"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

IWSG: Best Self Publishing Venue

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page

Today, I am hoping for some advice. I'm thinking of self publishing a book that several agents and editors have told me has too narrow a market for them. I have never tried the self publishing route before so I am just now learning about the venues available. As far as I can tell, Book Baby, Amazon, and Smashwords seem to be the most popular. Below are two links comparing them, but I'm hoping for some recommendations from you.



Have you ever self published? If so, who did you use? Who do you recommend, and why?


Unknown said...

I'm an indie author - I started with just Amazon - it's the biggest - so it had to be the best. Wrong. It's set up to make money - not help authors make money - so I added Smashwords to my list and they send out the book to Kobo etc which saves me from having to figure out what each different place wants.
I haven't gotten around to checking out Book baby.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Check with other authors who have self published. M. Pax has made a major career out of it. Plus check the self-publishing page at the IWSG.

Stephanie Faris said...

I'm not self-published, but I have heard good things about Smashwords.

Kathryn Thornton said...

I have a friend working with Amazon right now and has sent the book back three times to reformat and changed size and cover and they have been very helpful with her and not charged anything for the changes to her proofs.

Christopher Lynch has self-published and he is very helpful. His website is below.

Botanist said...

I have now self-published 2 novels using CreateSpace, Smashwords, and Amazon KDP. I've been happy with all of them so far.

Specific comments from my experience:
* Very pleased with the print quality from CreateSpace.
* Both CreateSpace and Smashwords distribute to a good list of major online outlets.
* Smashwords technically distributes to Amazon, but only after you've hit $2,000 in sales. That's why I chose to go straight to KDP for the ebook at the outset.

Never heard of Book Baby, but looking at the articles raised a few red flags for me:
* They charge upfront fees. Not a good sign, especially considering most indie authors would never have a hope of breaking even at those rates.
* They claim to be able to get you into bricks & mortar stores. I'd treat that claim with care. What I read into it is that they'll make your title available in the kinds of places that bookstores buy from, which doesn't mean they'll actually choose to stock your book. Don't expect to see your title out there on the shelf, it's POD which means nothing is going to be printed until a customer asks for it. All the legwork is still up to you to persuade a bookstore to stock your title, and good luck with that!
* The first article is written by Book Baby themselves, and is highly biassed and in some cases inaccurate. They downplay CS's distribution network because some outlets are only available through expanded distribution, but that is not hard to get onto if you have a quality product. ISBNs from CS are free. The quality POD comparison is meaningless, and as I said earlier the quality from CS is good. Small quantities from CS are affordable for the author. My paperbacks cost me under $10 each (including shipping) v. BB's $19 for a single copy. With those kinds of issues in their "comparison", do I get a warm & fuzzy feeling for the rest of their claims? Hmmm...

dolorah said...

Remember, if it has too narrow and audience for the publishers, it means you would have to work overtime finding that audience yourself.

Many authors do well in the self publishing market; I have not taken that route myself (not even published except in short story anthologies).

Thanks Botanist for the indepth assessment of those articles. Lots of food for thought for me.

Sylvia Ney said...

Thank you everyone for the advice. It's always intimidating entering new territory!