Self-publishing a book - not sure what to do?

Before posting in this marketing forum, please try to read 10 Step Plan to Promote Your Book: Online Book Marketing on Any Budget. This forum is mainly for followup questions and discussion after reading that book. This forum does indeed allow for much broader discussion of marketing and promotion than just that book, but it's good for everyone to be on the same page about the basics.

Please note, this forum is not for self-promotional plugs. It's for discussing how to promote your book or other writing.
Post Reply
User avatar
Laluev
Posts: 1
Joined: 20 May 2016, 17:09
Bookshelf Size: 0

Self-publishing a book - not sure what to do?

Post by Laluev » 20 May 2016, 17:10

For the past year or so I have been writing and working on a book which is a biography of my late grandfather. A vanity publisher has stated that they would be interested in publishing it using the online self-publishing outlet, Lulu, and I have paid said publisher over £200 for the cost of proofreading, editing and ultimately publishing it. However, I have since discovered that whilst Lulu would distribute the book on Amazon, doing this would effectively double the price due to retail distribution costs. Amazon also run a self-publishing outlet called Createspace, however they do not distribute to Lulu due to both outlets being direct competitors. Similarly, my publisher has stated that she will not use Createspace. Obviously, as Amazon are the market leader in books, I would be concerned about selling myself short through Lulu if it where to receive less traffic. That being said, Lulu give higher royalties to publishers, so I would be able to price the book cheaper on there than I would on Createspace.

Therefore, I have reached a bit of a dilemma. I can either:

* Publish the book solely on Lulu with the potential for less publicity but higher royalties.

* Publish the book on Lulu with retail distribution enabled, allowing the book to be sold through retailers such as Amazon. This would result in the costs being doubled, and also a potential issue with royalties (books sold through Amazon via Lulu would only generate forty pence per sale, due to retail costs).

* Publish the book solely through Createspace. This would mean that I could still sell on Amazon, but not through Lulu. My publisher would not support me if I took the decision, and also would mean that I would receive less royalties due to the way Amazon work.

* Publish the book on both Createspace and Lulu through two separate accounts. This would mean that the book would effectively have two ISBNs which might cause confusion down the line. I would however likely to be able to sell the book at a price I would like through both Amazon and Lulu, and gain sufficient royalties from both organisations.

Any advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated, especially considering the time and work that has gone into the book.

User avatar
Vermont Reviews
Posts: 1475
Joined: 02 Apr 2016, 09:52
2017 Reading Goal: 300
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 32
Favorite Book: <a href="http://forums.onlinebookclub.org/shelve ... 4468">Scam Prevention</a>
Currently Reading: A Roadmap To Career Success
Bookshelf Size: 509
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-vermont-reviews.html
Latest Review: "Book Blueprint" by Jacqui Pretty
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Post by Vermont Reviews » 22 May 2016, 06:52

Laluev wrote:For the past year or so I have been writing and working on a book which is a biography of my late grandfather. A vanity publisher has stated that they would be interested in publishing it using the online self-publishing outlet, Lulu, and I have paid said publisher over £200 for the cost of proofreading, editing and ultimately publishing it. However, I have since discovered that whilst Lulu would distribute the book on Amazon, doing this would effectively double the price due to retail distribution costs. Amazon also run a self-publishing outlet called Createspace, however they do not distribute to Lulu due to both outlets being direct competitors. Similarly, my publisher has stated that she will not use Createspace. Obviously, as Amazon are the market leader in books, I would be concerned about selling myself short through Lulu if it where to receive less traffic. That being said, Lulu give higher royalties to publishers, so I would be able to price the book cheaper on there than I would on Createspace.

Therefore, I have reached a bit of a dilemma. I can either:

* Publish the book solely on Lulu with the potential for less publicity but higher royalties.

* Publish the book on Lulu with retail distribution enabled, allowing the book to be sold through retailers such as Amazon. This would result in the costs being doubled, and also a potential issue with royalties (books sold through Amazon via Lulu would only generate forty pence per sale, due to retail costs).

* Publish the book solely through Createspace. This would mean that I could still sell on Amazon, but not through Lulu. My publisher would not support me if I took the decision, and also would mean that I would receive less royalties due to the way Amazon work.

* Publish the book on both Createspace and Lulu through two separate accounts. This would mean that the book would effectively have two ISBNs which might cause confusion down the line. I would however likely to be able to sell the book at a price I would like through both Amazon and Lulu, and gain sufficient royalties from both organisations.

