15 April 2011

A new idea creeping up on me.

I have even in this blog explained the differences between self publishing and traditional publishing and been a proponent of going the traditional way. It garners more respect, especially in publishing, writer circles. Recently from some of the writer ezines, I've seen some articles that are challenging the way I think.

I am beginning to soften my own perspective on self publishing. Two authors I've read of recently are making good money on their books by self publishing ebooks. I think one of them offered print on demand books for a higher cost. Both of these articles featured people who are making so much money on their own that the publishing industry couldn't afford to get a contract with them. They did ebooks and started out with small sales and built up over a few years.

In traditional publishing, authors generally make a very small amount per book. Often under a dollar of the price of paperback actually pays the royalties. Suddenly with self publishing the author can make $3-7 dollars a book or more. It seems fair in this American land of free enterprise that the person who actually wrote the words would make more from them than others.

I have worked in desktop publishing and even laid out a few books for one of my jobs. I feel I do have the technical skill to figure out how to format and design books for epublishing. But my argument against self published books, is also against myself. The books often read as though they need to be edited -- because they DO need to be edited. I don't want to put out a book that reads that way.

So I saw a company that is helping authors who want to do this themselves by letting them chose different items of help from a menu. Just need formatting? $X price. Just need editing, $X price. It's a one time service rather than a percentage of your book for eternity. It's a great idea in this time of evolution in the publishing world.

I'm beginning to consider doing it myself. I will need to pay an editor and I'm not sure if I've got enough of my writing money left. I also am uncertain about my ability to promote myself sufficiently that it would be a successful endeavor. Keeping in mind I still have my day job that has to be sustained. A botched self publishing book would be a kiss of death with the New York publishing houses. They would stay far, far away after that and I don't want to ruin my chances, but it's such a different day. It's worth considering the risk.