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Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by swenk, May 3, 2010.

  1. swenk

    swenk Member

    Hi folks, thought there might be some interest in this, from yesterday's New York Times magazine.

    As traditional book publishing becomes more "streamlined" (translation: fewer books, publishers, and bookstores, smaller staffs, no money, publicity/hahaha), and authors (both established and new) are left with great projects still in the drawer, it's hard to overlook the option of self-publishing. It's not the cheesy mess it once was.

    Clearly it's not for everyone (especially if you need an advance to support yourself and/or the project), but for some authors, this has become an easy and sometimes lucrative way to get your book published, especially if you have a built-in audience and a means to promote yourself (column, radio show, blog, etc).

    At the risk of putting myself out of business, I'm happy to discuss this here if there's any interest.

  2. writestuff1

    writestuff1 Member

    I have a few questions. I was hoping to do a PM, but I don't notice that function. Is that not available anymore?
  3. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    The Louisville Courier-Journal is intrigued by your ideas and wants to subscribe to your newsletter.
  4. On a related note:
    We have "people who have written a book" come in or call us once a week wanting a story.
    I'm inclined to tell them no, because it is almost exclusively self-published.
    To me, that says your book sucks but you plowed ahead anyway and paid to publish it yourself.
    I think we need a new standard for which "authors" get a story.
  5. swenk

    swenk Member

    There will be a lot more of those now, as Amazon and others have made it possible to self-publish without laying out big money, via publishing on demand; readers can just order a copy of the book directly from Amazon (for example), and you don't have to print and store 5000 copies in your basement.

    The fact is, as hard as it was to get book deals in the past, it's incredibly hard now, especially if you're talking about a book with a modest upside. Publishers don't want to invest the advance and manpower in a book that will sell 7,500-10,000 copies. Which is what most books sell, if you're lucky.

    So who does this work for? Examples:
    --A columnist who wants to issue a collection of columns (assuming he/she owns the columns).
    --A doctor who wants to give patients direct info on a topic, instead of making them dig through 100 other books.
    --An expert who does a lot of speaking, and wants to tell his audiences, "You can buy my book...."
    --A local writer who can't get a publisher interested in a very regional idea that might sell 2,000 copies.

    Fiction? I wouldn't go there, unless you have a huge family with a lot of cousins who really love you, a lot.

    Just remember, it's hard enough to sell books with a big house behind you. It's not easier on your own. But you're keeping a lot more of the proceeds, so you can sell fewer books and make the same money (if that's your goal).

    And in every case, without exception: hire an outside editor. No matter how good you think you are.
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