dominate, by FAR, the number of self published titles AND sales for self published works in almost every platform, especially Amazon. Fantasy sales are pretty pitiful compared to romance, simply because there's a much smaller audience. And they have great support systems for each other so once you're in and you can keep up with production (multiple titles a year), you're pretty much set. So, there are three major differences from fantasy writers: no legitimate self published fantasy writer organization (that I know of) as mentioned by MAndreas, smaller audience, and we can (for the most part) crank out maybe one fantasy novel a year unless you happen to be able to write full time, which most self publishers can't do.

    As mentioned by Skip, there are fairly good markets for short SFF works and loyal followers, so getting your name out that way is one option, though it's time consuming and one thing self publishers often don't have is a bunch of spare time for side projects and submissions, even if it's worth it.

    So what are we really going for here? A forum thread on Mythic Scribes dedicated to self publishers? Starting an organization that's the equivalent of SFWA but for self publishers? Creating a collective guide / pool of knowledge?

    I typed all this on my phone and my thumbs are tired so I'm calling it quits for now ;-)
     
    MAndreas likes this.
  17. MAndreas

    MAndreas Troubadour

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    LOL! I would love an organization like the RWA but for all Fantasy and SF writers! SIGH- a girl can dream :). I have heard from some folks on the "inside" that change is slowly coming to SFWA, but who knows when that would happen. I know romance has a much bigger market, but I think if the powers behind SFWA changed and became more supporting of all aspects of the genre, our market share would grow.

    But, for now, a forum thread for self-publishers would be awesome-all of the above and Fantasy review sites and places for ads would be awesome as well.

    And some fantasy writers can get out more than one book a year even with an evil day job ;)- we just have to write at damn near NaNoWriMo speed for a long time ;).
     
  18. Snikt5

    Snikt5 Dreamer

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    I'd say go for it but be prepared for the hard work to start as soon as you publish. Getting noticed is the hardest thing to do but nothing beats the feeling of the first sale and first 5 star review on Amazon. Good luck.
     
  19. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    What would be needed, how might it proceed? Here's a possible approach, offered more with hope for discussion than with intent to execute. ;-)

    Start with a sub-forum. Its purpose would be to map out a plan of action and eventually get actual people to do actual things. Or, at worst, to make it plain to all that there's just not enough oomph behind it to go anywhere. As a corollary, advertise that sub-forum on other fantasy-related sites so others interested could join.

    Among the things that would need to be planned and then created:
    web site (where we can collect resources)
    a formal organization (with cool acronym!)
    social media presence
    events (physical or virtual)
    some measurable victories, including at the very least some publications by authors
    eventually, maybe, mechanism for membership fees
    our own forums
    and in general, all the stuff one can find at the SFWA and RWA web sites

    So yeah, it's pretty huge. But it can be tackled incrementally, and one ought never underestimate the power of the crowd.
     
    Devor likes this.
  20. FarmerBrown

    FarmerBrown Troubadour

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