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self publishing

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  • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
    Has anyone published a book via one of the POD services, for example XLibris? Would you recommend any particular service based on that experience? Where
    Message 1 of 15 , Mar 10, 2004
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      Has anyone published a book via one of the POD services, for example
      XLibris? Would you recommend any particular service based on that
      experience? Where would I be able to see books that have been published in
      this manner, besides online?

      thanks,

      Lizzie Apgar Triano
      lizziewriter@...
      amor vincit omnia
    • Joan Marie Verba
      ... I haven t seen anything from Xlibris that I can recall, though I have seen books from iUniverse and they appear to be sound, at least. Publishing from
      Message 2 of 15 , Mar 10, 2004
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        Elizabeth Apgar Triano wrote:
        >
        > Has anyone published a book via one of the POD services, for example
        > XLibris? Would you recommend any particular service based on that
        > experience? Where would I be able to see books that have been published in
        > this manner, besides online?

        I haven't seen anything from Xlibris that I can recall, though I have
        seen books from iUniverse and they appear to be sound, at least.

        Publishing from Xlibris or iUniverse isn't self-publishing, technically
        speaking. If you publish with Xlibris or iUniverse, they are the
        publisher. Self-publishing means you do it yourself. For example, I
        self-published Boldly Writing because I was the author, I worked with
        the printer, I got the ISBN, I registered the copyright, etc.

        It would help if you gave more information (and probably off-list, since
        this is off-topic for Mythsoc). Books from Xlibris and iUniverse and
        similar concerns generally aren't competitively priced, and the covers
        aren't the best, either. If you want to self publish, get a guide from
        Dan Poynter (he has a website, also) or Tom and Marilyn Ross. There's
        also a self-publishing list right here on Yahoo groups.

        Joan
        ******************************************
        Joan Marie Verba
        verba001@...
        http://www.sff.net/people/Joan.Marie.Verba
      • JP Massar
        ... Technically perhaps. But legally, I think you are the publisher. You continue to own all the rights, etc. My partner published a book through Xlibris
        Message 3 of 15 , Mar 10, 2004
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          >
          >
          >I haven't seen anything from Xlibris that I can recall, though I have
          >seen books from iUniverse and they appear to be sound, at least.
          >
          >Publishing from Xlibris or iUniverse isn't self-publishing, technically
          >speaking. If you publish with Xlibris or iUniverse, they are the
          >publisher.


          Technically perhaps. But legally, I think you are the publisher.
          You continue to own all the rights, etc.

          My partner published a book through Xlibris three years ago or so,
          and this was the way it was then.

          (I see that it is listed on Amazon as Publisher: Xlibris Corporation,
          I don't know what to make of that)

          I thought the quality of the cover and of the book was excellent.
          It came out really nice.

          Things may have changed a lot in three years, of course. I know
          their prices went up...
        • Jack
          ... We re publishing chapbooks at Green Man these days. Even a chapbook costs serious money if done right!
          Message 4 of 15 , Mar 10, 2004
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            >It would help if you gave more information (and probably off-list, since
            >this is off-topic for Mythsoc). Books from Xlibris and iUniverse and
            >similar concerns generally aren't competitively priced, and the covers
            >aren't the best, either. If you want to self publish, get a guide from
            >Dan Poynter (he has a website, also) or Tom and Marilyn Ross. There's
            >also a self-publishing list right here on Yahoo groups.

            We're publishing chapbooks at Green Man these days. Even a chapbook costs serious money if done right!
          • Lisa Deutsch Harrigan
            The Mythopoeic Society uses Bookmobile http://bookmobile.com/ All our books from the the Walsh Lewis book on have been printed there. Examples are as near as
            Message 5 of 15 , Mar 10, 2004
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              The Mythopoeic Society uses Bookmobile http://bookmobile.com/ All our
              books from the the Walsh Lewis book on have been printed there.

              Examples are as near as your collection of Mythopoeic Press
              Publications. :-)

              Joan and Scott are the ones who have worked directly with them. I just
              pay the bills and enjoy the product.

              Good Luck on your project!

              Mythically yours,
              Lisa

              Elizabeth Apgar Triano wrote:

              >Has anyone published a book via one of the POD services, for example
              >XLibris? Would you recommend any particular service based on that
              >experience? Where would I be able to see books that have been published in
              >this manner, besides online?
              >
              >
              >
              >
            • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
              Thank you, everyone. I thought self publishing was any time that one paid a company to print one s books, whether the old way or the print-on-demand way. All
              Message 6 of 15 , Mar 10, 2004
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                Thank you, everyone. I thought self publishing was any time that one paid
                a company to print one's books, whether the old way or the print-on-demand
                way. All the extra services are so much gravy, although definitely welcome
                gravy. Anyway, it definitely sounds like I have some serious research to
                do on the subject. I appreciate all the websites and other information.

