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Showing 151-175 of 422 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 31 Dec 2011 21:50:16 GMT
I Readalot says:
Trad publishers don't cost money, if they accept a book they take on all the publishing costs. A bit different to a publisher who says they will publish your book but then asks for an up front payment 'towards' publishing costs, possibly a couple of grand. They are the vanity publishers, the one's who promise the earth and deliver practically nothing. There are a few around and they don't care how bad a book is they make money anyway.

Posted on 31 Dec 2011 21:58:04 GMT
carocaro says:
Its getting a Trad pub to read a book in the first place though isn't it? They are alsonso limiting in their genres...they're a business first and formost, mass customers purchases their perogative. Last importance are unpublished author's unless you get a good agent and they are hard to find too. My niece said many scripts don't get opened or looked at even and she works in a reasonably large agency!

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Dec 2011 21:59:03 GMT
Garscadden says:
Worryingly the new Penguin self-publishing set up looks very much like an old school vanity publisher.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Dec 2011 22:24:01 GMT
Last edited by the author on 31 Dec 2011 22:25:39 GMT
carocaro says:
The next few years will see radical changes in publishing...it's already started. Many publishing houses will go and they will only take certs too!

happy new year to you....we've had a few discussions, the odd heated difference of opinion too and long may they continue ;0)

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jan 2012 03:27:49 GMT
I agree with both of you when it comes to making promotion of a book tantamount to promoting it in a leper colony of sorts.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jan 2012 03:28:29 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 1 Jan 2012 03:29:01 GMT]

Posted on 1 Jan 2012 03:29:47 GMT
Authors aren't allowed to promote their hard work, yet money is made of them daily. Hmmm.

Posted on 1 Jan 2012 07:14:23 GMT
Sou'Wester says:
Just as it's probably unfair to label all self-publishing as third-rate and amateur in its presentation, so it is far too simplistic to categorise all traditional publishers as money-grabbing philistines only interested in putting out low quality, high turnover stuff like Katie Price and so on. This may be true - up to a point - of some of the giant media groups but many ordinary publishers are finding life just as hard as SP producers, only traditional publishers usually have much more to lose. Publishing a book, particularly one by an unknown author, can be a big gamble incurring lots of cost with no guarantee of a return, so it should be no surprise that out of the huge number of manuscripts submitted only a handful will ever get selected. It's true that some very good material will get turned away in this process but so will an awful lot of dross, and I think one of the main criticisms of self-publishing is that far too much of the latter now finds its way into print.
I'm not aware of anybody who has suggested authors shouldn't be allowed to promote their work, but some people - Amazon included - are of the view that using these general discussions as a free ads section is not an appropriate way of doing this.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jan 2012 09:21:35 GMT
carocaro says:
Oh I agree with you entirely Ronnie....I argue for the author and me the reader who benefits....width and breadth. I dislike the awful quality of a minority but Amazon refer to owner if given evidence of really poor English and they refund you too....so perhaps it's up to more readers to complain to the company with location evidence in order to drive up standards of English at least! Happy New Year one and all!

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jan 2012 09:27:19 GMT
Last edited by the author on 1 Jan 2012 09:27:54 GMT
carocaro says:
Oh Sou'Wester, I never said low quality...some is very good quality but the over riding factor has to be profit of course. It's only an occasional chance on a new author or style they take and only after lots of in house research from staff. The sad thing is many...the majority don't even get a look at even the first page. A few of these will be gems and that was the readers loss, until self publishing. Some self promotion needs to occur to inform us but I quite agree that bombardment and over promotion is bad and spoils it for all

