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Kindle self pub - does it damage

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Old 11-13-2013, 04:25 AM
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Default Kindle self pub - does it damage chances of real pub?


Is Kindle self-pub a good way to go? Does it damage your chances of 'real' publication later? Or does it in fact help your chances, if you manage to produce a very popular Kindle book, would 'real' publishers notice you and perhaps try and strike a deal? Or does that literally never happen?

Basically I want my writing to be read, but I want it ultimately in printed form on a bookshelf in a shop and don't want to damage my chances by self-pubbing on Amazon.

Thoughts?

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Old 11-13-2013, 07:48 AM
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It's rare for a self-published book to be picked up by a publisher. It happens, but compare those numbers to how many people self-publish overall, it's very slim.

But I've seen self-pubbed authors make as much money as smaller pub authors. Some seeing sales of 3,000 copies and up after a few years. I've also seen some on both that don't sell very well at all.

Most self-pubbed authors won't sell more than 150 copies (info taken from Absolute Write).

Does it damage your rep? Not if you've got a good sales record, I would think.

Have you tried the trade route first?
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Old 12-09-2013, 01:36 PM
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I can't tell you whether it will help or hurt your chances of a publisher deal, but if you want to try the self-publishing route, don't limit yourself to just KDP. Publish your work in as many stores and websites as you can, especially the big ones like iTunes and B&N. It'll increase your chances of getting more sales and that might help you score a publishing deal. Publishers don't have the time or inclination to take chances on too many new authors. if you can show them you are the real deal, have an established readership and can handle some self-promotion, they might be more likely to negotiate. =)
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Old 12-10-2013, 05:11 AM
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The only thing that damages authors who self-publish are those who do so without taking any proper care or attention over their work. Those who bang out a novel and think that's it. It's slapped on sales vessel without an edit or a proof read, and the reviews it gets are likely to be from family and friends who feel obliged or think they're doing the author a favour.

In reality it's those people who spoil it for everyone else. Because how many times will your average reader invest their time and money into a self-pubbed book, only to find it lacking in plot and presentation before they run screaming back to the the main-stream publishing houses where they can be assured of quality for their hard-earned cash.

If you've got the quality in your novel, and you're dedicated to promoting yourself and getting your name out there, then I don't think you have anything to worry about.
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Old 12-10-2013, 05:37 PM
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My experience with KDP has been zero books purchased of the two I published there under their exclusive distribution. I have eleven others under Smashwords that have sold a few, maybe twenty total. So, take your pick. The larger number of distribution channels of Smashwords vs. the giant weight of Amazon.

With either route, I think unless you get some publicity, bad or good, you will generally be lost in the torrent of ebooks published every year.
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:08 AM
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Not at all.

You can always submit something new later. I don't think the chances of it being picked up are as high, but if you want to be read certainly do it with a nicely edited, nicely represented (cover) and so on book.

Good reviews don't hurt at all.

My suggestion is to write another for trad route and try again
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Old 12-14-2013, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Mister URL View Post
My experience with KDP has been zero books purchased of the two I published there under their exclusive distribution. I have eleven others under Smashwords that have sold a few, maybe twenty total. So, take your pick. The larger number of distribution channels of Smashwords vs. the giant weight of Amazon.

With either route, I think unless you get some publicity, bad or good, you will generally be lost in the torrent of ebooks published every year.
Marketing matters a great deal. Having a professional website, keeping up a blog and/or social media presence, basically being in the public's face. A lot. The more you can get your name out there, the higher the odds someone will buy your book, which is why KDP Select is, IMO, a bad idea. It limits you to one distributor, one audience, and prescribed returns. My first self-published book was just for fun so I made it free through Smashwords Premium Catalog. But guess what? It was now downloaded over 20,000 times. That's HUGE in terms of publicity. I can also tell you that most of my downloads for it come from Barnes and Noble. My other book, which has a price tag on it, sells hardly anything at Smashwords unless I make it free, and maybe 3-4 a month through Barnes and Noble, but it has nice, steady sales at Amazon KDP (not Select). It's not making me rich by any stretch of the imagination, but it's still selling more in one outlet than ALL my publisher-published books in all outlets COMBINED so I am not going to complain.
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Old 12-15-2013, 04:20 AM
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Agree with Redlorry in that quality affects the life and death of a writers career, not where someone found your work. Here's an important question to consider. Why do you write? To make money or for a release to the stories that float in your head. If its the later and you haven't been found yet, then once you've created a master piece by all means get it out there.

Also consider Smashwords for distributing your work across so many outlets for you (Amazon, BN, etc). They do a good job for a small fee on sales.
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:20 PM
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But isn't it better to start out on ebooks if you only have a short story? Otherwise I'm not sure if people really read many literary magazines in this fast-paced world. Wouldn't it be out there where people could see it? Also I'm thinking in a few years people may be mainly reading eBooks.
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:16 AM
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Originally Posted by lisahauer09 View Post
But isn't it better to start out on ebooks if you only have a short story? Otherwise I'm not sure if people really read many literary magazines in this fast-paced world. Wouldn't it be out there where people could see it? Also I'm thinking in a few years people may be mainly reading eBooks.
Most publishers distribute through ebook, and that includes short stories (especially for the like of anthologies etc). It's more question of: do you go by ebook through a publisher, or do you self-publish with an ebook? Do you go with a team who handles everything for you, or do you handle everything yourself?
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by lisahauer09 View Post
Also I'm thinking in a few years people may be mainly reading eBooks.
Almost certainly true, but the majority of those will still be published by mainstream houses.

It is possible to break through from self-pubbed to mainstream - sell 100,000 copies and they'll beat a path to your door. It happens - rarely.

According to Bowker, nearly 235,000 (hard copy) self-pubbed books were released in 2012, a 59% increase on the previous year. That just covers those issued an ISBN, so throw in e-books and non-ISBN releases and you're probably looking at half a million or more. Trad publishers released over 301,000 hard copy titles in the same year. So your book stands an almost literal one in a million chance of being read.

Romance is the big market for self-published books, and that genre has really driven self-publishing to where it is today; apparently 71% of buyers of self-published books are women.
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Whisper View Post
Marketing matters a great deal. Having a professional website, keeping up a blog and/or social media presence, basically being in the public's face. A lot. The more you can get your name out there, the higher the odds someone will buy your book...
This is the thing. You could be the next Stephen King/Shakespeare/Whoever, but if nobody ever hears about you, it's wasted.

It's probably true that a lot of potential classics never sell more than a dozen copies (and those only to friends and family), while some relatively mediocre books will go on to make reasonable sales, because the author knows how to make a buzz happen.
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