                Lizzie Apgar Triano
                lizziewriter@...
                amor vincit omnia
              • David Bratman
                Lizzie, there s been a lot of discussion of various different things under the same header in this discussion, and it s potentially confusing. If you pay a
                Message 7 of 15 , Mar 10, 2004
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                  Lizzie, there's been a lot of discussion of various different things under
                  the same header in this discussion, and it's potentially confusing.

                  If you pay a printing company to do the printing, but you do everything
                  else yourself - editing, layout, distribution and promotion - that's
                  self-publishing.

                  If you pay a company to do the rest of that stuff - the editing, layout,
                  distribution, promotion, etc. - that's called "a rip-off." Don't fall for
                  it, because all they'll do is over-change you and then hawk the overpriced
                  book to your friends.

                  Xlibris is actually a glorified printer that puts its own imprint on the
                  book, so if you work with them you're really self-publishing. But a lot of
                  companies that sound superficially like it (notably an infamous firm called
                  PublishAmerica) are actually rip-offs.

                  Full details on self-publishing vs. scams came up in a weblog discussion
                  hosted by the indefatigible Tor Books editor Teresa Nielsen Hayden, at
                  <http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/002703.html>

                  - David Bratman


                  At 09:13 PM 3/10/2004 -0500, Elizabeth Apgar Triano wrote:
                  >Thank you, everyone. I thought self publishing was any time that one paid
                  >a company to print one's books, whether the old way or the print-on-demand
                  >way. All the extra services are so much gravy, although definitely welcome
                  >gravy. Anyway, it definitely sounds like I have some serious research to
                  >do on the subject. I appreciate all the websites and other information.
                • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                  I figured that, even though this topic wasn t exactly mythical, it would be close to a bibliophile s heart and supported here at least for a while. Personally
                  Message 8 of 15 , Mar 11, 2004
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                    I figured that, even though this topic wasn't exactly mythical, it would be
                    close to a bibliophile's heart and supported here at least for a while.
                    Personally I am more than daunted by the information I have gleaned so far,
                    the websites and columns and such. Many of them seem to disparage the POD
                    method. I don't mind the vanity press aspect, but obviously I don't want
                    to pay way too much for the service, and it would be good to keep the price
                    of the end product somewhat reasonable, just in case someone might actually
                    want to buy this book.

                    It sounds like a trip to the B&N magazine rack is in order, to peruse the
                    advertisements in magazines besides Writers Digest (which I already get).
                    I've rather been out of the loop since the late 80s, and suspect that much
                    of what I did know then would be out of date today anyway. I don't expect
                    this book to be any sort of great seller (in fact I'd rather dread most
                    list members reading it) but perhaps for my own midlife comfort I just want
                    to see it in print. Then I hope to go on and do better, just as this
                    volume is better than the earlier story that made two rounds of submissions
                    in the mid to late 80s.


                    Lizzie Apgar Triano
                    lizziewriter@...
                    amor vincit omnia
                  • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                    Unless you want to become a publisher, you shouldn t have to learn about those things. If the big publishers don t buy your fiction, try smaller ones. If they
                    Message 9 of 15 , Mar 12, 2004
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                      Unless you want to become a publisher, you shouldn't have to learn about
                      those things. If the big publishers don't buy your fiction, try smaller
                      ones. If they don't, write something new, or join a writers' group, or try
                      short stories, or something. There aren't small specialty markets for
                      fiction the way there are for non-fiction on specialized subjects.
                      Beginner self-publishing of fiction serves no purpose except to gratify the
                      author's ego and sell a few copies to a few of her friends: it won't get it
                      out to an audience. Unless there's something really extra-special about
                      the work, and if there is, it WILL eventually sell to a real market if you
                      only let it. >>

                      Ohhhhhhh kay so maybe I should be looking at reader services. That sounds
                      to me like an even worse can of worms though. Respectable willing pals
                      aside, how would I look for someone to read my work and give me a basic
                      opinion? Under what heading would that be and how would I figure the fees?

                      I still think the vanity press is the way to go...

                      Lizzie Apgar Triano
                      lizziewriter@...
                      amor vincit omnia
                    • Joan Marie Verba
                      ... It would help if you gave more specific information. Is your work fiction or nonfiction? Fantasy or memoir? Going to someone who will read your work and
                      Message 10 of 15 , Mar 12, 2004
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                        Elizabeth Apgar Triano wrote:

                        > Ohhhhhhh kay so maybe I should be looking at reader services. That sounds
                        > to me like an even worse can of worms though. Respectable willing pals
                        > aside, how would I look for someone to read my work and give me a basic
                        > opinion? Under what heading would that be and how would I figure the fees?

