Self publishing

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Ian Anderson, May 1, 2014.

  1. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    In the Spring 2014 issue of "Live & Learn" (the Excelsior College Magazine) their is a timely (for me) article on self publishing ("The Write Stuff"). Has anyone on this board self published and if so what approach do you recommend?

    I ask this question because I recently started writing a technical book. I know the sales quantity will be low and do not expect to break even, so when it gets time to publish I need to consider publisher reputation and cost. Currently there is no published book on my topic although there are books with limited information (which will be referenced).
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    If you don't believe many people will buy it, then what is your goal for the book? Knowing that will make it easier to answer usefully.
  3. rebel100

    rebel100 New Member

    Have you considered writing it up as an ebook?

    Seems that would be a mechanism to keep the costs low yet still be able to reach a technical audience. I'm pretty sure there is an option to then have your e-book printed, bound, and shipped to you for the handful of hard copies you might need. I think this is basically how cookderosa launched hers, but I'm sure she'll be along to share that directly.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2014
  4. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member


    -- Book-as-brochure. Hand it out to people interested in doing business with you.

    -- Get your message out.

    -- Use it in training or consulting you might do.

    -- Even if self-published, it can add prestige because you did it, you have something substantial to say, and your name is there in print, even after you've left the conversation.

    -- Your book in one person's hands could lead to referrals.

    -- Your website--added value. Give people a little value up front to help move things along.

    -- your website--passive income. Who knows, someone might buy some copies!

    I'm sure there are other reasons besides mine....
  5. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    I've self published 2 books, it's pretty simple if you use CreateSpace at Amazon. In fact, they will allow you to purchase services a la carte if you need them (editing, etc). My first book was through Trafford. I did that back before people really used the internet and digital was only a dream. I let that book go out of print- but that specific book was created for a class I taught, so the audience was pretty limited. I don't recommend that type of service (nothing wrong with Trafford specifically) because you actually order the printing yourself, which costs money. This time around, I had no interest in selling/ordering/printing my own book. So, simply, I wrote the book and sold it through Amazon. With some hussle, you can get it in other places, in my case I have a good company I work with that carries lots of homeschool books and it has generated some nice sales this year. I also got an endorsement from a homeschooling company with a good reputation and I created a Facebook page that I post on daily. I'm happy to share more if the following links don't answer all your questions.

    CreateSpace - : Take Control with Independent Publishing

    My book page over at Amazon - Homeschooling for College Credit: Jennifer Cook DeRosa: 9781467933865: Books

    Coordinating Facebook page-

    5 minutes after you finish looking at those links, order this book: Guerrilla Marketing for Writers : 100 Weapons to Help You Sell Your Work: Jay Conrad Levinson, Rick Frishman, Michael Larsen: 9780898799835: Books

    So, you probably also want to know what kind of money you can make, what it costs, etc. Know that I did best when I had my book available in print AND digitally (2/day), however, I pulled it off Kindle after 6 months because that's how long it took me to figure out how people exploit the return policy. I believe they can buy the ebook for 30 days and return it at any time. Well, guess what? Almost 50% of my ebooks were returned....coincidence? Then, I found a foreign website selling my essentially, that's more crap than I have brain space for. I pulled Kindle, and now I'm only in print- which is the way I will do this from now on.

    My print copy sells about 1/day on average. My length is 185 pages (determines cost) and my royalty from Amazon is the best deal at about $3/book. However, I sell MORE BOOKS through my relationship with Rainbow Resource because of my drop-ship arrangement (I net $1/per); they carry my book in their amazing catalog (direct to homeschoolers- my target), on their website for online ordering, and have "the" biggest booth at "every" homeschool conference, so I did that deal for exposure. When the time comes, I hope to have a follow up book, and I know they'll take it from day 1.

    Oh, and when you use CreateSpace or Kindle Direct, your cost is $0. You have nothing to lose. :) Now go get Guerrilla Marketing for Writers- it's amazing.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2014
  6. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    In case this is helpful, my friend Angela Lauria helps authors through her Author Incubator service. (Warning: her site has a video that automatically plays.)
  7. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    The purpose is to provide a tool for individuals not acquainted with my area of expertise. Several clients have suggested I do this by including a more in depth explanation, with examples, than what I include in my reports I write for them.

    Yes I will put out e-book and bound versions.

    Any costs can be written off as a business expense.

    Incidentally I have a friend who published his book through Amazon and a UK acquaintance who uses Lulu.

    Following this book I will consider converting one of my theses into a book (should be of interest to UK military history buffs)

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