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CollegeCoachCollegeCoach subscriber Posts: 8
edited February 2007 in Public Relations
I have been reading the other discussion about getting published. I originally was working on a proposal to submit to either an agent or small publisher, but now I am starting to consider going the self-publishing route with a company like lulu.com. The idea of knowing that what I am writing will get publish really does motivate me more than working on finding an agent who could or could not be a help, but will still get a cut, and whether or not I will find someone willing to publish me.
Anyway before I become convinced of doing it one way or the other I wanted to know opinions on whether there are certain industries or professions that should try to stay with the traditional publishing route? I have searched some of the books done in my area (college admissions, college advising, etc.), and from my perspective the quality and content of many (not all) self-published books doesn`t seem to measure up to the majority of the books that are with traditional publishers. And I find myself now judging a book by its publisher!
I am not interested in becoming a writter as my main job, but I do want a book under my belt, and I also want whatever I write to be taken seriously. Any thoughts?Chrystal2007-1-29 22:24:0


  • InactiveMemberInactiveMember subscriber Posts: 12
    The book industry discourages self-publishing [surprised?] and often says that the process of getting an agent, submitting work, and dealing with rejection is part of the "gauntlet" that separates the great writers from the rest of us. They might be right. In that sense, the book industry likes authors to think that self-published works won`t be taken seriously by the general public [or, god forbid, other writers] because a self-published work has not been properly vetted. [Excuse me for yawning.]
    I suppose it`s a nice feather in your cap if a traditional publisher decides that your book is worth publishing. It`s certainly an impressive item on a resume. Published Author. But as with professional sports and movie actors, only a very tiny fraction of the population ever successfully earns a living writing books. Self-publishing is structural change and the book industry, like all industries, fears structural change. Two key points:
    A lot of crap is self published.
    A lot of crap is published by the book industry.
    If a book is really well-written and full of relevant information or enjoyment, I can`t imagine that it matters whether or not it`s self-published. In fact, if a self-published book is successful, traditional publishers will probably want a piece of the action.
  • CollegeCoachCollegeCoach subscriber Posts: 8

    Self-publishing is structural change and the book industry, like all industries, fears structural change.   This is the truth! I appreciate your comments, I think I am going to move forward with self-publishing. If nothing else I will have the satisfaction of having my own book.Chrystal2007-1-31 15:0:34
  • LogoMotivesLogoMotives subscriber Posts: 15
    Several friends have recently self-published and their comments about the process have been very interesting.  In selecting a company with which to publish a book, an author needs to really research how much control a writer has over the end product.  The design of the cover, the quality of paper/printing, the marketing and product placement abilities of the publisher, perception of the end result in the marketplace are just a few of the considerations that will play into the success of a self-published book.Each author`s experience will differ - even when using the same company to produce a book.  This past week two friends were sharing their experiences with the same major self-publishing company.  One had a very good, painless experience.  The other had a nightmare experience and will never use the firm again.Having published with a traditional publisher I will say that their industry clout and marketing expertise has been very helpful in marketing/promoting a book.  There`s still a great deal of work to be done by the author in getting the word out there.  The marketing and promotion of one`s own self-published book requires even greater effort by the author.That being said, even with another traditional book coming out this year and four publishers wanting to work with me on future books, I am considering a self-published volume.- J.
  • CollegeCoachCollegeCoach subscriber Posts: 8
    Thanks LogoMotives for your candid response. I am now leaning towards self publishing for the primary fact that I know that in the end it will get it published. So I will just cross my fingers and hope that I can one day get it into the hands of a traditional publisher.
    I am quickly lining up a number of speaking engagements, including an upcoming radio appearance on one of Chicago`s largest talk radio stations, and I need to be able to get something into peoples hands sooner than later.
    Hopefully I will be one of the fortunate ones who will have a good experience.
  • pmccordpmccord subscriber Posts: 1
    Let me give my perspective.  I have had the opportunity to get to know a lot of other authors, so a lot of what I`m going to say is from the information they`ve relayed to me.
    But let me give you my experience first.  I have one book published and two in production--all by major business publishing houses.  I have chosen that route for a number of reasons.  First, I knew nothing about publishing and knew I needed the best help I could get and I couldn`t afford top notch help on my own.  For instance, my first book with Wiley Publishing went through a series of edits (at, say 2 cents per word) and design changes (that alone would have been about 5 grand).  Secondly, with a major publisher, I had no problem getting the book stocked in virtually every bookstore in the US--and Canada, and the UK, Europe, as well as bookstores in China, Japan, Korea and dozens of other counties.  Something that, of course, I could never have done myself.  Third, Wiley has been approached by publishers in three other countries wanting to purchae the rights to translate and publish.  Again, something I could never have accomplished.  Fourth, I have gotten tremendous reviews and endorsements from a number of publications and top sales trainers--SellingPower for example.  This would have been very difficult if self-published.  The name of the publisher has opened a great number of doors that would have been difficult or impossible to open on my own.  To accomplish the above would have cost me a fortune.
