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Self-funding publication - Anyone with experience?


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#1 Alys Cohen

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 03:17 AM

Right now my plan is to find the first run of my book myself, just a small run and nothing that would financially cripple me forever if I don't make the money back.  My reasons break down to wanting to have copies on hand to give, to see if I can get some indie bookstores to carry copies on commission (Powell's is not too far, and that place is hopping with people who love indies), and I dislike how little of a cut writers get if they purely POD.  Printing 100 copies works out to a much lower price per book than someone ordering a copy and then that one copy being printed and shipped.  I guess it helps that I've got people in several countries begging to buy copies early.

 

Anyway I'm not sure how I'd go about listing to sell on Amazon and such.  I've never listed anything there at all, so don't know how to do that.  Any input?  Do they only count ranks if you POD?

 

With talking to indie bookstores, any tips on that?

 

Any other advice?



#2 YoungAdultSlave

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 07:53 AM

Hi Alys!

 

I don't have any experience with self-publishing, but for what is worth...here'S what I would do.

 

1. List on Amazon, only kindle edition if you don't like POD

2. Direct all your efforts to gain visibility and a good rank on amazon

3. Use the money from online sales to fund those 100 print books you want

 

There are two reasons I would do this. First, because you wouldn't need upfront money. Two, it would give you a convincing argument when you speak to boostores if you can say, "Hey...My book already sold x thousands on amazon."

 

Cheers & good luck :)



#3 Peter Burton

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 08:52 AM

Personally, you may be better off in the long run by going POD. If I remember correctly, most other printers will want you to do a specific number of books for a run, and that is going to be expensive enough to give you a coronary.

 

With POD there is no set limit to by, and you can see how many books a indie bookstore is willing to take before you commit the investment. Plus, as you said... it's already listed on Amazon... so you don't have to jump through any hoops there.

 

I also don't think you should limit the book to POD, and have the e-book out there as well. Why cut off a potential source of readers and income?

 

Compared to a traditional deal, the royalties from POD are pretty sweet, although you can get more money from a bulk buy. But if you print them yourself, and the story does not happen to find an audience... you're stuck eating the cost.

 

With POD, you will take much less of a risk, as you can gauge what the market will bear first.


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#4 Guest_AWExley_*

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 05:59 PM

You can self pub and list both Kindle & paperback version on Amazon.

 

When people buy the paperback version it will be POD, but the purchase will count toward your Amazon sales ranking. If you want to get noticed, you need the ranking. You need your book to start appearing in the Top 100 lists Amazon controls, which again increases your visibility, which increases sales (it becomes a cycle).

 

You can still buy your paperback to take to local bookstores.



#5 Leigh Teale

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 06:25 PM

Having read elsewhere in more detail what it is you're wanting to do, Alys, here are my thoughts:

 

If you're determined to buy copies from a printer instead of doing ebook and POD, then I would suggest that it isn't much different from third party sellers on Amazon. You would set up a vendor account and list the books that way. Of course, you'll have to handle all the orders and shipping yourself, but that seems to be the route you want to take. You would do the same thing on BN.com, I believe.


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#6 RC Lewis

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 06:30 PM

I don't know the details, but I believe through Lightning Source, you can do either POD or print-runs. I don't know if they have a minimum order, but if you use them, you should be able to use their distribution/listing to Amazon and the like.


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#7 Andrea Lambert

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 09:03 PM

I haven't self-published. On of my CalArts MFA friends did a kickstarter to fund self-publishing her book, which you could do if you are comfortable asking your friends for money. I'm not, but I contributed to hers.

 

If you do print up a limited run of POD,  I can give you advice on getting your book into bookstores. My first two books were published on European small presses, so although the novel was still on Amazon and Tower books carried it because they're edgy, it wasn't in any bookstores in the US.

 

What I did was take copies of my book around to various local bookshop and find out about what it  took to put them in the "local authors" section or self-promoted author section if there was one. Usually in a small independent bookshop there was. you have to actually shlep yourself down there and talk to them in person. Powell's is a great choice for this. I used to live in Portland, it's an awesome bookstore. The name of the small press guy at Powell's is Kevin Sampsell, I think, at least it used to be, and he's very enthusiastic about new writing.

 

I also donated copies to the public library and the libraries of the universities I went to for my BA and MFA. Those libraries stock it now too. I just walked into the public library and said I wanted to donate a book an they took it. People in LA have told me they checked my book out of the library so it does get your book out there circulating and read. i just mailed copies to my old colleges. Libraries are a great way to get your book out there.


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GoodReads Author bio: https://www.goodread....Andrea_Lambert

 

Amazon author bio: https://www.amazon.c...ine_cont_book_1
 
JET SET DESOLATE from Future Fiction London on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co...t/dp/0578016257

 

LORAZEPAM & THE VALLEY OF SKIN: EXTRAPOLATIONS ON LOS ANGELES from valeveil: http://www.valeveil.se/posts/196
 

HAUNTING MUSES from Bedazzled Ink on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co...e/dp/194383752X

 

WRITING THE WALLS DOWN: A CONVERGENCE OF LGBTQ VOICES from Trans-Genre Press: http://trans-genre.n...the-walls-down/
 
THE L.A. TELEPHONE BOOK, VOL. 1 from ARRAS.NET: http://www.arras.net/?page_id=658

 

 


#8 Jinsune

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 11:25 AM

I've never self dubbed anything, but I think POD would be the way to go. You don't want to have a ton of copies made and sitting in your garage because no one wanted them. I think your best approach as far as indie stores is to pop over to one of them and ask what would be required (application, if any) to get them to carry your books. They might ask for a small percentage of the sales, though, and I think if you can convince them that your book will sell they'd accept a few copies.



#9 Sassalota

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Posted 19 April 2016 - 08:17 PM

I have read about people getting sponsorships. Would your book appeal to any group of people? What about businesses or charities? Think outside the box. What is your book about? If you can identify a link of profit, dont hesitate to ask for sponsers because a lot of times businesses can get a tax deduction on that money. My husband gets five figure checks from rich business owners for his hobby. You just have to find the connection.




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