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Show me the money...traditional verses self publihing

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by MichaelSullivan, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Auror

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    Michael, your time in posting and then addressing questions and comments is much appreciated. It gives writers early in their careers useful and well-thoughtout information to base decisions upon. And some authors in varying stages of their career something to consider (or re-consider).
     
  2. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    I know this thread is mainly about money, but aside from the dollars and cents of the issue, which publishing route will likely get you more of an audience, self/e-publishing or traditional? Given the choice between making a ton of money and having my books be widely known and liked, I'd go for the second.
     
  3. MichaelSullivan

    MichaelSullivan Maester

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    There are many "non monetary" benefits to traditional over self-publishing. There is an entire population of readers that I couldn't reach without them. For me...because I won't avail myself of the low price points $0.99 and $2.99. There is no question I reach a larger audience with traditional. For those that do price in the $0.99 to $2.99...they sell more copies than the average traditionally published authors, but there is no way of knowing if those purchases are read or merely collected on impulse.
     
  4. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    Michael,

    On a slightly unrelated note, I just read an article titled "25 Self-published Authors to Watch".

    Your name came in at #6 and in a list of some esteemed/high selling company (Hocking, Locke, Konrath rated just above you).

    Link:
    http://www.expertmessagegroup.com/self-published-authors/

    Good stuff!
     
    kennyc likes this.
  5. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    The mathematician part of me is screaming to say "WELL DONE!" with the original post. Excellent points to consider, and written like a lawyer in clearly stating what you are and are not saying. Writing a winning argument with little to no faults is mathematics enough, but then you used NUMBERS too! *gasp*!!

    Sorry, but as someone that has to apologize for my day job when I am introduced to people (math instructor), it is nice to see mathematics put to use in a writer's forum!
     
  6. kennyc

    kennyc Inkling

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    It's the Little Things. :D
     
  7. MichaelSullivan

    MichaelSullivan Maester

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    Thanks so much for the post - I had not seen that before - pretty cool.
     
  8. MichaelSullivan

    MichaelSullivan Maester

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    The math calculations were actually provided by my wife (who is an ex-Engineer) I'll pas along your complements. Me and math unfortunately don't get along well together - but that's just one of the many reasons why Robin is so good to have around.
     
  9. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    Still, you did not denigrate or trivialize the mathematics, so I will count that as a win. Thanks again for the great original post and discussion since then.
     
  10. Addison

    Addison Auror

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    Here are the pros and cons I've found by researching traditional versus self publishing.
    Traditional pro's:
    Advertising is done by professional agents.
    The publisher generally already has contract or agreement with certain book stores to get your book on shelves.
    Professional artists design cover art and any other illustrations.

    Slef-publishing pro's:
    All money from sales goes directly to you.
    You have a firm, constant hand in marketing and advertising.
    You can design the illustrations yourself.

    Traditional Cons:
    You only get a percent of roytalies, percent varies by publisher.
    Parts you like in your book might be edited out to fit publisher's standards.

    Self-publishing Cons:
    Marketing, Advertising falls hard on your lap.
    You must talk to managers/owners of book stores to put your book on shelves if you don't go by e-book.

    I'm sure there's more but right now I'm quadruple tasking.
     
  11. kennyc

    kennyc Inkling

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    As has been mentioned many times, most of the Traditional marketing must be done by the author as well. It's only the big-ticket writers that get full publicity/advertising/promotional efforts.
     
  12. MichaelSullivan

    MichaelSullivan Maester

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    • Usually there is not in the way of "advertising" most activities are concentrated not on readers but on corporate book buyers.
    • Yes, sales to bookstores, and even co-op $'s (to get better shelf placement) is one of the advantages
    • Yes, cover design is done by professionals
    • I would add...two aspects on the editing side of things. a) There is a "validation" aspect that indicates the story and writing are strong enough to invest in. b) They provide story editing, copy editing, and proof reading.

    • Yes, higher revenue (as long as you DIY and don't use a 'self-publishing service (they still give you just a small %
    • As to marketing, your responsibility in that regards is the same in either path - ultimately the author needs to be responsible for building an audience.
    • Illustrations - some will consider that a positive others a negative
    • I would add: Income is more consistent. Traditional pays 2 times a year, self get monthly checks.

    Traditional Cons:
    • It doesn't vary all that much, most big-six are pretty standardized. If you go with a a small press they might vary on the ebook royalty more wildly.
    • Editing in traditional is generally considered a pro, in that they have professionals that know how to improve the book. Usually they won't want to sign you if they need/want wides scale changes. Rarely will they "insist" on a change, most of the time it is a "suggestion" at least that has been my experience - YMMV.

    • As I said - Marketing is pretty much the same in both.
    • Stores usually won't carry self-published books, period. If they do the quantities will be too low to make any serious traction.
     
  13. MichaelSullivan

    MichaelSullivan Maester

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    Yes, Precisely.
     
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