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  • That last paragraph is like a roller coaster
    Tim Reinholt Author of Pow, a ski bum heist adventure
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    edited December 2018
    I assume you mean this one:

    "Self-publishing is increasingly becoming the first choice for writers. Most self-published books sell very few copies, although there are approximately a dozen books that sell into the millions. The quality of self-published works varies considerably, with many low quality titles on the market."

    Every other phrase seems to contradict the one before it. But, frankly, those parts I italicized are probably the most important for the novice to be aware of.
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  • Fortunately Christmas comes around and you can get to sell a whole lot more books.
  • I must have been reading another site ...
  • No you weren't. You are just being Kevin. I am saying that self publishing is a struggle but you can get lucky at Christmastime when your sales get a boost.
  • oncewas said:
    No you weren't. You are just being Kevin. I am saying that self publishing is a struggle but you can get lucky at Christmastime when your sales get a boost.
    You are absolutely right...and this holds true for traditional publishing, too. New books are either released in the Spring or in late Fall, the latter to take advantage of Christmas sales (especially if the book might be of a sort that would be a potential gift item, such as a coffee table art book for instance). 
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  • Every other phrase seems to contradict the one before it.

    It doesn't at all.

  • No you weren't. You are just being Kevin. I am saying that self publishing is a struggle but you can get lucky at Christmastime when your sales get a boost.

    I was referring to the comments that the page at the link I pasted contains contradictions, when it obviously does not.

  • Reminds me of Fifty Shades of Grey which has some terrible reviews. I believe it only hit it big because Opra read it and added to her book of the month. With all those women who watched her show, the book had to be an instant hit. Rumor has it that it was published here. Don't quote me though :)

  • Reminds me of Fifty Shades of Grey which has some terrible reviews. I believe it only hit it big because Opra read it and added to her book of the month. With all those women who watched her show, the book had to be an instant hit.

    The power of the media! By all accounts it is terribly badly written, but the publicity caused many housewives to buy it, no doubt to see what the fuss was about. "Mummy Porn." One of those 'dozen' successful ones  :)

     Rumor has it that it was published here. Don't quote me though

    Apparently The Writers' Coffee Shop, a virtual POD publisher based in Australia (I won't post a link in ...) but due to the press it got, later taken up by a trad publisher.

  • Every other phrase seems to contradict the one before it.

    It doesn't at all.

    Perhaps not contradict, but the paragraph does seem awfully conflicted, not seeming able to decide whether it is supporting self-publishing or not.
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  • Whoa.. Fifty Shades was self-pub? So was The Martian 
    https://www.businessinsider.com/how-andy-weirs-the-martian-became-so-successful-2015-6
    these are amazing times we live in!
    Tim Reinholt Author of Pow, a ski bum heist adventure
  • Perhaps not contradict, but the paragraph does seem awfully conflicted, not seeming able to decide whether it is supporting self-publishing or not.

    So? it does not say that it is.

  • This is actually just a short list. It used to be very common to self-publish. It was common in the days before printers became publishers.

    http://www.simonteakettle.com/famousauthors.htm

  • This is actually just a short list. It used to be very common to self-publish. It was common in the days before printers became publishers.

    http://www.simonteakettle.com/famousauthors.htm

    They spelled Edgar Allan Poe's name wrong.

    In any case, there is some fudging in that list of self-published authors. For instance, Edgar Rice Burroughs' first half dozen or so novels were all traditionally published---at the same time his stories and serials were best-sellers in magazine form. It was not until he was a best-selling, and wealthy, author that he created his own company, ERB, Inc. which, if I am not mistaken, didn't publish any of his books until 1931, fifteen years after his first book was published by traditional commercial publisher. 

    There are other equally misleading names on the list.
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  • They spelled Edgar Allan Poe's name wrong.

    The ruffians.

    In any case, there is some fudging in that list of self-published authors. For instance, Edgar Rice Burroughs' first half dozen or so novels were all traditionally published---at the same time his stories and serials were best-sellers in magazine form. It was not until he was a best-selling, and wealthy, author that he created his own company, ERB, Inc. which, if I am not mistaken, didn't publish any of his books until 1931, fifteen years after his first book was published by traditional commercial publisher. 

    "In 1923 Burroughs set up his own company, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., and began printing his own books through the 1930s."

    That sounds like self-publishing to me, later on, or not.

    There are other equally misleading names on the list.

    I can't be bothered looking them all up, you do so if you like, but I looked this chap up just now, too, as a random example >>

    "On 10 December 1884, Mark Twain self-published The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn with his nephew Charles Webster under the Charles Webster & Co. imprint. Twain was already a successful writer and wanted to maximise his profit."

    Apparently Kipling, as another example, also made exceedingly good cakes


  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    edited December 2018
    What is misleading about including names like Burroughs, Twain and others is that they only self-published after they had become not only famous but relatively wealthy authors. This is, I think, exactly opposite the impression that the web link is trying to create. In other words, these authors didn't jump-start their careers by first self-publishing their books or went into self-publishing because of repeated rejections but rather did so only after they were wealthy enough to create their own publishing companies. A luxury that, I think even you would have to admit, is not a viable option to most Lulu authors.

