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Self Publishing

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L.P. Bowman



Joined: 01 May 2004
Posts: 334
Location: Southwest Oklahoma
Self Publishing  Reply with quote  

I am considering the self-publishing process....

The company I have been researching is Trafford.....

I am solicting pros and cons....

any input would be appeciated

thanks
L.P.

Post Thu Dec 29, 2005 5:44 am   View user's profile Send private message
Boota



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

The pros are obvious: you have a book out. That in itself is an accomplishment that a lot of people never achieve. Getting feedback from someone you don't know that says they loved your book is a kick. My mom liked my book, and I think she really did, but it means more from someone who doesn't "have" to like it. LOL. The occasional tease from the real industry is pretty exciting, right up to the point where it falls through.

I'm not familiar with that company. Is it POD or just a printer for your own imprint. I went with POD through Authorhouse and I wasn't aware of the stigma about POD. The assumption, by a lot of people, is that if you had to self-publish it's because you suck. The further assumption is that if you self-published through POD you suck more. What's worse is that it's often true. There is a lot of complete crap being self-published and you have to fight to stand out.

Be prepared for an uphill battle in trying to get anything accomplished with your book. Most chain stores won't carry a self-published book. The good news is that some will. Even a few chains who have policies against carrying self-published books have been carrying mine. You just have to approach every store individually. Which brings me to...

...The expense of handing out promotional copies and materials. You're the publisher, so it's all on your dime. Everyone whose help you'll need will need a free copy of the book and any other promotional stuff you have. Bookmarks are great. Everybody wants one, even if they don't want your book. There's no telling how many times a free bookmark has convinced someone to check out the book. The only evidence I have is that after events where I handed out bookmarks I had a spike in sales through my website, but I have no way of knowing for sure if it was the bookmarks or anything I did online.

An agent told me that publishers don't want to hear from you about any book you've self-published. Another agent told me that they do, if you can prove good sales. They've all told me to fuck off, but that could just be me.

I've had decent success in self-publishing, but from all sources it seems that my situation is the exception to the rule. I have a marketing outlet that a lot of people don't - through my band. Even before that started to take off I was doing better than the average, by the reports I was getting.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
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Post Thu Dec 29, 2005 7:10 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
L.P. Bowman



Joined: 01 May 2004
Posts: 334
Location: Southwest Oklahoma
 Reply with quote  

Boota:

thanks for the input.....I have no idea about POD or imprint and really do not have any idea what you are talking about.....remember I am not too bright and really don't know a lot about computers....

Trafford will take my microsoft word file and make it into a book obviously....they will make the cover (with my design), typeset by my examples given to them, set up a webpage for me, market the book through various sources, etc.

The package I am looking into cost about $2,000......the book will be printed on demand through orders.....I retain all rights and will be able to convert to another publisher if I choose (if solicited)

it all sounds too simple to me, but I guess technology has made this process cost effective....

I agree with you that marketing will be the toughest part (and most expensive)....but hell, I have to sell myself (skills, not body) daily....I will just have to see if I can sell my thoughts......

if you get time go check out trafford.com and let me know if this process is similar to what you have done....

thanks,
L.P.

Post Fri Dec 30, 2005 5:41 am   View user's profile Send private message
Boota



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

L.P.,

I checked it out. Trafford is a POD company like Authorhouse. (Print On Demand=POD) What I meant by your own imprint was if you were going to have your own company name printed on it and just use a printer to make your books. Trafford seems a little more expensive than Authorhouse, but I didn't look that extensively into it. Maybe they offer more in their standard package. With Authorhouse I had to pay more for different options. It worked out okay, though. They did things in house that I would have had to go to other companies to do. Some were worth it, some weren't. For instance, I found a local company that can print my bookmarks for less than half of what Authorhouse charges me. The owner of a local independent bookstore contacts me when he's going to place an order for his bookmarks and I go in half with him and have mine printed at the same time. It cuts my 50% savings a further 25%.

Be wary of POD companies that tell you how much you're going to make and how widespread your books availability will be. I don't know if Trafford is offering this, but POD generally can't get you into bookstores, even though their press leads you to believe that it will. Their global distribution is via the internet. I'm not saying you can't make that work, because I am doing okay at it, but it's a big difference between what they offer and having a display of books inside a store or series of stores. I have gotten lucky and had a few stores I worked with set up nice displays of my book in high traffic areas prior to a signing and they have sold very well that way. If you can get a store to do that for you it will help. Plus, it looks really cool when you walk into a store and see a nice display of your book.

