Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Self Publishing can it work?

I have been thinking about self publishing lately.
Not that I am about to leap into anything.
As I said the other day I have an editor reading my work as I type.
But I am fairly sick of the traditional route into publication and I have hardly begun yet.

Like many of us I have had a curious look at outfits like Lulu.com and Booksurge.com and wondered if they were any different from vanity publishing of old.

Of the two mentioned above, Lulu looks less like it will subject a prospective author to an aggressive marketing campaign to sell add-ons. Lulu seems to allow you to self quote; Booksurge wants to put you in contact with a “publishing consultant”.

One difference I can see between this model and traditional vanity publishers is that with Print on Demand a client of such businesses would not necessarily end up with a garage full of unsold books. I know more than one person who has suffered this fate.

Still the author is left with the problem of how do they sell their books? If I can’t manage to market well enough to get an agent to read my manuscript, how do I go about marketing my book to the world?

Dilemmas, dilemmas.

Now just ‘cause I like them, a couple of photos.

These guys are Rainbow Lorikeets they are quite common along the east coast I snapped them at a local park near the Yarra River during February.

Also another sunset, this one near Lake George in June last year.


Kathleen Jones said...

Self-publishing isn't vanity publishing - it's the real thing, just knocking out the middleman. Wordsworth and Coleridge did it, Virginia Woolf did it (Hogarth Press), and three books in the Man Booker prize shortlist recently were self-published. Just make sure that the product is absolutely professional - editing, copy-editing, book design and printing. Marketing can be done by a website, and by registering with Amazon as a seller - Barnes and Noble and Borders will also sell self-published books. You have to do lots of self-promotion - getting reviews, getting bookshops to stock it etc - as much publicity as you can generate. But it's definitely an option! And at least all the profit goes into your pockets and not the publisher's. Good luck!

Al said...

Hi Kathleen,
Thanks for the comment. I suppose as you say the difference is about professionalism. Making sure the product has merit and is presented appropriately.
Then a marketing campaign, a lot of drive needed there, still if one has enough self belief and is sure enough of the work.
I suspect the main thing is to do your homework before jumping in at the deep end.