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Old 05-08-2012, 09:13 PM   #1
Celeste Carrara
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I'm going to self publish!

I've decided to self publish in ebook format only and I'm excited and scared!

I have been debating on whether to self publish for months now. What made me decide to take the plunge? Well, a couple of things.

I'm not one that has a dream of seeing my books on book shelves in bookstores. Personally, I think ebooks are the future and are a very popular format for the genre I write, erotic paranormal romance.

Thankfully I have a husband who is a web developer, and marketer so this helps me tremendously! He has made my website, created my Twitter and Facebook pages and created amazing book covers for me. He will do the uploading of my books to smashwords and KDP, and he is taking on all the marketing. So this leaves me time to continue doing what I love, writing.

I will promote myself through the popular channels (Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Blogs) on my own and I fortunately have the time to do it.(I'm a stay at home mom with 2 kids in school full time.)

I'm not looking to make a living off my writing, basically I'll just be happy if people enjoy my stories. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to be able to make some money too. Who wouldn't?

So, today my husband and I will start the process of getting my novel ready to upload. I have also written a novelette based in the same world as my novel. Should I publish them at the same time?

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Old 05-08-2012, 10:40 PM   #2
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Both at the same time seems reasonable to me . . . that way, folks who like one can promptly buy the other.

If you want to get on all platforms (or all that count for much, anyway) in one fell swoop, consider bookbaby.com. Well regarded from all I have heard (and an outfit I will use in due time).

Good luck with the endeavors!

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Old 05-08-2012, 10:53 PM   #3
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Both at the same time.

Also, sounds like you've got the perfect situation for self-publishing. I hope you do very, very well.
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:16 AM   #4
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Damn, I could do with a husband like that... maybe I need to go gay.

Good luck with your endeavours and keep us posted. Oh, and both books definitely - the more to catch the readers with.
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:36 AM   #5
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I, too, am working toward direct-to-reader (my euphemism for self-pubbing) a contemporary I wrote a few years back, that my agent refused even to look at. HELLO AGAIN is a second chance at love story.

Like you, I'm feeling some trepidation and yet I'm pumped that the opportunity exists to share this story with readers.

I hope yours works out beyond your dreams.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:15 AM   #6
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Welcome to all of you taking the plunge. One word of advice (and I'm hardly an old hand myself barely five months into this adventure). Take it slow and don't let the process overwhelm you. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement. Remember, you still have to provide a quality product so don't cut corners or try to rush things. The beauty of self-publishing is that the only deadlines you face are self-imposed. Don't try to cram through the editing just to get the book up. Don't try to tackle formatting for Kindle or Smashwords if you had a bad day or are tired. Self-publishing can be a lot of fun but, like anything else, there is a bit of a learning curve and you can get frustrated.

However, the satisfaction you can derive when the book goes live is almost indescribable. Best of luck with your endeavors and don't hesitate to ask for guidance. There are quite a few of us around with varying degrees of experience and, like other forums on AW, we're always glad to offer a hand up the writing ladder.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:23 AM   #7
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I'm excited for your new journey and will be following along. Best of luck.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:23 AM   #8
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It's great that you've really thought this through, have a husband who can help with the cover and formatting for smashwords and Kindle, and a novelette ready also.

Best of luck!
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:35 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Deb Kinnard View Post
I, too, am working toward direct-to-reader (my euphemism for self-pubbing)
I like it! A positive designation with no legacy stigma attached. Let's get some momentum behind it.
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Like you, I'm feeling some trepidation...
Don't be afraid. When you choose between direct-to-reader and not publishing at all, the only relative consequences will be good ones.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:36 AM   #10
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Paranormal erotic romance?

I see dollar signs in your future! (Make sure you're up on B&N. Romance and erotica seem to do well there. You might consider Pubit instead of smashwords.)

Best of luck!!
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:04 AM   #11
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I, too, am working toward direct-to-reader (my euphemism for self-pubbing) a contemporary I wrote a few years back
Why do you feel the need to use a euphemism? I'm not snarking, just wondering. Isn't there already far too much nebulousity and confusion in publishing?

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I like it! A positive designation with no legacy stigma attached. Let's get some momentum behind it.
"Legacy stigma"? Goodness me. Have I read you right here, Al? Are you suggesting that the reason self-publishing is often considered suspect is because trade publishing has somehow stigmatised it? Or did you mean something else?

Self-published writers often complain that trade publishing sneers at them, and yet they seem to find it perfectly acceptable to take all sorts of pot-shots at trade publishing. I've never liked that double standard.

