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Thinking of getting stories published independently but don't know any services

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Devora, Dec 26, 2014.

  1. Devora

    Devora Sage

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    I'm thinking of publishing my stories on my own, but i don't know what avenues to take.

    I'm thinking of using eBooks and Print-on-demand, but i don't know where to go.

    Does anyone know any?
     
  2. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    There are literally hundreds of articles, books, web site, and blogs on this topic. The obvious leaders are Amazon and Smashwords, but plenty of other players are in the field.

    Where have you looked so far?
     
  3. Devora

    Devora Sage

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    Amazon and a print on demand service (i forget the name now :S), but i get slightly deterred because I can't pay for the service because i'm flat broke and having trouble find a job.
     
  4. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    You shouldn't be paying anyone to publish your stories. If you are, it's a scam.
     
  5. acapes

    acapes Sage

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    Take a close look at Amazon's kindle program & its Createspace for POD and Lightning Source/IngramSpark (who do both too) and expect to pay someone money. The worst way to self-publish is without any money, or any form of investment on the author's part of course. Pay an editor, pay someone to format an ebook, pay for cover design etc or if money is tight, offer to swap skills, proofread someone's novel in exchange for them proofreading yours etc

    You can pay some publishing companies to do a lot of these tasks for you, known as Vanity Publishing, which is fine if you're doing it just for yourself and family etc, but make sure you don't, in the process, give away your rights.

    Good luck!
     
    GregTaylor and TWErvin2 like this.
  6. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Auror

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    As acapes indicated, you'll need to have your works edited and a cover created (art/layout/titlework) minimum. I think if you only e-publish you won't need an ISBN, or if you just stick with Amazon/Create Space and don't go for any further distribution, so that would save money.

    If your stories appear unprofessional (by the cover) they will be largely ignored--or at least have a big hurdle to overcome when attracting potential readers. If the work inside is poorly edited (not just typos and grammar gaffs), it'll turn off readers, and possibly earn very poor reviews, which will strongly deter future readers.
     
    acapes likes this.
  7. 2WayParadox

    2WayParadox Sage

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    If you publish on Smashwords, you get a free ISBN code for the e-book version of your book.

    In the resources section there is a thread about the self-publishing madpack (or something), there's a lot you can do yourself and coincidentally, there's a lot to be done. I'm looking into this myself now and it does seem daunting, but I remember Steven Pressfield's message in the War of Art: do the work, every day, for the rest of your days. You will love yourself for it.
     
  8. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Auror

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    It's not either or with Smashwords and Amazon. You can publish and be available via both venues, and at Kobo and iTunes and Nook as well.
     
  9. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    OK, broke is broke. I believe you.

    The others are correct, if you want to get published in the sense of putting your book in a place where others will actually buy it and you'll make a few shekels, then you gotta invest, which means you can't be broke. It's a harsh truth but there it is.

    You can, however, get your book up on Smashwords and Amazon and other sites without spending a penny. Chances are, no one will see it and no one will read it, but it'll be there.

    I guess this is the point where we ask: you *do* have a book, right? Not WIP, but actually finished? Because if you don't, it's too soon to be asking this question.

    Anyway, there are many, many resources (as I said earlier) on how to self-publish. You can read a goodly amount for Absolutely Free! and you should. You absolutely should, because it's free and all it takes is your time and you have to show that you are willing to invest at least that much in your dream of publishing. Folks around here have invested huge amounts of time, and I for one am chary of wasting their time, precisely because they've been so generous with me.

    Really. There are like fifty sites you could go to that would tell you all of what you've just asked here. I am not trying to be rude, I'm trying to be serious. There's a difference, though not one I'm always able to pull off in text. Insert earnest facial expression here.

    This is the same advice I give my students. Do the research first. Then ask.
     
    Devora likes this.
  10. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    You do need to invest in putting out a quality product if you want to succeed. However, you do not have to invest money. You can invest your time in developing the skills you need to make a quality product on your own. Plenty of authors have done this with good results.

    For instance, a regular over at The Passive Voice Blog, Libbie Hawker, has stated more than once that she spent $0 to publish her debut historical fiction novel The Sekhmet Bed and to date it has earned her $50,000. If you look at it you can see that she was able to put together a very effective and professional looking cover herself using public domain art. You don't HAVE to hire a professional cover artist.

