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Authors Showcase, Indiana
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Boota



Joined: 09 Apr 2004
Posts: 830
Location: Kokomo, Indiana
Authors Showcase, Indiana  Reply with quote  

I received some good news recently.

I've been invited to appear at the Indiana Authors Showcase at the Indiana State Fair in early August. From all reports it's a great way to not only sell books, but to expand a network, which I seriously need to do. I was invited by Tom Doherty, who owns a book distributing company in Indianapolis, Cardinal Publishing Group. (His father is Tom Doherty Sr., the founder of Tor Books.) He came to speak to our writer's group and gave me the invitation. What's even better is that he has expressed a tentative interest in distributing my book. He's crunching numbers and seeing if it is feasible with my current method of publication, POD.

I confirmed my intent to appear at the showcase yesterday and already today I've done two phone interviews with newspapers. I'm hoping for even more. Being self-published it's hard to get the word out. This should help quite a bit.
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"We went together like Kennedys and head wounds."--Lenny Kapowski

Post Tue Jul 26, 2005 2:17 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
sgt_steve



Joined: 18 Jan 2005
Posts: 5197
Location: Michissippi
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Excellent, dude. (Heh, I said dude.)

Please let us know how the self-publishing/publish on demand thing works out for you. I'm very interested in the whole idea, even tho I don't write myself.

In particular - from the amount of time between when you said you finished the book and when it came out, you must have gone straight to self-publishing. Why did you make that particular choice.

Sorry, I'm thread-jacking again...

Post Tue Jul 26, 2005 2:29 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
jaandlu



Joined: 17 Apr 2005
Posts: 4578
Location: Location, location, location.
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Boota that is great Very Happy I am so happy for you. I'd say more but... I'm in the middle of a really great book. Very Happy Laughing Very Happy Laughing

Ja
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Post Tue Jul 26, 2005 2:40 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Boota



Joined: 09 Apr 2004
Posts: 830
Location: Kokomo, Indiana
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sgt steve,

Thank you. And there's no need to apologize for the threadjack. It's all in context. Smile

So far, the POD thing is working out better for me than it apparently does for most people. It is a little rough getting my foot through the door in some places, but other places jump at the chance to carry my book. They like the idea of having something that is outside the mainstream and you can't just pick up at Walmart. Also, it turns out I'm a pretty good salesman when I walk into stores and talk to them about carrying it. If I can hook up with this distributor it will open even more doors.

Initially, I did try to find a publisher and I sought out a few different agents as well. I was shotdown every time. Instead of spending however long it took to get someone to take notice of my book, if they ever would, I decided that I would put it out myself. Some of the rejection letters I got were brutal. And it wasn't even from reading the book. One publisher in particular "insulted" me in the margins of my own returned query letter. LOL. (I had to put insulted in quotes because I was actually flattered by it. I loved it that my query letter alone set her off like that.) The main reason behind my self-publishing decision was part impatience and part indignation. The book was done, I wanted it out. I believed that if people read it they would love it. The other element was a bit of, "Fuck you, I'll do it myself!" I've been a professional musician since I was sixteen, so I just looked at publishing my own book as a literary demo tape.


Jaandlu, thank you. Smile Don't let me interrupt your reading. Enjoy.
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Post Tue Jul 26, 2005 4:05 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Regina



Joined: 02 Mar 2005
Posts: 952
Location: Northeast U.S
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Congrts! That rules!

Post Wed Jul 27, 2005 10:26 am   View user's profile Send private message
Boota



Joined: 09 Apr 2004
Posts: 830
Location: Kokomo, Indiana
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Thanks Regina!
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Post Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:12 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Goudron



Joined: 03 Aug 2004
Posts: 2570
Location: near Cleveland OH
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Way to go Smile

I recently read a brief article abotu self publishing, and figured out to make a profit selling on Amazon, a 200 pg paperback would have to be priced around $30 or so... That was just one place and for 100 books in one shot.
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Post Wed Jul 27, 2005 8:06 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Boota



Joined: 09 Apr 2004
Posts: 830
Location: Kokomo, Indiana
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Thanks Goudron!