                        It would help if you gave more specific information. Is your work
                        fiction or nonfiction? Fantasy or memoir?

                        Going to someone who will read your work and give an opinion for a fee
                        can get quite expensive. I've looked into this and it can cost $1000.
                        David's right...the best thing you can do is to get into a writer's
                        group and get an opinion. If your work is fantasy, the science fiction
                        and fantasy workshop, run by Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury, offers such
                        critique groups (for free or a very nominal fee). You can get in touch
                        with the workshop through the link at my personal website, below.

                        Yes, it's hard to get a work published. Large traditional publishers
                        have all but stopped reading unagented works, and agents aren't
                        accepting new clients, either. (I sent queries for one of my fantasy
                        novels to about 25 agents I found in the SFWA directory this past
                        September...not one of them was interested. I got form rejections from
                        the vast majority of them.)

                        Self-publishing sf and fantasy can be tough. I'm a small publisher of sf
                        and fantasy (see http://www.ftlpublications.com) and only one of my
                        fiction titles has sold over 300 copies. (A nonfiction title has sold
                        over 500 copies, but that's over a period of 8 years.) I've networked
                        with other sf and fantasy micropublishers and the story seems pretty
                        much the same everywhere...very low sales.

                        If you just want to see your work in print, there are a number of places
                        that will do it. If you want copies to sell beyond immediate friends and
                        family, that would take a lot of effort, and even that effort might not
                        result in large sales.

                        So it's best to do your research beforehand, so that, at least, your
                        expectations are realistic.

                        Joan
                        ******************************************
                        Joan Marie Verba
                        verba001@...
                        http://www.sff.net/people/Joan.Marie.Verba
                      • Michael Martinez
                        ... published in ... I wish I had seen this when you posted it back in March, but I had a serious case of Vertigo then and wasn t online very much. I
                        Message 11 of 15 , Jun 1, 2004
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                          --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Elizabeth Apgar Triano"
                          <lizziewriter@e...> wrote:
                          > Has anyone published a book via one of the POD services, for example
                          > XLibris? Would you recommend any particular service based on that
                          > experience? Where would I be able to see books that have been
                          published in
                          > this manner, besides online?

                          I wish I had seen this when you posted it back in March, but I had a
                          serious case of Vertigo then and wasn't online very much.

                          I SELF-published VISUALIZING MIDDLE-EARTH through Xlibris. They are a
                          publishing services provider, which is fancy-speak for "vanity press".
                          When I published VME, however, they had a free publication program
                          which is no longer available.

                          I don't care to rehash the technical discussion about what constitutes
                          self-publishing, etc. This book did not pass editorial review. It
                          was self-published.

                          Remarkably, VISUALIZING MIDDLE-EARTH is still selling 30-40 copies a
                          month today, but I had to do all the publicity and promotion for it.
                          So far, two foreign publishers have inquired about translation rights
                          and I just signed a contract to have it translated into Hungarian last
                          week.

                          Nonetheless, I agree with some of what David Bratman said back in
                          March: self-publishing should not be any fiction writer's first
                          choice. Nor should it be a non-fiction writer's first choice unless
                          it's absolutely clear the potential market for the book is too small
                          to justify the expense a traditional publisher would have to go
                          through.

                          I strongly recommend AGAINST using the POD vanity presses unless you
                          are really, really prepared to spend a lot of time and money on
                          promoting your book. Being listed in Amazon doesn't mean anything.
                          They will not promote your book for you.

                          And it's almost guaranteed that an Xlibris or iUniverse author won't
                          get any signings at major bookstores (Borders, Barnes and Noble,
                          Booksamillion, Waldenbooks) without representation.

                          To get the signings, you need a publicist. Publicists cost money.
                          Some are better than others. I like my publicist because her company
                          produces results.

                          On the other hand, I'm not happy with Vivisphere, the small press
                          which published UNDERSTANDING MIDDLE-EARTH. They came to me but
                          because I was without an agent at the time, I negotiated the contract
                          myself and I didn't see how little support they would actually give
                          me. I should have picked up the phone and made some calls before
                          signing that contract.

                          Small presses get a bad reputation because of experiences like mine,
                          but then, big companies get bad reputations, too.

                          Do everything you can to get an agent and a publicist. The agent will
                          work on commission. The publicist will not. Both will work for YOU
                          and look out for YOUR best interests. That is absolutely critical to
                          keeping your peace of mind. You need to know someone is on your side
                          when you publish.

