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The economics of self publishing e-books

My biggest issue with self-publishing is that any hack can do it. Just like any band can ‘put out an album’.

I’m sure there are great stories that are well-done available. In fact, I’m positive. But so few authors who publish their own work actually pay for a pro edit. Trust me, if I have a few dollars to spend on reading material, I’ll go with a trade-published story long before someone who edited their own stuff.

I’m working on an Amazon short now, in the editing process, with a published author and pro editor. I’m paying money so that my work reflects quality.

Can you have a good story with bad mechanics? Sure. It happens every day. Does that mean mechanics don’t matter? No way; they matter.

The ‘author’ above didn’t bother putting a period on their sentence. I realize it’s a forum post vs. a story/book, but I’m telling you, all these folks need editors. That’s just the way it is.
What Lovecraftian says. Editors are crucial. As is a sold knowledge of the genre you intend to write in, and a love of reading in general, not to mention shit-hot grammar and spelling - good editor or not.
I hear what you both Lovecraftian and Will are saying, but I think there is more of a grey zone (no pun intended) than you are suggesting.

I, for one -- and maybe I'm the only one -- am not put off by occasional lapses from perfection in stories I read on kindle. I do not immediately clap the book shut when I come to the first doubled word, for example, or other lapse which might be caught by scrupulous professional editing.

Good, and interesting, stories can be told in less than publication quality. I think it is that last word "quality" that counts more than typographical perfection -- certainly for the low price one can be paying on kindle!

Yes, when I spring for $25 for a book, I agree with you entirely. I expect a professional job in all respects. For $1.99 I am less picky. And for free posts, such as this, even less picky.

So call me literary slob if you will, but there it is. :flowers:

For what I myself miight publish -- if ever -- we shall have to wait and see.
Indie Author

I've been an Indie Author since 2001 when it all began. I've seen the at first gradual growth of this industry. And now that it seems to be taking off I'm sure there will be those who provides cons, and well as those who give their pros. I've had two Kindles, and will be getting the Kindle Fire (for my birthday) next month. I still read the hardcover and paperbacks as well.

or self-publishing authorsepublishing is probably a godsend. Yet, it still demands a lot of work to make it even in this part of the publishing business. Still it allows most of us to follow that dream of getting our stories out there. I have had my stories with epublsihers. Yet, it hasn't been a dream come true. At least six of those epublishers closed its doors and left me and a slew of authors fumbling around looking to put our stories elsewhere. The fact that we can do this ourselves for many of us is probably the best route to follow.

One of my latest stories Stormbound was with an epublisher that ended up taking our royalties. It surprised me that a story that would earn high reviews would produce royalties checks that amounted to less than a gallon of gas. I was able to get those rights reverted and self publish the story under a different title - Christmas in July at Amazon. So far I've sold way more than a dollar's worth of gas this past month during the time that it has been on Amazon.

I'm sure most of you have heard of EL James and her blockbuster succes with Fifty Shades of Grey. Basically, I've followed a similar path except I'm not there yet with any blockbuster. But I do hope I get there at some point in my career. It's a slow process to say the least.

I'm also hearing that many authors published with traditional publishers are opting to take their books and go this same route, i.e. self-publish them as e-books.

Why not?

Years ago I would mention an e-book to someone and they would have no clue as to what I was talking about. Now when I mention it, everyone knows something about e-readers. Of course the e-book market will and is becoming inundated with those who feel they can produce a story that is qualified to be a published story.

What will happen is the "cream of the crop" will rise to the top, and those poorly written will fade off into obscurity.

I'm hoping Christmas in July at Amazon will keep rising to the top.
Marie Roy aka C Thomas
Sure, a lot of authors who were published with houses are going the e-route. Not authors published with Random House or Penguin.

Publishers are (or used to be) a filter, like the fuel filter on a car. All sorts of stuff tries to get into the engine, but the filter says ‘only fuel!’, and so the crap stays behind.

All kinds of writers, good and bad, are trying to be published. They get rejected and go, “Hmph! I’ll just do it myself!”

Which would be fine, if they had the foggiest clue why they were getting rejected. Usually, it’s because the work is sub-par junk. Not always, I realize, but surely usually. So, they take this sub-par junk and fling it all over Amazon with a million other authors who can’t make it traditionally.

There’s a reason why big advances are given to quality authors from the main publishing houses: they sell quality work.

I hope your 'cream of the crop' scenario is actually how it pans out. That'd be nice. :)
I admire tremendously those who can get big advances. As far as I can see, writing is a tremendously competitive field; everyone and their brother seems to be having a go at it. So, for myself, I have no illusions. Whatever.
Ah, yes, my case in point. It's through, not threw, and its is ownership, "it's" is it is.

Was your book edited by a professional?
Since I had never heard of the prize, I wasn't upset at it's withdraw. Until I read this:

I knew of the prize, but that shift to film industry sponsorship is exactly what raised my hackles too. It sounds to me exactly like shifting from incentivizing to profitizing. Good ol' corporate bottom-line decision-making at work. /sigh/

I thought it was an actual suggestion until Hugh chimed in and then I got curious.

Glad I did. :D

I guess I’m a tad morbid, but I find a certain thrill in watching someone throw their entire career down the drain in a single, fell swoop.