Posted on 1 Jan 2012 10:39:09 GMT
Sou'Wester says:
carocaro: I think your observations on how SP coul impact on publishing as a whole are very pertinent. In an already difficult and over-saturated market, if traditional publishers find their profits squeezed further by the rise in self-publishing then they may be even less inclined to take risks and we'll find our struggling bookshops filled up with even more safe but unoriginal work. If we could be sure that SP would fill that gap and really become the champion of new and original authors that would be fine, but I'm not convinced this will be the outcome. Scroll through all the promotional posts and for the average reader it's no easier to pick out something really special than it is wandering round any half-decent bookshop. And just as there is so much derivative, "jumping on bandwagon" material clogging up conventional publishing, there's just as much - if not more - in SP. (I mean, just how much more is there to be said about zombies, time-travelling romances, hard-nosed private eyes etc. etc.?)
For me, however, one of the biggest drawbacks of SP in its present form is the lack of quality control. This is partly down to authors themselves but I think the main culprits here are organisations like Amazon who seem happy to sell books without any preliminary checks to see if they are up to standard. I've sampled several SP books recently just to see what standards are like and though some are fine, there are too many that clearly need proper editing and proof-reading (when you open a book and find an absolute howler of a spelling error in the first paragraph you really do wonder what some authors are thinking of). For many readers this is so off-putting and I think this quality issue is actually far more damaging to SP authors - good and bad - than the withdrawal of one specific marketing opportunity.

Posted on 1 Jan 2012 10:43:25 GMT
Garscadden says:
The interesting area (or maybe sad?), is the books that publishers reject that aren't terrible, but aren't yet good. Traditionally an author could spent years refining a manuscript, to get to the point where they have something good (and have learnt an art), whereas now - straight to Kindle? It's sad in that that is a loss to both the author and reader, in my opinion.

The other thing is the time and money publishers spend on a book - Charlie Stross estimates publishers spend as much time on his books as he does - I doubt many self publishers have the money to spend to fund that kind of editing, proofing et cetera. (I guess one view would be - maybe Mr Stross' work just isn't that good in it's raw state, and thus needs that much work - which may be true, but it seems a reasonably common anecdote).

If i had to bet money, I'd bet it on Publishers making more money off of self publishers rather than less - they could potentially cut out agents, cut out a bunch of risk et cetera. Just wait till self publishers have a modicum of success and then offer those people contracts. That's what I'd be doing if I were at <big publisher here>.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jan 2012 17:53:59 GMT
"If i had to bet money, I'd bet it on Publishers making more money off of self publishers rather than less - they could potentially cut out agents, cut out a bunch of risk et cetera. Just wait till self publishers have a modicum of success and then offer those people contracts. That's what I'd be doing if I were at <big publisher here>. "

That's already happening.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jan 2012 08:27:25 GMT
Last edited by the author on 3 Jan 2012 08:38:53 GMT
Lex Allen says:
carocaro - It's a combination touch pad and keyboard. I knew ahead of Santa because I generally buy my own presents; although I've been surprised on a number of occasions..lol.

The battery doesn't last quite as long as the original Kindle, but as long as you stay off line when reading, it's not bad.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jan 2012 08:38:25 GMT
Last edited by the author on 3 Jan 2012 08:39:31 GMT
Lex Allen says:
Garscadden - I wholeheartedly agree with your last paragraph (in particular).

Kindle / SP's that have succeeded on their own have all been offered "lucrative" contracts by traditional publishers. Lucrative is relative, of course, but if one can believe the reports - I would call them very lucrative...lol.

Some of these SP (e.g. John Locke that I know of) have turned down the offers!

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jan 2012 10:56:53 GMT
Garscadden says:
Doesn't John L have a hybrid deal with someone (harper?), for paper books at least?

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jan 2012 13:16:32 GMT
Lex Allen says:
Garscadden - Could be. I was going off what he'd written in his "How I sold a million books". I think that was the name of the book. He may well have changed his mind...;o).

Regardless, I strongly believe that a self publisher that produces quality work and cracks the nut on promotion will be a far greater earner, over the long run, than an equally talented traditionally published author.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jan 2012 14:28:37 GMT
Garscadden says:
People must get tired of me quoting him, but Charlie Stross (a reasonably accomplished Sci Fi author), has written about just that.

His views are that a) the publisher does as much work as he does to get a book out and b) that without advances he probably couldn't afford to write.