I do disagree with the article, though. I guess it might depend on how you go about doing it, but I make the same money on a sale from Amazon as I make from a sale at a brick and mortar store. My book is more expensive than I wanted it to be, at $21.95 retail, but I had no say in that. Authorhouse establishes the selling price. My book is 480 pages, so that is why they charge so much for it. And being POD it costs more because they aren't mass produced.

What it could be talking about is if someone were to totally self-publish, handling the printing and everything. Then if you only printed 100 books it would be hugely expensive per unit. But if you printed 1,000 copies the unit cost would drop a lot. Then it becomes an issue of selling 1,000 copies or keeping them in garage for years. Inventory management was one of the reasons I decided to go POD. I don't have the means, experience or knowledge to handle total distribution for my book. Authorhouse handles all that in house. The pros and cons pretty much level out once you can find your audience and make some sales. I made my initial investment back in the first year of release. Now that I'm getting my name a little more I'm selling better and this money is all mine. Not that it's a lot of money right now, but at least I've covered my production costs. Anything now that comes in from the book is profit.

One of the things Mr. Doherty from the Cardinal Publishing Group talked to me about was leaving POD and producing the book myself, which he can help with. His thinking is that if he can distribute my book successfully then I can justify moving to an individual self-publishing operation instead of the POD. I can cut my production costs by printing a large run, and I'll have a distributor already in place. Even at my discount it costs me almost $12 a book. He mentioned possibly being able to get the cost down as low as even $2.00, depending on number of copies I decided to print. That would allow for retail mark-up and still keep the purchase price lower.

I guess after the Author's Showcase we'll see if he's interested and I'm interested and decide whether to go for it or not. CPG is primarily a non-fiction entity, but he did offer to take some books and try to move them for me. It could turn into something.
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Post Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:22 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Goudron



Joined: 03 Aug 2004
Posts: 2570
Location: near Cleveland OH
 Reply with quote  

Thanks for all the info Boota. I didn't want to pry, but it's nice to know that POD isn't necessarily as hopeless as the article made it sound. The article (in Kiplingers I think) was actually pro-POD, saying for $1000 you could publish your own book, but the figures they used didn't make it look very sensible.

Whichever way you go, good luck at the fair!
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Post Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:55 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Boota



Joined: 09 Apr 2004
Posts: 830
Location: Kokomo, Indiana
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POD is a rough way to go. Don't fall for the hype that some companies put out there. (For instance, PublishAmerica.) Authorhouse and PublishAmerica work in very simialr ways. The difference is, Authorhouse told me up front what I could expect from them and they've told me the truth. PA tells you that they will have your book in stores all over the place. They won't. That is all up to the author/publisher. Some POD companies go after people who seem to forget that THEY are their own publisher.

It is rough, but it's not hopeless. The hardest part about being POD is the stigma attached to it in some people's minds. Such as the book must suck if a traditonal publisher didn't take it and POD just publishes anything for money. The truth is, POD companies will publish anything they are paid to do. But there are still some good books that are coming out through POD.

My cost for initially publishing with Authorhouse was $498 dollars, flat. I went up to over $1,000 by taking promotional options, such as bookmarks, postcards, advertising, and a press release to several media outlets. That helped. I didn't get a LOT of press, but I did get some through the press release. And that turned into more from that one review that was written about the book. The cost was virtually nothing in the big picture.

Thanks again for the well wishes. Smile
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"We went together like Kennedys and head wounds."--Lenny Kapowski

Post Thu Jul 28, 2005 10:47 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
jaandlu



Joined: 17 Apr 2005
Posts: 4578
Location: Location, location, location.
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Boota wrote:
My book is more expensive than I wanted it to be, at $21.95 retail, but I had no say in that. Authorhouse establishes the selling price. My book is 480 pages, so that is why they charge so much for it.


Ummm... I didn't pay that much for it. I followed the link you sent me, but it didn't cost me that much. Did I rip you off? Cause if I did I'll send you the difference. It would be worth it.