    You can also learn to effectively self-edit. Or if you are good at editing but really don't think you could develop the skills to make a good cover (for example) you could do a trade with another indie author who can make great covers but doesn't want to edit their own work. Many, many indies out there work cooperatively. Most of the indie community is full of great people who love to help others. And the internet is full of resources to help you either develop your skills or find other people who can work with you.

    So yes, you should make an investment into your work to make it as good a product as you can. But you don't have to invest money and you don't have to do it all alone.
     
  11. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    Hi:
    -Amazon
    -Smashwords (although I have heard many complaints on them if you're going into Kindle Select)
    -Kobo
    -Google Play
    -Apple
    -Barnes and Noble
    -Book Baby

    Those are just some I know. Also, if you have any stories for free there are a ton of online venues that you can investigate for advertising your free books. A good resource are the Kindle Boards, loads of self publishing links there. Best of luck to you!
     
  12. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Mythopoet makes excellent points. The lesson here is that the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it. Didn't we learn that in, oh, third grade or so?
     
  13. 2WayParadox

    2WayParadox Sage

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    learning something is easy, acting o what you've learnt is something else entirely
     
  14. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    But have you then really learnt it?

    Or are we straying too far from the topic with that question?
     
  15. 2WayParadox

    2WayParadox Sage

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    Right now, I'm learning about self-publishing and the marketing that goes with it. Apart from that, I'm trying to find suitable ways to improve myself as a writer. Most importantly, I'm trying to establish a habit where I 'do the work, every day', following the War of Art's guidelines.

    I'm reading, learning, condensing and doing a lot of nodding. But so far, I'm not yet at the step where I'm actually implementing. That's the step that takes the real courage.

    The minimal investment to self-publish isn't terribly large: web hosting and mailing list hosting, there are also various pieces of software that are to be considered: scrivener for example. Professional editing and professional cover design, that's something else. The editing I might consider doing myself, at least at first, but cover design isn't something I have any affinity for. As far as I can remember, those are the only costs mentioned (most paid services, like advertising, are not recommended for beginners).

    Learning more has made me more confident that it's possible to self-publish something decent, at the same time it has thoroughly imprinted in my mind how much work is involved. Passion is required. There needs to be a conviction within you that you want to write and that you want to market your book so that the people who like reading it can find it. That's more work.

    But still, the dream is to spend every hour of every day doing what it is that I want to do. And the road to the dream is paved by working hard, there's no other way.
     
  16. FarmerBrown

    FarmerBrown Troubadour

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    Just want to play devil's advocate here and point out that while there are hundreds of good resources the OP should look into, there are hundreds more BAD resources and websites that are very misleading and can easily snare a newbie. Starting here is a wise choice if you know very little, so I don't think OP should be chastised for asking *somewhat trustworthy* people where to start instead of just starting.

    Here's a great resource for avoiding predatory sites: WRITER BEWARE® - SFWA
     
  17. PaulineMRoss

    PaulineMRoss Inkling

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    Some good advice here. Not much to add. A couple of good resources as starting points for complete beginners. David Gaughran has a very useful book called 'Let's Get Digital', which is all about how and why to self-publish. It spells out all the traps for the unwary. It's here:

    Let's Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should: Updated Second Edition (Let's Get Publishing Book 1) - Kindle edition by David Gaughran. Reference Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

    The original version of this is available as a free pdf download from the author's website, here:

    https://davidgaughran.files.wordpre...igital-by-david-gaughran-free-pdf-edition.pdf

    There's also a follow-up, 'Let's Get Visible', about marketing the book after you've self-published.

    There's a forum at Kboards, called Writers' Cafe, which has a whole heap of people who've been through the self-publishing process. It's a great place for finding out about the nitty-gritty and the current state of the market. You can find it here:

    Writers' Cafe
     
    Svrtnsse likes this.
  18. cupiscent

    cupiscent Sage

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  19. GregTaylor

    GregTaylor Dreamer

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    Think you have all the advise you need here.. I agree with investing what you can afford. Pretty covers attract readers, also you want as many people to see it as possible - Promotion, Presentation, and a good solid read. Good luck!

    'Don't skimp on the cover art said the cover artist' heh
     
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