Monday, May 23, 2011

The Pros And Cons Of Self-Publishing

iPad Display ItemImage via Wikipedia
by Dan Seitz

Self-publishing has always been a tricky business, but over the last decade, the business has changed substantially.  Authors no longer need to get their words on paper to get them bought and read.  The popularity of both ebooks and tablet computers, especially the iPad 2, means that there are millions of potential customers for a wide variety of audiences.  But while the rewards are great, there are still drawbacks to self-publishing that need to be considered before taking the plunge.

For example, in self-publishing, you have total control, which is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you can write deliberately for niches that larger publishing houses simply can't or won't pursue, and it puts you in direct contact with your audience, letting you collect feedback and engage with them on a level publishing houses can't touch.  And, of course, you have creative control: you won't be told to soften a character or a plotline for the larger market, or asked to imitate another author.

However, with total control comes total responsibility: all the operational tasks that a publishing house normally handles will instead be your job.  Marketing, for example, will take up an incredible amount of your time: publishing houses have entire marketing teams dedicated to getting the word out to as many people as possible.  Self-publishing means it'll just be you, and you'll be paying for any marketing expenses.

Speaking of costs, everything to get your book to market will have to be paid for by you.  You'll need to pay for editing, layout, publishing costs, website costs...the list can seemingly go on and on.  While upfront costs are much lower than before thanks to print-on-demand services and digital distribution, you can still be looking at a substantial outlay.

Fortunately, those costs are balanced by the fact that you get far more money.  Your average hardback sale of $27 nets the author a royalty of...$3.  The other $24 goes to the publishing house; as you can see, even if you choose to price your book cheaply, you still have far more profit potential than even some of the biggest bestselling names in publishing.

That said, self-publishing still carries the stigma of amateurism.  Many people find it questionable that you're self-publishing your book; they wonder what was wrong with it that you couldn't get somebody else to put it out in print.  Part of this is simply that some self-published projects really are just monuments to the author's ego instead of books that somebody might actually be interested in reading.  This can make it difficult to get a self-published book the same level of publicity, especially from book critics, who often will ignore self-published book completely unless they're working in a specific niche.

Another part is that self-published books aren't edited to the fine polish that books from a publishing house are...but that's only because of a lack of editors.  Contrary to popular belief, good, experienced editors are not the province of the publishing houses exclusively; they can be hired for their services like anyone else.  An investment in an editor who has worked in the area of your book can go a long way towards improving your book and, more importantly, your book's sales.

Self-publishing is cheaper, easier and more popular than ever before, and if you have a book you want total control of, or want to write for a niche market, it's definitely a choice worth pursuing.

Dan Seitz is a freelance writer who covers an array of topics, from technology to home improvement topics such as gutters.
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Monday, May 9, 2011

Will Bookshelves Go Out of Style With E-Readers?

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...Cover via Amazon
By Susan Price

These days, you can’t turn on the TV without watching one commercial after another for some digital device or electronic gadget.

People frolicking around parks and sitting poolside with Kindles, or reading to their children from a Nook.

It seems like it won’t be long before books, magazines and newspapers will go the way of the triceratops as the world plugs into e-readers.

Sales numbers for e-books have exploded in the past two years.

Russ Grandinetti of told USA Today that e-books have been outselling print best sellers since October. The Kindle was the most gifted item ever for the web retailer in 2009.
E-readers are projected to generate $2.5 billion in revenue by 2013 according to Yankee Group.

All this digital commerce leaves us one question: What will happen to bookshelves?
You know, bookshelves -- the humble workhorse of libraries, schools and dens around the world.

A dust-covered piece of furniture loaded down with yellowing paperbacks, crayon-covered editions of “The Hungry Caterpillar” and musty-smelling encyclopedias.
With the ability to load a library’s worth of books onto one lightweight device, who needs bookshelves?

Luckily for bookshelves, they’ve diversified.

Sure, they might be called bookshelves, but let’s be honest, when’s the last time you went to someone’s house and saw a bookshelf holding nothing but books?
Shelves hold everything from family photos to those shells your kids collected at the beach last summer.

Lacking cabinet space in your kitchen? Bookshelves can hold cans of soup, boxes of cereal, and jars of spaghetti sauce. Use them on your patio to hold potted plants, in the garage to organize your tools, and in the kid’s room to hold everything from Lego creations to ZhuZhu Pets.

And Grandinetti says Amazon’s print business continues to grow, which means despite the digital revolution, in the future bookshelves will probably still hold books.
“We see e-books as an additive more than a substitute,” Grandinetti told USA Today.

Susan Price blogs about all types of furniture, from bookshelves to office cubicles.

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Friday, May 6, 2011

The Spiritual Path To Success, Power and Healing by Kelly Wallace

This book combines revised and updated versions of my ebooks "Contacting and Working With Your Spirit Guides" and "Energy Work - Cleansing and Healing Your Aura", along with a brand new section "Balancing Your Chakras - Unlock Energy, Creativity and Wisdom". If you want to travel a spiritual path of true power and healing then you need to learn to heal, cleanse, strengthen, and work with the various forms of energy available to you.

It may seem overwhelming when you imagine being able to communicate with your very own spirit guides, create an aura that attracts love and success, and balance your chakras for optimal health and energy. As a professional psychic counselor, my goal has always been to take these esoteric subjects and make them simple to understand and easy to incorporate into your life.

You don't have to spend hours a day meditating, purchase any special equipment, or live on tofu and alfalfa sprouts to follow a spiritual path of power and healing. All you need is a few minutes each day to practice these quick and enjoyable exercises. Before you know it you'll be living a happier, healthier and more successful life in all areas. 

Just $2.99 through Amazon. Instant download to your computer, iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry, or just about any other electronic device!

Get Your Copy Here

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