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Don't be afraid. When you choose between direct-to-reader and not publishing at all, the only relative consequences will be good ones.
Not necessarily.
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Old 05-09-2012, 04:34 PM   #12
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I guess I'm in the minority. I don't have a problem calling myself a self-publisher because that's what I am. Readers are finding my books and, from all the emails and comments I've received, only one questioned my decision not to go with a trade publisher. He was a young writer and curious about what direction to go for his own writing career. I pointed him to AW where he could get recommendations for all the different paths. My point is, other than the young writer, none of my readers seem to care one way or the other how the books came to be. They just seem happy that they can read them.

"Direct-to-reader" seems a nice, catchy way to describe your process, Deb Kinnard. But don't use it because you fear some sort of stigma attached to the plain old term that's still in use. Self-publishing goes way, way back and it wasn't all vanity. Many academicians used it for their works that appealed only to a tiny niche audience. Besides, you have lots of company now with writers who are doing the same thing. Some, like myself, never went the trade route. Others are established trade authors who are now self-publishing their back titles and some of their new titles.

Best of luck in your endeavors. Don't hesitate to ask for advice. There are many of us (trade and/or self-published) who are here to lend a hand.
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Old 05-09-2012, 04:48 PM   #13
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I am also someone who doesn't shy away from the term self-published. It clearly describes what I am doing. I list myself as author and publisher of my titles. I don't mind the term direct-to-reader, but I'm fine with the term self-published, always have been. I do realize there are some people who will immediately dismiss my titles. That's their choice. I am in no way embarrassed or ashamed of self-publishing (I'm not saying that you, or anyone else, is). I guess I just don't see a need for a new term.
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:10 PM   #14
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Good for you, Celeste. Best wishes for you.

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Old 05-09-2012, 06:02 PM   #15
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Thanks everyone for the support and well wishes!!

I have to admit that I am a bit of a control freak so I can't just leave everything up to my husband as far as getting my book formatted for publishing. Last night after hours of research and thought we decided it was best to just use a company to do the formatting. We chose Folium Book Studio and we are very happy with the results! Also I made a decision to not use Smashwords. I'm going to use Pubit, iBooks, and KDP and will upload my book to each of them. There is no real reason behind it other than me trying to keep more money in my pocket. I know this means people with Sony ereaders can't get my book but right now I'm not too concerned with that. I want to stick with what I feel are the 3 biggest/most popular ebook sellers.

I just wanted to add my opinion on the whole self publishing stigma. It really was the only thing keeping me from taking the plunge with self pubbing my book. I really didn't want people to think I took the easy way out or that my work isn't good enough for the traditional publishers. My decision to finally do it really has to do with the genre I write plus the other reasons I listed in my original post. I feel good about it now and I'm proud of myself for having written a book in general! lol Also, in my genre there are a ton of poorly written, really horrible books out there that were published by big publishers. I think people who read my genre know that a self published work or traditionally published work are on equal footing. At least that's how I feel having been an avid reader of these type of books for years.

Rob Lopez, you crack me up!! I know, I'm a lucky girl to have my husband, and FYI I do rent him out if you're interested, JK
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:23 PM   #16
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"Legacy stigma"? Goodness me. Have I read you right here, Al? Are you suggesting that the reason self-publishing is often considered suspect is because trade publishing has somehow stigmatised it? Or did you mean something else?
Well, it was kind of a joke, but since you asked:


The stigma exists. It's kind of old, probably originating with traditional vanity publishing--thus the "legacy"--but it seems to hang in the air and won't go away.
  • Many reviewers won't review self-pubbed books as a matter of policy
  • Folks say that covers, etc. scream "self-pubbed," and the implication of that is clear
  • Readers insist that they'll never read one, and take virtually every opportunity to point that out.
  • Bookstores won't stock them
  • Folks call them "slush" for readers to wade through
  • It is often suggested that self-pubbing is a last resort for inferior works that cannot find an agent or publisher
  • And so on
You can find such attitudes here and there around the net, AW included. None of the stigma, however, is imposed by trade publishers, themselves, at least not openly and certainly not as policy, so no, that's not what I'm saying. I think the stigma is hung by authors, readers, reviewers, and retailers (buyers). A lot of it is deserved, but those who do not deserve it resent it.
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Self-published writers often complain that trade publishing sneers at them, and yet they seem to find it perfectly acceptable to take all sorts of pot-shots at trade publishing. I've never liked that double standard.
Such "pot-shots" are a natural reaction to the stigma, and the double-standard happens because both sides blame trade publishers for it. It's a double standard from both ends.

Those of us who are both trade- and self-published have a different--perhaps more objective--perspective of the perpetual tug, and we can be amused by it.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:53 PM   #17
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and FYI I do rent him out if you're interested, JK
You rent him out... now that's what I call a family business.