Any advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated, especially considering the time and work that has gone into the book.

I would say that you have already spent a considerable amount of money. And now are at the crossroads you need to decide if you want to spend more or not. Hope it works out for you. I know for myself I always try to get it done for the best possible deal.

Vermont Reviews

User avatar
P_hernandez
Posts: 146
Joined: 19 Jan 2016, 18:31
Currently Reading: Miss Peregrines Home For Peculiar Children
Bookshelf Size: 39
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-p-hernandez.html
Latest Review: "Anna's Way" by D.F.Jones

Post by P_hernandez » 27 May 2016, 11:34

I feel like Amazon would give you a better audience span than LuLu based solely on the fact that they are considerably larger. The royalties may be smaller with Amazon, but you're getting more exposure and possibly selling more through them. Good luck! I hope it turns out well!

User avatar
RobinStock
Posts: 13
Joined: 01 Jun 2016, 11:34
Currently Reading: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Bookshelf Size: 92
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-robinstock.html
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by RobinStock » 01 Jun 2016, 12:19

I totally feel you on this. I kind of agree on the advice above - Amazon is huge and I think the international exposure is worth it... Question...if you're doing all the work on the self-publishing, what service is your publisher providing? Editing, mostly? Will they help you promote the book? Do you lose part of your royalties by working through the publisher? I've not worked with one of these vanity or e-book publisher, so I'm genuinely interested in the process.

User avatar
vigabo
Posts: 19
Joined: 04 Jun 2016, 14:24
2017 Reading Goal: 30
Bookshelf Size: 0
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-vigabo.html
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Post by vigabo » 04 Jun 2016, 15:18

Hi!

I'm new here but no novice at self-publishing. I have self-published 4 books. For what my opinion is worth, I would never have bothered with Lulu. Way too expensive and I don't believe they have the reach that other services offer for far less.

I went the route of finding a printer for my first book, which meant I needed to order 100 - 200 printed copies at a time to get a price allowing me to sell at a $5 - $7 profit. Not wanting to be stuck with stock on my shelves, I looked at alternatives for the 2nd and 3rd reprints of that first book (yes, it was and still is popular). That's when I took a close look at CreateSpace and Blurb. Both offer a similar service and when it came down to my costs, I could make the same profit as I had hiring a printer but the bonus was I didn't need to order 100 - 200 books each time! I could order 5, 10, 20 as I needed them for upcoming book signings or talks I was doing. I didn't think twice when it came to printing my next 3 books. I now use CreateSpace solely and I sell in their online store as well. When I use CS, they "send" my info to Amazon directly and all I have to do then is upload my file to Amazon and they create the Kindle version. I sit back happily and watch my commission cheques come in at the end of each month. No pain, no strain.

But now, there is also another option I suggest you look at: Smashwords! This is a brilliant site. It doesn't print hard copies but if you upload your file there, it converts your file to all formats: Kindle, epub etc. And then it gets even better: Smashwords is a distributor. They distribute your ebook to Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and a host of others. The only one I don't bother having them distribute to is Amazon as Amazon will only take 200 books per year from them and unless you're famous, your book will never get to Amazon via Smashwords. So you just do Amazon yourself and send them the Kindle version that Smashwords created. Incidentally, Smashwords service does all this for free. They collect your commissions from B &N, iBooks, Kobo, Nook etc and cut you a cheque or pay into your PayPal every quarter. They take a small portion themselves from those commissions. And you can also sell directly from Smashwords. Oh, nearly forgot to mention that Smashwords also distributes to Overture (library supplier) for you, along with others. Definitely worth checking out before you spend more money needlessly.

One caution re Smashwords: they are very fussy about the .doc file you send them for conversion to eBooks. But they also supply full instructions on how to do it. If you're really stuck, there are independent services you can search who can do digital conversions for you. I use a very affordable relative, but unfortunately, by this board's rules, I cannot supply you contact info here. But I hope you can use the info and encouragement I have supplied above.

User avatar
AishaTBN
Posts: 83
Joined: 21 Jun 2016, 16:33
2017 Reading Goal: 20
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 0
Currently Reading: The Thousand Nights And One Night
Bookshelf Size: 39
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-aishatbn.html
Latest Review: "The Banned Book about Love" by Scott Hughes
Location: My Book World

Post by AishaTBN » 23 Jun 2016, 01:33

If it's possible for you now just simply switch to Amazon because that will give your a book a lot more publicity.

