What Makes Self-Publishing Happen?

15 Jan

 
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It Seems with the fall of commercial Publishers, there are more and more out there that are willing to put forth the effort and Self-Publish. I’ve written on this topic many times, but as a young ambitious writer, it’s fascinating to see it become a reality. For many of us, we struggle on a budget, but finding people or even family willing to support your efforts can really work. Here is one writers story, from an article I read in the New York Times by EDWIN MCDOWELL…

A Self-Publishing Budget

Evelyn Kaye, who had written 12 books, recently self-published ”Travel and Learn,” a guide to more than 1,000 study travel programs in the United States and abroad.

Ms. Kaye researched and wrote the book in six months, did the layout on her computer and paid a friend to design the cover. Then she paid to have 1,000 copies printed. ”I budgeted $5,000 for printing, design and postage,” Ms. Kaye said, ”and I’ve kept within that budget.”

To break even on the $23.95 book, she needs to sell just over 200 copies through the mail, or 400 copies in bookstores (which buy at discounts up to 50 percent), or a combination of the two. She said she already had orders for more than 210 copies.

”It’s hard work,” Ms. Kaye said. ”But there is great satisfaction in having control over everything about your book, from how many copies you print to what it looks like.”

She is a seasoned writer, with twelve books already under her sleeve, a painstaking road to getting her name out. But for writers who enjoy more than the profit, it’s just another luxury of finding what it is you contribute to this world. I find a lot of Self-Published writers struggling with the onset of price point, often finding that at 1000 copies, it’s hard to make a profit. Look at it this way, having your book out there, is better than anything. If you intend to share your story with the world, well, you’re doing it! It’s a slow snowball, that takes time to roll into the minds and hearts of all readers.

I am expecting my first run of “Feather” in about two weeks, and I am excited to be able to share it with my audience. Breaking even is the goal, because I believe my story will touch the hearts of all that read it, and perhaps change the mindsets of those expecting less from life.

I want to prove that Self-Publishing works, beyond the world of “Self Help”. There are so many authors out there, that can’t afford to wait for the expensive slow production of major houses, especially in the world of Fiction.

I believe Fantasy is at no loss for self-publishers though, purely based on stereotype, and I apologise. You don’t see many Chick Lit writers out there self publishing, there are the few, but not more than the world of Fantasy, the breeding ground of all computer nerds, including myself.

But back to the fall of major Publishers, it’s coming, and it’s only a matter of time. Already, my friend Brian Rathbone and I have challenged the world of EBook’s, making into the top three on MobiPocket for Fantasy. Both self Published, and both entrepreneurs in our own “write,” we’ve looped around the complicated path of submission and query.

Also from the same article…

The Biggest Paradox

Perhaps the biggest paradox is that at a time when commercial houses are investing a small fortune in money, time and energy trying to publish best sellers, self-published books – including some that were self-published and then bought by big publishers – are making the best-seller list with growing regularity.

Next week, for example, ”Life 101” (Prelude Press), a self-published book by John Roger and Peter McWilliams, will be No. 4 on the Advice, How-to and Miscellaneous list. And ”What Color Is Your Parachute?” by Richard N. Bolles, a guide for job seekers, has been on the Times best-seller list periodically for more than a decade; originally self-published, the Ten Speed Press edition has sold more than three million copies.

In the last year or so, a number of books that were initially self-published have become big best sellers, like ”Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun” by Wess Roberts and ”The Book of Questions” by Gregory Stock, which was a best seller for 22 weeks (8 weeks at No. 1) and has sold more than a million copies in the Workman Publishing Company edition.

One of the biggest-selling hardcover books of the 1980’s, ”The One Minute Manager” by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson, was self-published before the authors sold it to William Morrow & Company.

We have recently welcomed and endorsed Eckhart Tolle, one of the best examples of Self-Publishing success in the new age.

What makes it possible, is the highly networked world of today. People like you, whom have found this article across the lines of media and endless threads. Google, even Amazon help to spread the word, making self-made websites heavy hits, and blogs a fashionable hobby.

It seems the world has changed, and we rely on these changes to bring the voice of all people to a head. The freedom of Speech has never been so accessable, in a world of billions, where the other side of the earth no longer seems that far…

Thank you 🙂

Abra Ebner and Feather Book Series

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One Response to “What Makes Self-Publishing Happen?”

  1. jmreep January 15, 2009 at 10:36 pm #

    A very good post.

    I’m not sure if the big, corporate publishers have fallen just yet, but certainly, their Day of Reckoning is coming. Like the music industry before them, they’re going to have to adapt to the changes that the Internet has brought to publishing. They’ll need to transform their 20th century business models into 21st century business models. The companies that can do this will survive. Those that can’t, won’t.

    A great site that you should check out, if you haven’t already, is Publishing Renaissance at
    http://publishren.wordpress.com/
    They have a lot of great articles on the challenges and rewards of self-publishing. (And best of all, I’m going to be a guest blogger for them next week. 😉 )

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