Out of interest, how come you'd make less if you went with smashwords?
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:24 AM   #18
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You rent him out... now that's what I call a family business.

Out of interest, how come you'd make less if you went with smashwords?
If I give my husband another task to do he'll kill me lol

Smashwords takes a 10% cut.


After a very long day we've accomplished all my goals for today! I've uploaded my novel & novelette to Amazon & Barnes & Noble! The novel is already available on Amazon!!! We updated my website & even uploaded the novel to lulu so I can print some copies for myself & to do a giveaway on Goodreads I needed a printed copy. I didn't upload to iBooks because you can't use a pen name!

Tomorrow I will put them both on Goodreads & work on marketing them there. I'll leave the rest of the marketing to my husband :-)
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Old 05-10-2012, 03:05 PM   #19
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IMHO, bookstores not stocking self-published books has nothing to do with a stigma -- it's what's practical. Most self-publishers can't offer stores the discounts and return policies that big publishers can. The book store is there to make money, so they stick with the publishers who are most likely to do that.

I also don't think it's a stigma to call the vast number of self-published books out there a slush pile. A slush pile isn't a pile of bad manuscripts. It's a pile of unknown manuscripts. Some could be awesome and some could be barely written in English. But anyone can join, all you have to do is submit. That's both the blessing and the curse of self-publishing.

I don't blame trade publishers for anything. They're in a business. They hire people to find what they perceive to be good manuscripts, they edit them, design a book, publish and market them. If that service becomes obsolete, they'll fail. So far, it hasn't.

The written word takes some time to consume. When I download a book sample onto my Nook, it takes me about fifteen minutes to read it. I need to be at least somewhat convinced before I give those fifteen minutes that it'll be worth my time. Personally, I don't care who the publisher of a book is. But if the cover is weak and the book description sounds like every other book in the genre, I'll probably pass by.

That's why presentation of a self-published book is so important.

Celeste, best of luck with your book! I think it's great you've got so much help and support.
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Old 05-10-2012, 05:56 PM   #20
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I didn't upload to iBooks because you can't use a pen name!
So ... use Smashwords for that. Only distribute to Apple and Sony with SW, and there you are.
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Old 05-10-2012, 06:20 PM   #21
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So ... use Smashwords for that. Only distribute to Apple and Sony with SW, and there you are.
Thank you, I didn't know if I can choose just those two or if I had to use Smashwords everything. Ok, so I guess I'm going to have to get over the 10% to them if I want my books on iBooks and Sony. I'll probably do that today.

I just added my books to Goodreads!
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:05 PM   #22
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IMHO, bookstores not stocking self-published books has nothing to do with a stigma.
The stigma isn't that bookstores don't stock SP'd books. The stigma attaches when folks use that fact and others to discourage or dismiss self-publishing.

The stigma is so ingrained that you often see authors saying that they will never ever self-publish even if it means not publishing at all. [Insert the obligatory, "and that's usually a good thing." ]
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:21 PM   #23
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The stigma isn't that bookstores don't stock SP'd books. The stigma attaches when folks use that fact and others to discourage or dismiss self-publishing.
Ah, okay, I get what you meant now. Thanks for clarifying.

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The stigma is so ingrained that you often see authors saying that they will never ever self-publish even if it means not publishing at all. [Insert the obligatory, "and that's usually a good thing." ]
We can't assume that authors who don't self-publish make that choice because they're afraid of a stigma. They might just not want to deal with being in charge of all the little things that go into a making a book. They might not want to do the difficult self-promotion.

I can only speak for my own reasons not to self-publish. I'm writing in a very popular genre that many agents are looking to acquire more clients in. I'm willing to compete for a spot on that client list more than I'm willing to compete for readers in the self-published market. That's all there is to it. I am one of those authors who's quick to trunk something that didn't quite make the cut. I don't see "it'll never get published at all," as a dire consequence. Other people might interpret that as giving up way too easily or find it pathetic that I wouldn't try to publish something that's clearly got potential just because Agent X read the full, had lots of positive comments, but ultimately didn't make an offer.

To me, the important thing is to be informed before you decide which path to take.
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:27 PM   #24
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I'm not sure that warning people about the limitations imposed on self-published works is "use[ing] that fact and others to discourage or dismiss self-publishing". Isn't it better for writers to be fully informed?
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:36 PM   #25
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Celeste, congrats! And good luck with your marketing efforts. The ship has sailed, but for what it's worth, releasing both at once seems like the best bet.
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Words for 2013 so far: 129,295
Sales for 2013 so far: 25
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Word total for 2012: 292,394
Sales total for 2012: 35


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"The first problem of any kind of even limited success
is the unshakeable conviction that you are getting away with something
and that any moment now 'they' will discover you." - Neil Gaiman
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