User avatar
Finchlark
Posts: 9
Joined: 18 Feb 2015, 05:52
Bookshelf Size: 0
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-finchlark.html
Latest Review: "Janie's Joyful Journey" by Lynda Cordova

Post by Finchlark » 10 Jul 2016, 12:52

I have used both Lulu and Createspace on several occasions and I actually find royalties higher on Createspace, and prefer them to Lulu. They have greater selection of paper, sizes, and covers and I like their dashboard where you can see exactly what is selling. If you select Global Distribution with Lulu that includes amazon, but it can take several weeks for your book to appear, and woe betide if you decide to change something - then you have to buy another proof copy and wait another few weeks. It's much easier with Createspace as you can approve a digital copy at no cost and changes are within 24 hours. For me, I would say Createspace every time.

User avatar
Rachel McClellan
Posts: 11
Joined: 07 Apr 2016, 14:38
2017 Reading Goal: 6
Bookshelf Size: 0
Location: New Hampshire

Post by Rachel McClellan » 15 Jul 2016, 18:08

I'm a fan of Createspace for my print books, but I format and upload my ebooks directly to Amazon and their Kindle Unlimited program. I don't even bother with other outlets. I make triple in Amazon's KU program compared to when my books were wide. This is just my experience though.

User avatar
RBLW
Posts: 4
Joined: 15 Aug 2016, 13:29
Currently Reading: The Uses of Enchantment
Bookshelf Size: 6
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by RBLW » 15 Aug 2016, 14:35

Hi,
I'm publishing through Lulu and this isn't so much an endorsement as an informative post. Yes Amazon can be pretty cool to sell on if you're looking for free but, if you're actually willing to shell out the money to purchase Lulu's plan, they actually put it on Amazon for you and do a whole host of other things to help get you started. You still have to do your own promotion and marketing though unless you really want to shell out so cash. I chose the D.I.Y option the first time I attempted publication and honestly, I've found that it's a great deal easier to go through an agency (any agency that offers decent help, not just LuLu) the first time around. They help you get established as an author and you can learn quite a few useful tips for free to use in your future endeavors as an author. That and when you have that foundation built, it's easier to self-publish on your own because you're already known at that point. It took me a couple years to learn this and it's hard work to promote and market your own book, but in the long run it's worth it because you've made connections for the future, you understand process from personal experience and when going through the agency you actually get a better understand of the process when it involves a company as well as choices and effects you can make.

Of course you don't have to go through Lulu. There are several other companies out there that will publish for you, just do your research and see which one works best. I do have one final thing to say about Amazon though. Despite the three month rule where you can't publish elsewhere, they do have an impressive promotion packet so hopefully this helps.

User avatar
Lincoln
Posts: 259
Joined: 25 Nov 2015, 11:49
2017 Reading Goal: 0
Favorite Author: Stephen King
Currently Reading: The Very Loving Caterpillar
Bookshelf Size: 48
Publishing Contest Votes: 9
fav_author_id: 2376
Location: Columbus

Post by Lincoln » 21 Mar 2017, 10:31

It is worth looking at draft2digital to publish. It is free, their system is incredible, and they have good royalty returns. I've never gone with anything like lulu. I used them one time to print out a batch of books, and the books felt cheap and crappy so I've never considered going back.
Lincoln's book, Raven's Peak is the OnlineBookClub.org April 2017 Book of the Month.

View Raven's Peak on Lincoln's website.

View Raven's Peak on Bookshelves

Gifty Naa Akushia
Posts: 161
Joined: 28 Jul 2017, 11:00
Currently Reading: HEALTH TIPS, MYTHS, AND TRICKS
Bookshelf Size: 18
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gifty-naa-akushia.html
Latest Review: "Tips, Myths and Rips: A Physician's Advice" by Morton E.Tavel
Reading Device: B00I15SB16

Post by Gifty Naa Akushia » 13 Oct 2017, 01:51

That's a good idea to publish your book, I advice that you refer to the archives of onlinebookreview.com Scott published an article on how to publish a book.

vinsam
Posts: 16
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 06:31
2018 Reading Goal: 6
2017 Reading Goal: 0
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 0
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by vinsam » 05 Dec 2017, 07:14

self-publish on your own :?:

Post Reply

Return to “Marketing and Promotion for Writers”