Monday, April 06, 2009

Is Self-Publishing for You?

Here's an interesting CNN article about authors who have made their way through POD services and self-publishing.

I sometimes think about how much $$$ goes into the poetry contest circuit and for others looking for another outlet, this could be the way to go...

This article mostly deals with fiction, but poets have the opportunity to go this route if they like.

With the internet, we are no longer limited to getting the word about books.

Here's the CNN article--

More authors turn to Web and print-on-demand publishing



  1. Thanks for the link. This was an interesting article, full of interesting possibilities, especially given the number of recent query responses I've come across that begin with "In this economic climate."

  2. I keep hearing more and more about authors self-pubbing and then getting interest from a mainstream or small press. Writers of all stripes really need to start re-thinking publishing and stop wasting money on contests and postage. There are other avenues worth exploring.

  3. I self-published my first book of poems -- a small book, 14 poems -- in 1976.

    I did the layout by typing the pages with a manual typewriter. On a manual typewriter it's standard to put in two sheets of paper, one to type on and the other, under it, as a backing sheet. On the backing sheet I drew (in dark bold ink) a rectangle, the size of the book pages, centered on the sheet of paper. This served as a guide or template for typing the pages. (The rectangle was visible through the sheets I typed on.)

    I used press type from an art supply store for the lettering for the book cover. No artwork or fancy stuff. I took the finished pages, and went to a small printer, a guy who operated out of the basement of his house in Minneapolis. I picked out cover stock and inside paper, and he printed the pages and folded them. Took about a week as I remember.

    I took the printed folded pages and did the collating and saddle stapling myself. (At an office supply store I found an extra-long stapler that would reach.)

    I did 500 copies -- if I were going to do it again, I would do fewer copies for the first run. That's the only thing I would do differently now. Also, I suppose, I would now do the typing on a computer instead of a manual typewriter...

    I got a few copies into one local bookstore on consignment, and they sold over time. I gave many copies away.

    With a couple of my other books, we've done them as a joint project, the publisher and me each covering part of the cost. (This was my own choice, and in each case the publisher was a good friend.) For my more recent books, the publishers have covered all of the cost. In those cases, I've gotten a few copies outright, and a steep discount on buying additional copies from the publisher (pretty standard terms in the small press publishing business). Buying copies from the publisher at a discount more or less works out the same, money-wise, as paying some of the cost ahead of time.

    I've never submitted to a contest that had an entry fee.

  4. Mairi, Collin & Lyle,

    Thanks for the notes. Yes "in these economic times" it makes sense, but I understand the lure of contests and publishers.

    But now as the technology continues to improves, it's very hard to tell a self-pub book from a publisher from POD.

    I'm glad everything is kind of mingling together. Just more possibilities for everyone.


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