Blog · Self-publishing

Computers are our friends… I think

Oh the joys of switching Internet provider (insert a long suffering sigh here). This may go some way towards explaining my lack of postageness here, but hopefully they’ll get it sorted soon .  Yes I’m talking to you Vodafone.

Anyway, I’ve been trying to catch up with my social media and I came across another one of those ‘success stories’ of an Indie Author who has published with a Print On Demand company.  Bully for her I say (honestly!) but given that a lot of these companies charge astronomical prices for a process you can complete perfectly well by yourself, I wonder if POD is a bit outdated?

I actually published a book back in 2005 – a non-fiction title – with a Print on Demand company, long before e-publishing became de riguer.  It cost a pretty penny, but at the time, it was the only alternative to mainstream publishing.  I still get the odd royalty cheque, but my earnings have come nowhere near the cost to produce the book.  I designed the cover and any marketing that was done was completed by yours truly.  My point is, while browsing the POD company mentioned in the article, it doesn’t look like much has changed.  They talk about providing you with ISBN’s and selling your book on their website as if they’re doing you a service, but all of these things are free anyway.  And if you were already having your doubts, one of their tips reads – “If you’re publishing to make a profit, it’s probably not a good idea”.  Sorry?  Isn’t that why we’re all publishing?  Otherwise we could just upload them to Amazon and set the selling price to zero – call it a hobby and be done with it.  Obviously, money is not the driving force, but most writers actually want to make a living out of their work and if you’ve paid over a large sum to have your book published, your expectations of profit would be even higher.

I think if you really want to see your book in print, head over to Create Space and do it yourself.  Spend your hard earned cash on a cover designer and an editor, then do your best to market your book and start writing the next one.  And when you’ve done all of that, get yourself an Internet provider that actually provides the Internet!

4 thoughts on “Computers are our friends… I think

  1. Interesting thoughts. I published my first novel through Kindle’s White Glove Program which is like what you describe but you have to have an agent to be part of it. I’m three months into sales of the novel which is available on Kindle and POD. I make more money from Kindle sales but surprisingly, at least to me anyway, POD is outselling Kindle. Screen reading’s popularity may have plateaud? Anyway it’s all still new, and I’m learning as I go. But my friend was signed for a 4 book series with Harper Collins and has 3 books under his belt has found the whole experience a nightmare: unanswered calls for months, still hasn’t seen a dime from translation rights sales 2 years ago, demands for gratuitous sex and violence to replace other passages in his novel and always the implication that he could be dropped at any moment… Taking some control over your publishing future and what you write seems to be the better prospect from where I’m sitting.

    1. Hey Jackie! Thanks for your comment and congratulations on your novel, Silk For The Feed Dogs (sounds very interesting). I’d never heard of the mysteriously named ‘White Glove’ but that’s probably because I don’t have an agent. It seems you can’t turn your back for a minute in this self-publishing game and something new has popped up! Which is great really, because the industry has become so dynamic, it’s good to hear that people are finding equally dynamic ways to publish. I am quite surprised to hear about your friend’s experience with a major publisher, it sounds quite frustrating and worst of all, completely out of his hands. You always imagine that the holy grail is to be signed by one of the big houses, but I guess that’s not always the case. Interesting thoughts on POD -v- Kindle too, there are always those few people who still ask if my book is in print, so I might look into my printing options for my second novel – but things will probably have changed again by then!

    1. Yes it is an interesting point – I want to make a living out of writing so I can become a full-time writer. Otherwise, you’re in a situation where you can’t devote yourself 100% to your writing career, so I don’t think it’s an unreasonable thing to aspire towards. The majority of people like to get paid a salary for their work and I don’t see why it should be any different for writers. However, wanting to make a living out of writing and actually doing it are two very different matters! But we can still dream… Thanks for stopping by Lydia 🙂

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