by Mike Masnick

Self-Publishing Looking Better

from the who-needs-a-publisher dept

Self-publishing of books has had a pretty bad reputation for a while. There were a few success stories, but not many. Now, however, technology is making it easier and much, much cheaper to self-publish, meaning that self-publishing is losing some of its negative connotation. It's certainly not going to wipe out professional publishers, who are there for a reason. However, it does open up more possibilities for people who want to publish books for very focused audiences, or those who see self-publishing as a kind of minor league "warmup" for publishing a book the traditional way. While some fear being inundated with dreadful books, that seems silly. If the books are bad, no one is going to buy them. Besides, there are already plenty of dreadful books out there that you never hear about. A successful book generally requires a marketing campaign that many individual authors are incapable of doing on their own - which is why big publishers are around. However, for some authors, doing their own publicity is a thrill, and gives them much more control over how their book is promoted.

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  • identicon
    Chris, 28 Apr 2004 @ 9:01am

    Still a long way to go on self-publishing

    "Publish and Be Damned" sounds great, but when you start getting into the details you realize why it's so darned cheap. For example: only Times Roman 10 point is allowed for text, and even then adding italics or bold formatting is forbidden. As someone who has self-published a book and will likely self-publish others, I must admit that the only way (so far) to retain a good degree of control over the way your book looks and to publish it at a reasonable price (while still making more than 50 cents a copy) is to go a more traditional route: have 500+ copies printed by a "real printer" and then work like hell to sell enough to make your money back. Of course, that assumes a lot of additional knowledge and ability on the author's part than many may have.

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