Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

07/31/2013

How To Hit a Self-Publishing Grand Slam


There are literally gobs and gobs of self-publishing avenues, advice, publishers, tech data, etc. out there. If one should have an inkling to try his/her hand at self-publishing a work — they simply can get overwhelmed!

Let’s try to cut through a lot of the thicket tonight and focus on three key elements needed for SP success. I have hit upon the elements in tonight’s subject in prior posts — but, not from this angle. We are going to refocus on just SP tonight, while, at the same time, reveal a great resource for future SP understanding and marketing success.

The three keys for SP happiness are:

  1. Hire your own experienced content editor.
  2. Hire your own professional cover designer.
  3. Buy your own ISBN.

Notice, that was a ‘content’ editor, not a copyeditor or proofreader. (I did a detailed piece on all editors, Editors! — Views from Both Sides of the Editor’s Desk – And then Some, back in May on my Writers Welcome Blog. Feel free to take a minute and learn even more.)

Tonight’s feature article explores a little about the content or structural editor — You will also learn exactly why having your own ISBN protects you as the publisher and not your ‘subsidy publisher’ (e.g.: Smashwords, Createspace etc.)

Published in BookWorks (and featured on Publishers Weekly) by Betty Kelly Sargent, founder & CEO of BookWorks:

 

Three Keys to Self-Publishing Success

 

It’s a jungle out there. Anybody who has ever self-published, or even thought about it, knows this. Sure, the opportunities for self-publishing success seem almost limitless these days, but why is it that some self-published authors have sold millions of books while others spend thousands of dollars and only manage to sell 122 copies—mostly to friends, acquaintances, and their mom?

Then there are all those other questions facing the self-published author. For example, right now, e-book prices are all over the place, so how do you figure out the best price point to maximize sales? And, what about digital rights management? There’s a big controversy over whether DRM is a good or a bad thing for authors in the long run. We will discuss all of these issues in future columns.

For now, what is a self-respecting, ambitious self-publisher to do? It all comes down to this: take charge. Whether you’re working with a subsidy publisher like CreateSpace, Book Baby, or Lulu, or you are taking the do-it-yourself route, it is essential that you oversee every aspect of the process. First, you have to make sure your book is the very best it can be. Second, you have to become smart, savvy, patient, and persistent in the marketing department—but we’ll discuss the second part of this equation in another column.

What are the three things every self-publishing writer can do to significantly up the chances for success?

  1. Hire your own experienced content editor.
  2. Hire your own professional cover designer.
  3. Buy your own ISBN. 

Let’s talk about editors first. Content editors are also sometimes called developmental or structural editors, as opposed to copyeditors and proofreaders, who read manuscripts more closely and check for style, punctuation, and grammar. These content editors are the people who often become your new best friend. They usually work with you from the start, with a single goal in mind: to help you make your book the best it can be. You is the key word here. This is your book. Your name is on the title page, not the editor’s. If you ever find yourself working with an editor who seems to be more interested in having you do things her way than your way, dump her. Good editors always listen to the writer and try to understand what it is that he or she wants to accomplish, whether it is to tell a good story or create the first and only history of the American Beauty rose.

Continued

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04/08/2012

A Compelling Case for the Agency Model or Reasons Why the Agency Model Will Not Lead to Higher Book Prices


 

Will blind justice kill the agency model?

Tonight a little hard data showing that the free market ecosystem would not allow the agency pricing model to cause book prices to rise.

Why not? One main reason is because authors and publishers would use price as a competitive tool, and this would naturally lead to lower prices.

Mark Coker, founder of  e-book distributor Smashwords, gives up some inside numbers on the Smashwords official blog  — data he has also shared with DOJ: 

Does Agency Pricing Lead to Higher Book Prices?

According to a March 9 story in the Wall Street Journal, The U.S. Department of Justice is considering suing Apple and five large US publishers for allegedly colluding to raise the price of ebooks.

At the heart of the issue, I suspect, is concern over the agency pricing model. Agency pricing allows the publisher (or the indie author) to set the retail price of their book.

Although Smashwords is not a party to this potential lawsuit, I felt it was important that the DoJ investigators hear the Smashwords side of the story, because any decisions they make could have significant ramifications for our 40,000 authors and publishers, and for our retailers and customers.

Yesterday I had an hour-long conference call with the DoJ. My goal was to express why I think it’s critically important that the DoJ not take any actions to weaken or dismantle agency pricing for ebooks.

Even before the DoJ investigation, I understood that detractors of the agency model believed that agency would lead to higher prices for consumers.

Ever since we adopted the agency model, however, I had faith that in a free market ecosystem where the supply of product (ebooks) exceeds the demand, that suppliers (authors and publishers) would use price as a competitive tool, and this would naturally lead to lower prices.

I preparation for the DoJ call, I decided to dig up the data to prove whether my pie-in-the-sky supply-and-demand hunch was correct or incorrect. I asked Henry on our engineering team to sift through our log files to reconstruct as much pricing data as possible regarding our books at the Apple iBookstore.

We shared hard data with the DoJ yesterday that we’ve never shared with anyone. I’ll share this data with you now.

Read and learn more

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10/17/2010

More on Self-Publishing with Smashwords

Filed under: Joanna Penn,John R. Austin,Mark Coker,self-publishing,Smashwords — gator1965 @ 6:49 pm

I have mentioned Smashwords before. It is one of the first, if not the first, to offer indie authors a self-publishing portal with premium distribution deals to multi-eBook platforms such as Amazon Kindle, Apple iBookstore, Sony, Kobo, Diesel and others.

Well, Joanna Penn…a British author, blogger, writing and book-marketing mentor…based in Australia (and one to whom I’ve been subscribed and followed for some time now), met with Mark Coker, the creator of Smashwords, last week and shared an insightful post (with videos) about their meeting on her website The Creative Penn.

This is a must view. You will enjoy and learn…Rush over to The Creative Penn while it’s fresh in your mind! You won’t regret it, pilgrims…

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