The thing that took me most by surprise was the cost of my book. They charge a lot more than I wanted to charge for a trade paperback. That's due to the nature of only printing the books as they are ordered. If you have any means of distribution you might be better off to print the books on your own. You can get them a LOT cheaper. My book costs me $11.50 when buying them to sell on my own. If I can get distribution set up it will be worth it to print them in bulk and then have the distributor get them out. I've been told that I can get my book printed, as is, for under $2.00 a copy. If I wasn't broke I would definitely do it. One big benefit of POD is that you don't have an inventory to maintain, which could turn into a garage full of cases upon cases of books, without distribution.
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Post Fri Dec 30, 2005 7:56 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
L.P. Bowman



Joined: 01 May 2004
Posts: 334
Location: Southwest Oklahoma
 Reply with quote  

Boota:

Thanks for your time and comments....I think I will ultimately try this POD method.....for your time and effort I will send you a copy for free....hell I will even put a note in it and sign it.....I know you will be thrilled....my book is a spoof on philosophy and with a name like Boota, you will love it....or not...

send me info on how to get your book and I will buy one.....

Happy New Year.......I think this next year is going to be the best year ever............see you in the funny strips

L.P.

Post Sat Dec 31, 2005 6:07 am   View user's profile Send private message
Lauren



Joined: 07 Mar 2004
Posts: 1582
Location: Massachusetts
 Reply with quote  

LP, I'm coming to the thread late, but Trafford gets an okay from Victoria Strauss, who runs a writer beware site, and frequently posts on Absolute Write on their Bewares board:

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23535&highlight=trafford

You may also wish to look at http://www.lulu.com if you're concerned about pricing - they'll let you set your own cover price, but they don't do any sort of marketing for you. They'll get a printed book into your hands; the rest is up to you.
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Post Tue Jan 03, 2006 8:57 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address ICQ Number
Taco Bob



Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 1201
Location: Palm Falls, Florida
 Reply with quote  

LP, the POD sounds like the way to go for your first. Be a lot less work and you'll get your feet wet in publishing, not to mention a book in hand.
Being incapable of doing anything the easy way, I started my own publishing company and work directly with a printer. As Boota said, it's a lot cheaper per book that way. It's also a giant PITA having to do everything yourself. Luckily, I'm blessed with a few people that help me with the editing and layout or it'd be an even harder row to hoe. Found out yesterday that to get my next in hand for the signings I have coming up this spring, I need to get everything to the printer by the 20th of this month. Of course this comes when I'm trying to rewrite the first chapter and neck deep in the day job. So being your own publisher can be a mite challenging at times. Rolling Eyes
But congrats on getting a book done and good luck!

Post Thu Jan 05, 2006 5:08 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Lisa M



Joined: 08 Jul 2004
Posts: 1844
Location: Rhode Island
Call me crazy, but . . .  Reply with quote  

I just had a thought (no need to alert the media, yet).

What if we, as a group, formed a publishing cooperative? There are a number of us wanting to be published and as we all know, breaking in to the mainstream or even small creek is tough. Setting up one's own imprint, a la Taco Bob is a huge endeavor time wise if not otherwise. But here at the boardello we have a wide range of very talented folks. In the electronic world, it clearly doesn't matter if we are geographically close. I envision it as a publishing cooperative. Some do editing, some do layout, some do graphics, some do marketing, etc.

Okay, it is just an off-the-cuff thought, but is it in any way conceivable? Am I crazy? If I am, please don't hesitate to say so. I probably need some tough love in that area.

Post Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:16 am   View user's profile Send private message
Lara as guest
Guest




 Reply with quote  

Self publishing is fine. My dad self published his first book. A publisher got hold of it and they bought it. Now they publish all of his stuff.

Post Sat Jan 07, 2006 8:29 pm   
L.P. Bowman



Joined: 01 May 2004
Posts: 334
Location: Southwest Oklahoma
the book  Reply with quote  

thanks for the additional info Lauren and Taco Bob....

I am defnitely going with Trafford, unless I change my mind....

my rep for Trafford is named Nacho and it is a chick.....cool name....so far I have just communicated by email but I can't wait to actually talk to someone named Nacho....I know, I know.....I am kinda cheesy....

cover is done (or at least the concept), intro is done....currently working on edit....I have a friend doing it because I am finding it very hard to edit my own thoughts......now I just need some goofy stuff for the back of the cover such as...."instant cult classic for all philosophers....Bowman is basically an idiot but the read is insightful and will challenge the most complex and totally confuse the idiots"......

I don't think I will make much money.....but damn if I am doing this thing I will definitely have fun with it and smile all the time.....

Post Tue Jan 17, 2006 3:23 pm   View user's profile Send private message
knikkki



Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 3145
Location: Davis, CA
Re: the book  Reply with quote  

L.P. Bowman wrote:
my rep for Trafford is named Nacho and it is a chick.....cool name....so far I have just communicated by email but I can't wait to actually talk to someone named Nacho....I know, I know.....I am kinda cheesy....



Nacho Cheesey?

Congrats, and all the best!
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Post Tue Jan 17, 2006 3:49 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
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