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#138872 - 09/16/10 11:40 AM Self Publish
PerryMK Offline
member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1155
Loc: Florida panhandle
The topic of self-publishing comes up every so often so I thought I pass along this free webinar link that was sent to me. I have no idea if it's good info or not, but at least it won't cost much.

self publish webinar

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#138883 - 09/16/10 01:49 PM Re: Self Publish [Re: PerryMK]
aimless Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2860
Loc: Portland, OR
I spent about a decade as a technical writer, preparing manuals for publication, so I have found it fairly easy to self-publish some books strictly for my personal use. However, book design is not a skill most authors have, and a poorly designed book is difficult to read, difficult to use and just plain ugly.

Anyone planning to self-publish with a view to selling their book and making money off it is likely to discover that it would be much easier to make money the old fashioned way, by laboring for a paycheck. There are exceptions to this, but it is the rule that writing books for self-publication is not a paying proposition.

Do it because it is fun. (OK, a rather twisted sort of fun, but still fun.) grin

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#142027 - 11/18/10 06:29 PM Re: Self Publish [Re: aimless]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
Niche books in this day and age can do very well (we have done more than well). The key is we worked very hard at it. We paid the money for a graphic designer for our second edition cover and my husband has the skills for layout. Not everyone is willing to do that step. We also use a quality printer.

The other thing is we have a distributor in the outdoor book industry.

Amazon has leveled the playing field in many ways for small publishers.

But I won't deny that one reason our book has done so well is that I was a known commodity beforehand. And I stay active in my field. With any publishing, be it traditional or self, you must be willing to do the work. You cannot expect anyone else to get the news out there (those days are long gone!) but with an active following one can do well.

And frankly...if you get a winner of a book you can make a lot more $ than traditional publishing will ever pay. I wouldn't go traditional at this point now!
_________________________
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

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#142036 - 11/18/10 11:30 PM Re: Self Publish [Re: PerryMK]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I think both of you are right. I paid $45 for a book on how to make pack saddles for my burros and it was well worth it. I don't know how many the author has sold, but he output it to a PDF and copied it to a CDROM and mailed it to me.

There are a lot of books I prefer to have in a digital format. It's nice, for example, to be able to print out a map and directions from a guidebook, or pages and diagrams from a car repair manual, and copying code from tech books is a great thing for coders, but I prefer some books in a print format.

Either way, it is easier than it's ever been to self publish and that's been a real boon for me as an end user.

I've helped create several publications designed for output on PDF files and other multimedia platforms for delivery on CDROM. It's really not very hard to add hyperlinks and sound and video to these with Adobe's Acrobat software and this can add a lot of value that traditional print media cannot deliver.

I'm kind of surprised that it hasn't become more common with self publishers, but I suspect that has to do with how quickly the early generations of this medium became obsolete and how fast the internet has been able to incorporate multimedia.

But the old fart that made that pack saddle book was on to something. It's a niche product and he only delivered it on CDROM by snail mail.

Of course, you could use DVDs now, or even email it or let a user download a file from a web server, but truly, a PDF file delivered on a CDROM or from a webserver is pretty easy and inexpensive for anyone to do.

Marketing is a horse of a different color and not something I've spent much time on.

Does Amazon list self published digital books? If so, that'd be the ticket I'd think.
_________________________
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"You want to go where?"



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#142040 - 11/19/10 06:08 AM Re: Self Publish [Re: sarbar]
GrumpyGord Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 862
Loc: Michigan
Have you released the next edition of your book? If I remember correctly you were working on the next edition.

Originally Posted By sarbar

But I won't deny that one reason our book has done so well is that I was a known commodity beforehand. And I stay active in my field. With any publishing, be it traditional or self, you must be willing to do the work. You cannot expect anyone else to get the news out there (those days are long gone!) but with an active following one can do well.


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#142054 - 11/19/10 04:04 PM Re: Self Publish [Re: GrumpyGord]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
It is coming! smile We are down to the last bit of work on it.