                          Do everything you can to get a traditional publishing house to sign
                          you up before you go to a POD publishing house. Xlibris pays its
                          royalties on time without any prodding from me. That is good. But
                          most self-published books really do NOT sell many copies. A lot of
                          self-published authors experience severe disappointment and
                          frustration. And they don't get royalty checks every three months
                          like I do. Think about that.

                          I knew many Xlibris authors who, lacking the resources and connections
                          I had, could not sell their books. They were angry that Xlibris
                          wasn't out there helping them sell those books. They didn't
                          understand what they were getting into.

                          If you don't have a real agent sit down and say, "Here is your
                          contract, it's a good contract, sign it, sign it now, and let's go to
                          the bank", you're in trouble. I got lucky with my self-published
                          book. Most people don't.

                          I just signed a contract last week which my agent negotiated for me.
                          VISUALIZING MIDDLE-EARTH will be translated into Hungarian.

                          You want to know what irks me more than anything else about these
                          books? A major publishing house wanted to publish UNDERSTANDING
                          MIDDLE-EARTH, but by the time my agent got involved, it was too late.

                          Now I have to write another book and start all over again....
                        • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                          Thank you, Michael. Welcome back. I spent some time on the yahoo self-publishing list, which was very very informative. I have ruled out subsidy presses
                          Message 12 of 15 , Jun 2, 2004
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                            Thank you, Michael. Welcome back.

                            I spent some time on the yahoo self-publishing list, which was very very
                            informative. I have ruled out subsidy presses basically because their end
                            product is too expensive for the market. The self publishing list
                            generates too much volume for me to stay there for now. I would recommend
                            it to anyone who is interested in the subject however.

                            I did get a lot of helpful information and a couple of readers, and the
                            titles of some useful books on the subject. The next one I will be picking
                            up has to do with getting an agent. I have some revising to do too.

                            best,

                            Lizzie

                            Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                            lizziewriter@...
                            amor vincit omnia
                          • Michael Martinez
                            ... I think a lot of people have been hopeful the Internet would change the publishing world, but it still comes down to basic marketing. If you can get a
                            Message 13 of 15 , Jun 2, 2004
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                              --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Elizabeth Apgar Triano"
                              <lizziewriter@e...> wrote:
                              > Thank you, Michael. Welcome back.
                              >
                              > I spent some time on the yahoo self-publishing list, which was
                              > very very informative. I have ruled out subsidy presses basically
                              > because their end product is too expensive for the market. The
                              > self publishing list generates too much volume for me to stay
                              > there for now. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested
                              > in the subject however.

                              I think a lot of people have been hopeful the Internet would change
                              the publishing world, but it still comes down to basic marketing. If
                              you can get a publishing company to push your book for you, that is
                              still the way to go.

                              'Nuff said.

                              Good luck.
                            • Croft, Janet B.
                              There is a discussion on self-publishing going on at http://www.nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/ right now -- knowledgeable people there with lots of good advice
                              Message 14 of 15 , Jun 2, 2004
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                                There is a discussion on self-publishing going on at
                                http://www.nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/ right now -- knowledgeable
                                people there with lots of good advice from inside the publishing
                                industry.

                                Janet


                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: Michael Martinez [mailto:Michaelm@...]
                                Sent: Wednesday, June 02, 2004 10:49 AM
                                To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: [mythsoc] Re: self publishing

                                --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Elizabeth Apgar Triano"
                                <lizziewriter@e...> wrote:
                                > Thank you, Michael. Welcome back.
                                >
                                > I spent some time on the yahoo self-publishing list, which was
                                > very very informative. I have ruled out subsidy presses basically
                                > because their end product is too expensive for the market. The
                                > self publishing list generates too much volume for me to stay
                                > there for now. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested
                                > in the subject however.

                                I think a lot of people have been hopeful the Internet would change
                                the publishing world, but it still comes down to basic marketing. If
                                you can get a publishing company to push your book for you, that is
                                still the way to go.

                                'Nuff said.

                                Good luck.






                                The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                                Yahoo! Groups Links
                              • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                                Message 15 of 15 , Jun 2, 2004
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                                  << There is a discussion on self-publishing going on at
                                  http://www.nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/ right now -- knowledgeable
                                  people there with lots of good advice from inside the publishing
                                  industry. >>

                                  Thanks, Janet. I haven't been there for a while so this is a good reminder
                                  to check back more often. :-)

                                  Lizzie

                                  Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                                  lizziewriter@...
                                  amor vincit omnia
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