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Lady of the Land
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Registered: 05-2003
Location: Germany
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My self-publishing journey


Well, we'll see where that leads me, but I wanted to share a few ideas and thoughts about self-publishing here.

I started writing in 2000, and joined my first writers' group here on Runboard in 2003. Back then, being self-published was a stigma. If you had dared to have a book printed (no ebooks back then), you'd better omit it from your publishing list, or "real" publishers wouldn't take you serious anymore. Like everyone else. I thought self-publishing was only for the vain ... and the stupid, with few exceptions. For many years, Print on Demand had bad quality and a bad reputation, as well.

How things have changed in recent years! And we basically owe this to Amazon. I'm glad to see that other self-publishing platforms are coming up and growing - competition is always good. But it was Amazon who first created a system that allowed authors to upload their books and sell them as ebooks on Amazon. Of course, that was mostly so that Amazon could sell their Kindle. Now they have their own PoD company, as well.

I don't blame them. They are simply doing business. And sometimes, doing business ruthlessly lands them in trouble. Yet I'm still grateful for what they offer to authors.

Let me explain what it means to me personally, for "Seqouia" and other short stories of mine:

I sold a few short stories in my life. One of them is still tied up with a magazine and has been for over a year. (Yes, I will self-pub that one eventually, as well.) I have made about US$ 10 per story that I sold to US magazines. Granted, pro-mags are paying much more, but pro-mags are also starting to fold along with many for-the-love markets.

For comparison: I'll make $10 from 33 sales of "Sequoia". (Now you can figure out which percentage I get from Amazon. emoticon )

Btw, I didn't see a single cent for any short story I published in Germany. It's not customary to pay authors of short stories in this country, at least not with small press. We get a free proof copy, and can buy anthologies at a reduced price, so we can earn a little through sales.

I believe "Sequoia" has many, many more sales in it than just 33, and it won't run out of print, either. So, even though I paid for graphics and formatting, and will have to offset that expense with sales, as well, having it up on Amazon as ebook and print book feels much better than having it printed in a magazine just once. I feel that self-publishing is the future for many authors.

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- Firlefanz

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Shepherd
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Registered: 03-2006
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Re: My self-publishing journey


Well, assuming it gets around, I guess that's a doable goal, yeah. I suppose, with some luck, it should be quite reachable to get what you could at best expect for it otherwise.. emoticon
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Lady of the Land
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Re: My self-publishing journey


Today, I sold a print copy to a friend, and signed it for them. So even though I just got cost back on one that I ordered from Amazon at full price, I made [sign in to see URL] Euro in royalties from it. Not too bad, really, since I won't make much more by selling author copies bougt directly from CSpace plus shipping (bought at a reduced price, with no royalties coming to me).

I'm still happy I dared to go that way with "Sequoia", and I'm happily planning my next releases, plus actually finding inspiration for new tales. It's wonderful to know I can write what I love to write (and what my beta readers love to read), without worrying about genre, optimal length and any other restrictions that publishers tend to put on authors.

So far, I'm loving it. emoticon

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- Firlefanz

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Shepherd
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Re: My self-publishing journey


The old way of publishing certainly has diminished in import a bit. Though I wouldn't be surprised if publishers will remain for a long time to come. Some will probably find viable ways to get along in the changing landscape.
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Lady of the Land
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Re: My self-publishing journey


Publishers do offer service, and there are self-published authors that gladly sign up with a publisher, and then there are authors that leave publisher contracts to go self-published ... I think right now there is much change in the publishing industry.

On thing I see clearly is this: There will be a much bigger interest in independent editors and layout services. I know I need an editor for my novels, and I'm willing to pay for that service. Same for a good looking layout. So the market is changing for people providing those services for self-publishing authors.

Yes, I can learn to do layouting. That would probably be easier for me than handling graphics. But both would take time that I should spend writing - because that's what I do best and what really earns me money (hopefully).

If I can see my author life as a business, and make choices accordingly - I'm pretty sure I can make money from it.

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- Firlefanz

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Shepherd
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Re: My self-publishing journey


It's definitely possible for the better authors I suspect. Though you'd have to write more then you do now, possibly quite a lot more.
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Lady of the Land
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Re: My self-publishing journey


Well, I have LOTS in the drawer, as they say. Three complete novels in German, seven more in different degrees of completion. About half a dozen short stories that are still unpublished, or could be translated into the other language.

Still, you are right, I need to write more than I have been in the last four years or so. I just didn't have much of an incentive ... which is definitely changing with self-publishing.

I'm trying to put half an hour a day aside for writing. Hasn't happened yet, but that's the plan. Or maybe set aside one afternoon a week for writing ... not sure if that actually can happen, it depends on how many clients demand my attention. A client session is immediate money, and that's always nice. Writing could earn me more, eventually, but it's harder to see.

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- Firlefanz

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Lady of the Land
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Re: My self-publishing journey


Oh, and I also think that while quality of writing is an important part, getting the marketing game down is even more important.

Which makes this both interesting and difficult.

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- Firlefanz

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Shepherd
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Well... you'd have time if a client cancels I guess?
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Lady of the Land
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Re: My self-publishing journey


I have plenty of time right now. No clients to speak of. emoticon But of course, I also have to create material so I can grow my coaching business.

So yeah. Time to write. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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- Firlefanz

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