And on digital....the second book is coming to Kindle (which can be read without a Kindle! Amazon offers the ability to view it on PC/Macs, ipads, phones, etc). Kindle has made it even easier to publish - one doesn't even to deal with the formatting that print books require. You can also insert live links, video, photos...yeah, it is cool! We are going to reformat book for Kindle as well, using book 2 as our test project.
_________________________
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

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#142064 - 11/19/10 07:45 PM Re: Self Publish [Re: sarbar]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
So does Kindle have it's own programming environment like Acrobat or something?

What kind of tools do you use?

_________________________
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"You want to go where?"



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#142086 - 11/20/10 02:42 AM Re: Self Publish [Re: billstephenson]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
Basically you take your digital version and format it so it reads correct (or more so that it flows right and pages don't cut off at the wrong spot). We have a Kindle for this purpose - pretty easy and we can upload sections into it to check out how it appears via the computer. But one can also run it through Amazon's system as well and there are companies that will do it as well. Lets put it this way: nearly anyone can get a book up on Kindle - it might not look the prettiest, but it will be up there. That is really evening the playing field. And more so? Amazon pays 70% to the author. 70%. For a $10 book that is $7. Yes kids, this is a good era!


But overall it is pretty easy if one has the manuscript ready to go, we use specific software for editing in - I do the recipes, etc and send it to the husband, he checks on it, tells me what he needs and back and forth. Works well for us smile

We are just slow due to him having a real job laugh
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Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

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#142133 - 11/21/10 11:46 AM Re: Self Publish [Re: sarbar]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2752
Loc: California
I sort of compromised with my guidebook- used a small printer-publisher who only prints the book (no editing) and offers the book on his website in addition to me selling on my website. This gave me flexibility - I can add as many color pages as I want for a price per page. With LULU it was only all B&W or all color. I also have a real person to deal with - one guy who I sit in front of and talk to. I really like this. The book also has a CD so the maps can be printed out and all the photos in the book are presented in color. I think selling totally electronically is good for reaching a wide audience - such as backpack cookbooks. My book is a very specific nitch book. I have sold about 200 copies since April. So far I am happy with how it is going. My publisher and I will look into e-books in a year or so. I am old-fashioned. I have a guidebook collection and really prefer paper books.

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#142135 - 11/21/10 02:02 PM Re: Self Publish [Re: wandering_daisy]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
It is an odd thing - I thought for years I'd ever want a digital version of a guide book - until this fall when we went to the Smokies and we picked up some via Kindle that I read on our iPad. While I wouldn't want that for the trail, for planning it worked really, really well. We didn't backpack, we dayhiked, so at night I would study up for the next day. smile

Niches can be a good thing!

Btw, we started out with Lulu but went out on our own after the first year. We still use them for dealing with Amazon (works fine and it wasn't worth changing anything). Once we figured out how everything needed to be done for the back stuff we knew we could deal with the printers - at this point we are printing in multi-thousand runs that are delivered to us from the Midwest via freight delivery. Those books we sell via the website and to our distributor. Amazon sells via their own printers (Lulu doesn't actually print anything, they are a face that works between the author and the print on demand or short run printing - Amazon does the same thing as well - they will print and stock a book via their print on demand printers.)
So in the end due to our nerdy interest in it we became our own company. It has been fun!

Have you considered getting it on Amazon? It is pretty easy and you can deal with them directly. The CD would be tricky to deal with but that could be done as an upload the buyer gets upon buying the book? I know half of our yearly sales are via Amazon. People buy stuff there like crazy! smile
_________________________
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

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#142157 - 11/22/10 12:34 PM Re: Self Publish [Re: sarbar]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Wow, that is all very interesting. I haven't been up to speed on digital publishing for at least 7-8 years now.

From an author's prospective, I'd think the integration with digital media might now becoming an integral part of the process and much less an option as compared to even a decade ago.

If the print media industry is to remain robust it will have to integrate a digital component into most of it's products. Authors and publishers can farm this out, but they'll still have to be involved in the process.

Personally, I still don't see the day when I'd rather have a book in a digital only format. There are publications I buy that are digital only, but given my druthers I'd always like to have the choice between the two and I use both versions often in a few cases right now.

Mother Earth News is one that comes to mind. I get the print version and would really miss that if it were eliminated, but I also use their digital version of the magazine and their web site a lot too. They are doing a light of right things that other publishers could learn from.

_________________________
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"You want to go where?"



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