Once you look at various types of editing, proofing, design, promotion, book tours and such, publishing isn't that cheap.

My guess is that with a trad publisher a reasonably profficient author will make a lot more, pirely because of having a polished product that gets promoted (and that's not just telling people a book is available, but that book being on the Orbit website, where someone may go to find out about another author, for example). Also - realistically publishing a physical book without a trad publisher seems a bit of a non-starter - at least as far as getting it in bookshops.

There is another reasonably well known sci-fi author who happens to have a finished out of contract book - he is shopping round for a publisher rather than self publishing it - presumably this person also thinks he can make more money through a publisher than by self publishing.

That may all change and I think there are fantastic ways it could do, but for now that seems the reality of a reasonably succesfull author.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jan 2012 16:01:34 GMT
Lex Allen says:
Garscadden - I don't disagree and should probably have caveated my previous response by saying something along the lines of "in the future". lol.

Granted an SP writer isn't going to crack the bookstores anytime soon; but, the market in booksstores seems to be on the decline.

Promotion and distribution remain the key elements (other than actually writing a high quality piece of work) in the success of any writer. Currently, I agree, the traditional publishers have a decided advantage - but that may well change. I'm banking on it...;o)

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jan 2012 21:50:57 GMT
Garscadden says:
The thing is - a writer is not necessarily skilled at promotion - that is not where that persons talents are. A writer makes more money writing than promoting. It seems strange that people spend time promoting here, there's got to be better ways of getting word out surely? (but... not free).

I always think of it in terms of decorating - the time it would take me to decorate any given room I could earn more working than I would pay someone else to decorate. Therefore - I am better getting a professional in.
I don't know what the balance of cost/income would have to be for me to decide I'd do it myself, as a) it is not something I enjoy and b) it is not something i am any good at. It's a typical cost benefit decision I suppose.

(I think Amazon should just add a smiley on to all posts, personally)

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jan 2012 22:54:42 GMT
carocaro says:
My goodness Garscadden you must be a well paid person to be able to afford a decorator! My quotes last month horrified me so I'm taking a crash course in decorating and do it yourself....might take a little time and mess but my bank balance will still chink instead of screech! :0)

Posted on 3 Jan 2012 23:01:28 GMT
Anita says:
Just imagined my humble self decorating a room... and, inevitably, calling in a professional afterwards. Talk about expenses...

As the saying goes, greedy pays twice...

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jan 2012 05:59:01 GMT
Garscadden says:
To be honest, I haven't decorated for about 12 years, so things could have changed :)

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jan 2012 07:33:18 GMT
carocaro says:
I was quoted 1500 squids for my living room 25x14....paper and paint and the stuff that's already on is easy peel!!!!
My learning skill are fast even if it was a roller and paint freshen up job!

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jan 2012 08:31:17 GMT
Last edited by the author on 4 Jan 2012 08:32:49 GMT
Lex Allen says:
Garscadden - Before we get thoroughly sidetracked with interior decorating...lol.

Agree that a writer is not (normally) skilled at promoting his work and in the past that was okay as publishers did it all. Today, most publishers (and especially in regards to new authors) expect a large amount of promotion from the author; except, of course, from the long time, big selling writers.

For the SP writers, it has become incumbent upon them to learn.
Learning is not enough, though. The traditional publishers have, to date, successfully "leaned on" reviewers, distributors, et al to resist working with SP writers. That's a huge hurdle and it won't be overcome until the quality of the SP writers comes up and the readers get fed up with the prices being charged by traditional publishers for e-books!

You mentioned advances in an earlier post. To coin the phrase "in the past" again; advances were a given and the more known the writer, the larger the advances. Even an unknown, however, could expect a decent advance. Not so, today. New authors generally don't get any advance. There are certainly exceptions...those that have sold hundreds of thousands e-books; the very same, successful folks, I mentioned earlier.
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  68
Total posts:  422
Initial post:  15 Dec 2011
Latest post:  23 Dec 2014

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