Ja
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Post Thu Jul 28, 2005 1:20 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Boota



Joined: 09 Apr 2004
Posts: 830
Location: Kokomo, Indiana
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jaandlu,

You must have went throughwww.mr-undesirable.com to get yours. It is cheaper there than it is through a retailer. ($16.50 vs. $21.95, plus shipping.) That is a page from the Authorhouse site. If you got it there you didn't rip me off, you gave me a larger percentage of the book. I get $2.70 a book through a retailer, but I get $4.95 a book from selling through the Authorhouse site. A lot of people still prefer to buy online through Amazon because they already have accounts set up there.

I'm not really worried about how much I get per book or all that. I just want the people who buy it not to feel ripped off, however much they pay. A guy my dad knows, who ordered my book from a Barnes and Noble brick and mortar store, found out that I made more from my purchases at my site, so he mailed me an additional five bucks because he said he enjoyed it so much. After that I would get a five dollar bill in the mail every so often. He charged people my royalty if they wanted to borrow his book instead of buying one of their own. LOL.

Thanks. I'm glad you're enjoying Mr. U. Smile
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"We went together like Kennedys and head wounds."--Lenny Kapowski

Post Thu Jul 28, 2005 3:21 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Ferrit Leggings



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 2658
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Boota,

I canít imagine anyone who would want their money back after reading your book. I ordered it via Amazon for the reasons you stated. If I had known then I would have gotten it through author house. Sorry about that.

I do have a BN account but only use it when someone gives me a gift card. I donít like the website and their store is not organised to my liking.

When I think of a bookshop I think of tiled floors and dust settling on them. There is someone at a counter to help but they spend most of their time letting you wander around shelved books and some stacks on the floor. In the corner a cat is sleeping that doesnít move when you pet it. It just purrs slightly. There is a slight smell of old tobacco in the air but no one is smoking. But the best thing about the old bookstores is the rare finds like a Vonnegut hardback. There are not too many of these shops around because of people that like to spend their time drinking double lattes and enjoying the idea of a bookshop and not a real one where the woman behind the counter is rasping with a smokers cough and smelling like hard candy. For some reason people like the clean shops and organised shelves, to me it is nice to find a copy of Green Eggs and Ham next to Zen Flesh Zen Bones.

Ta,
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Post Thu Jul 28, 2005 3:55 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
jaandlu



Joined: 17 Apr 2005
Posts: 4578
Location: Location, location, location.
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Boota,
Ok then I feel good about it. Very Happy

Ja
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I honestly never thought I would live this long. Now I don't know what to do with myself.

Post Thu Jul 28, 2005 11:51 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Boota



Joined: 09 Apr 2004
Posts: 830
Location: Kokomo, Indiana
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FL, I sell most of my books through Amazon. It's no big deal if I make a little less money from the sale. My main concern is that the reader enjoys the book. I was really concerned that people might be disappointed in my book after paying so much for it. As it turns out I haven't really heard anything bad about it. Even my "bad" newspaper review was pretty positive, and the guy ended up printing a retraction of the negative parts of his criticism a few issues later. His co-workers read the review copy when he was done and reamed his ass for saying anything bad about it. LOL. They loved it! He re-read the book and wrote a new review for it. I was pretty shocked at that.

I don't care for the BN website, either. I've never used it, but I've been to it and it didn't look like much.

The store you described sounds a lot like the only store in my hometown that carries my book on the shelves. I can get lost in that store for hours. I love going in there and finding a book that I just have to have, even though I didn't know it until I saw it. While there is no cat in the store, it does have a ghost, but I have yet to pet it. The whole place just smells of books, except for the occasional burst of air freshener mounted above the door. Discussions over everything and nothing are scattered throughout the store. Someone compares Shakespeare's work to the film "Zombie Biker Chicks From Hell" and has a compelling argument. A homeless guy tries to sell the owner an old Sears catalog he found in the trash, honestly thinking it is worth a fortune. That's my bookstore.

Ja, good! I'm glad you feel good about it. Knowing that you're enjoying Mr. U already makes me feel good about it.
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"We went together like Kennedys and head wounds."--Lenny Kapowski

Post Fri Jul 29, 2005 8:27 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
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