    (And it might be worth pointing out that Twain's career as a publisher was not at all a particularly successful one.)

    This is a little like the author friend of mine who I have mentioned before. She is having an immense amount of success at self-publishing (through her agent) ebook editions of her newest stories and books. But...she had already been a very successful author with an established reputation before doing this so she began creating ebooks with a pre-existing base of, literally, tens of thousands of readers.

    The point is that lists like these are all but pointless since there are so many different reasons and circumstances behind the “self publishing” these authors may or may not have indulged in.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • What is misleading about including names like Burroughs, Twain and others is that they only self-published after they had become not only famous but relatively wealthy authors.

    So? They still self-published, just as that site says, and just as some famous writers are now doing today. Cutting out the middlemen.

     This is, I think, exactly opposite the impression that the web link is trying to create.

    Really? How is that then?

     In other words, these authors didn't jump-start their careers by first self-publishing their books or went into self-publishing because of repeated rejections but rather did so only after they were wealthy enough to create their own publishing companies.

    So? But what does that cost nowadays? Possibly a lot cheaper that paying a Vanity Publisher.

     A luxury that, I think even you would have to admit, is not a viable option to most Lulu authors.

    There are quite a few indie publishing houses using Lulu and Createspace.

    (And it might be worth pointing out that Twain's career as a publisher was not at all a particularly successful one.)

    I don't recall saying that it was.

    This is a little like the author friend of mine who I have mentioned before. She is having an immense amount of success at self-publishing (through her agent)

    Well having the services of an agent indeed does help. Did she have success prior to self-publishing?

     ebook editions of her newest stories and books. But...she had already been a very successful author with an established reputation before doing this so she began creating ebooks with a pre-existing base of, literally, tens of thousands of readers.

    And that helps, too. So what is your point? ;0

    The point is that lists like these are all but pointless since there are so many different reasons and circumstances behind the “self publishing” these authors may or may not have indulged in.

    It lists people who are said to have self-published, and many of them did, so why is it a pointless list? Or are you just arguing for the sake of it?

  • What is misleading about including names like Burroughs, Twain and others is that they only self-published after they had become not only famous but relatively wealthy authors.

    So? They still self-published, just as that site says, and just as some famous writers are now doing today. Cutting out the middlemen.

    True enough, but simply pointing out that they self-published something during their careers ignores a lot of important details. For instance, if an author had a hundred successful traditionally published books and somewhere in the middle of all that published, say, a little volume of verse as a gift for his friends and family, that would make him eligible for inclusion on the list. It is the fact that the list ignores circumstances that makes it pointless.

     This is, I think, exactly opposite the impression that the web link is trying to create.

    Really? How is that then?

     In other words, these authors didn't jump-start their careers by first self-publishing their books or went into self-publishing because of repeated rejections but rather did so only after they were wealthy enough to create their own publishing companies.

    So? But what does that cost nowadays? Possibly a lot cheaper that paying a Vanity Publisher.

    No doubt, but that doesn’t really change the point very much. Stephen King was drawing upon his pre-existing fame and reader base when he started self publishing.

     A luxury that, I think even you would have to admit, is not a viable option to most Lulu authors.

    There are quite a few indie publishing houses using Lulu and  Createspace.

    Indeed. But these are publishers acting as publishers—that is, they are publishing books by a number of people not just themselves.


    (And it might be worth pointing out that Twain's career as a publisher was not at all a particularly successful one.)

    I don't recall saying that it was.

    No one said you did. It was a comment directed to the list, to point out that while Twain tried self-publishing he was not a success at it.

    This is a little like the author friend of mine who I have mentioned before. She is having an immense amount of success at self-publishing (through her agent)

    Well having the services of an agent indeed does help. Did she have success prior to self-publishing?

    Yes, I have spoken of her before. She was—and is—very successful. Her books have best sellers for some 30 years and have been translated and published all over the world (most Croatia). There are entire websites created by her fans that are devoted to her work.

    Her agent’s only role in the self-publishing of her books is in handling the technical details of getting them onto Amazon and other platforms.

     ebook editions of her newest stories and books. But...she had already been a very successful author with an established reputation before doing this so she began creating ebooks with a pre-existing base of, literally, tens of thousands of readers.

    And that helps, too. So what is your point? ;0

    The point is that what lists of “self published authors” are trying to imply is misleading. See the paragraph following...

    The point is that lists like these are all but pointless since there are so many different reasons and circumstances behind the “self publishing” these authors may or may not have indulged in.

    It lists people who are said to have self-published, and many of them did, so why is it a pointless list?

    I have explained more than once that the list implies that there is some connection between the successful careers of these authors and the fact that they may have sometime in their lives self-published something. Otherwise it is as pointless as a list of authors who had brown hair or who wore shoes.

     Or are you just arguing for the sake of it?

    No, have no fear, I would never dream of usurping that job.


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