    Other authors I`ve spoken to are now doing some self-publishing.  But they have all established themselves as bestselling authors through traditional publishing houses prior to going the self-publishing route.  They have, to some extent, found difficulties in getting their self-published books in certain locations where their traditionally published works have sold well.  So, even for authors with a reputation as bestsellers, the road is more difficult.  They do, however, self-publish ebooks that they sell on their websites.  These are money makers, as they have several thousand people on their newsletter mailing lists that they sell these to.  At 15, 20 or 25 dollars for a download that cost them virtually nothing, it isn`t too difficult to make a good profit--if you have the mailing list and site visitors to drive sales.  Most have decided to have their major works published via traditional houses and save their minor things for their self-published ebooks.
    I would think it worth the effort to try to go the traditional route, at least at first.  It is true that very few get selected, but those that do have a tremendous advantage over self-published.  Literary agents only get paid if they sell your book, so you`re not risking anything by getting an agent.  And since agents only get paid if they sell your book, they have a real incentive to get you a contract.  On the downside, that means they are selective.  On the upside, if they take your book, they have the contacts that you don`t have.
    Let me add that there are some downsides to being published via the traditional publishing house.  You lose some control.  I personally don`t liket he title of my book.  Although the title acurrately reflects the content of the book--how the true million dollars a year sales superstars generate their million dollar incomes via client referrals, I think it comes off as too much hype.  Unless one knows the content, the title appears to be another get rich quick book, which it isn`t.  But I had no choice in the title--my editor at Wiley chose that.  First time authors don`t get their way sometimes.  But, even at that, the benefits far out weight the downside.  If you insist on maintaining control of every detail, you will have to self-publish.  If you`re more interested in selling books and especially the add-ons of charging higher speaking fees, coaching fees, etc., then try the traditional publishers first.
    Oh, and one more advantage of the traditional publisher--money up front goes the other way.  Instead of paying to publish your work, the publisher pays you for the opportunity to publish your work.pmccord2007-2-11 11:42:19
  • CollegeCoachCollegeCoach subscriber Posts: 8
    Thank you for your perspective. I am still on the fence on what I need to do and want to do. My goal is not a NY Times bestseller, but then again, I at least want the shot, and I know that means going through a traditional publisher.
    Because I am having the hardest time deciding, I may still self-publish but continue trying to find a publisher to pick it up. Most of the companies I am looking at allow you to transfer the rights. Hopefully through my speaking engagements and some of the additional outlets I may use to sell the book I can prove there is an audience.
    If there are any pros or cons to doing this I would love to know!
  • JobYouDeserveJobYouDeserve subscriber Posts: 11
    Hi CollegeCoach,
    Being a self-published author, I`m aware of the bias toward self-published books.  I also agree that some self-published stuff is complete crap! 
    However, I wouldn`t judge a book by its publisher.  I think there are some really great writers out there (like you and I) who just want to get their books to market as soon as possible and not deal with agents.
    I highly recommend iUniverse.  I have nothing negative to say about them, and I`m pleased with my book, The Recruiter is Your Friend.
    Best of luck!
  • LogoMotivesLogoMotives subscriber Posts: 15
    Kristen -A belated "Hi!" back at you!  Great to see you here.I`ve been a bit scarce around here as I`ve been finishing my new book.  This past week has been completely nuts - ending nearly a year of work since my contract was signed.  My editor emailed me this afternoon that she had sent the proof of the final design off via UPS.  I`ll have until next Friday to make any changes or corrections - and then the sucker goes off to the printer.  Looks like an October release date.  I think I`m ready for some therapy now...- J.
  • JobYouDeserveJobYouDeserve subscriber Posts: 11
    Hey Jeff!  Congratulations!  What will you do to celebrate?
  • LogoMotivesLogoMotives subscriber Posts: 15
    Hey Jeff!  Congratulations!  What will you do to celebrate?Thanks!  Actually getting together with a gaggle of graphic designers up in Seattle this weekend to relax and celebrate a bit.  We all "met" on Internet graphic design forums.  I`ve met quite a few in person in recent years - but I`ve had online relationships with some of the people attending since 1998 and I`ve never met them face-to-face.- J.
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