Lately I’ve been getting lots of invites from “Traditional Publishers” offering to publish my books for me. I’m always leery of such ‘offers’ because many of these outfits are self-publishing scams dressed in traditional publisher clothing.
Some quick and easy ways of checking if the traditional publisher is legitimate (though they are getting smarter by the year):
* Is the publisher’s website geared to the reader (as it should be), or are they in the business of selling you, the writer, services or ‘packages?’
* Is it a digital-only publisher? Frankly, I don’t see how this is beneficial to the author. Instead of a one-time payment to your editor / book cover designer / ebook formatter, you’re now paying a lifetime of royalties. If you have also been asked to pay for these services (in addition to the royalties) definitely stay away. Self-publishing is so easy – create an account on Amazon, smashwords etc and upload your book. Why would you hand over your rights to someone else for this effort?
* Are they asking you to pay for publishing your book? Stay away.
* Typically, traditional publishers have provided the author access to in-store distribution, which was what authors wanted / needed. But things are in such a flux now that it is hard to know whom to trust.
I wish I could say only scummy self-publishing outfits are demanding payment for publishing a book, but I find that (in India, at least) traditional publishers – the big established-for-decades ones – are also selling services on the sly. I’ve heard of a few of them offering to publish a book and provide in-store distribution for these books, provided the author ponies up hundreds of thousands of rupees. Not only that, these established traditional publishers are then pressuring the author to buy up the entire print run so the publisher can declare the book a success. If this isn’t smarmy, I don’t know what is.
Jane Friedman also deal with this on her own blog. Click here for her take on it.
My article today in scroll.in.
Incase the link doesn’t work for you, you can check this pdf on my blog.
If you’re self-publishing a paperback or hardback, you can apply for a free ISBN. ebooks don’t require ISBNs. I found a post detailing the steps required. Very useful. Note the the address on the form has not been updated (it is a government agency. Use the one the site below provides).
Click here for the site.
One of the questions I was asked in a recent interview – Can a newbie writer hope to make decent money out of self-publishing?
I was startled to see this question because it seems very obvious to me (and to a lot of other Indies, I’m sure) that self-publishing is where the money is. Where else can you expect to get royalties of 65-70%?
In traditional publishing the superstars – the Stephen Kings and the Nora Roberts – are the ones making serious money. Everyone else is obliged to hang on to their day jobs.
This is quite different from self-publishing where even mid-list authors – people you might never hear about – are quitting their day jobs because they are able to pay the bills. The reason you might never hear of them is that they need to sell a mere 75 ebooks each day at $2.99 in order to make a living. The amount people seem to agree is a living wage? $50,000.
But I guess all of this may not be very obvious to a lot of people, so I thought I’d point you to a couple excellent blog posts. You can decide for yourself.
The Passive Guy: Indie Authors Are Quitting Their Day Jobs.
The second post is by the amazing Hugh Howey: Newbie Author Declines $120,000 3-book Deal
The title of this could also be: Literary Agents, and What to Watch Out For
If you haven’t read Joe Konrath’s post before, you should be reading it. It is almost mandatory for those considering publishing their book. Something’s messed up. Unable to insert link into post today, so I’m having to give you the entire link: http://jakonrath.blogspot.in/2014/02/fisking-donald-maas.html
According to a post bu Heather Greene — In 2011 the New York Daily News reported that 43% of all paperbacks were self-published, with overall publishing up 287% from 2006. The Wall Street Journal reported that self-published books were up by 160% over the same period. Amazon’s publishing arm, Create Space, told the New York Times that “its books increased by 80% from 2009-2010” alone.
Click here for the entire article.