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Old 02-04-2013, 12:52 PM   #16
ucfgrad93
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Originally Posted by meeera View Post
- Not everyone is either male or female
I guess they should have listed "Both" and "Neither"

I completed the survey.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:53 AM   #17
Yves Gorat
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Hi all,

thanks a lot for your support, I really appreciate you taking all that time! Now let me try to comment on some of your additional information:

Elfwreck, I tried to make a clear distinction between "published" and "self-published" in the introduction. I know this distinction will probably to some extent disappear, but with "published" I meant that you have a publisher (for example Random House) who pays you upfront instead of self-publishing, where you do not have an editor, cover artist etc., working for you, but instead you have to prepare everything yourself and then self-publish. Sorry if that was not totally clear (or still isn't?)

Nyssa, sorry, first time I hear about this.

Artifact, I hope I didn't say that self-published eBooks are of lesser value. And with overhead I meant that there is no publishing house "overhead" (editor, graphic artist, marketing, ...) to be paid by for the self-published book. Sorry if that didn't come across right.

Meeera, I know not all options were present in all cases. However this would have blown up the proportions of the survey. "Spouse" is probably not a good translation from what I had in mind. I meant somebody staying at home (e.g. with the kids). For example, I've been an expat for many years, which "confined" my wife to a jobless life. On Q11, I tried to at least narrow down the type of eBook to "fiction, 300 standard pages". I know this still leaves many possible points of difference, but together with Q12 it allows me a comparison for "published" and "self-published" books.

Thanks again!,

Yves
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:47 PM   #18
Elfwreck
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Originally Posted by Yves Gorat View Post
Elfwreck, I tried to make a clear distinction between "published" and "self-published" in the introduction. I know this distinction will probably to some extent disappear, but with "published" I meant that you have a publisher (for example Random House) who pays you upfront instead of self-publishing, where you do not have an editor, cover artist etc., working for you, but instead you have to prepare everything yourself and then self-publish. Sorry if that was not totally clear (or still isn't?)
Not all publishers offer an advance. Some don't do editing. (The ebook explosion has made this possible.) While I can identify the difference between "author hires the work done" vs "author pays a publisher a percentage of book sales to have publisher do the work"... there are now dozens, maybe hundreds, of tiny publishers that don't pay advances. There are publishers like WMG Publishing, originally founded by a couple of authors who wanted to republish their backlist. Is that "a publisher" or "self-published?" Is it self-published for the two of them, and "other-published" for other authors as they pick them up?

The difference between them and a larger publisher is that they've already chosen the works they'll produce. But the tiny publishing house still pays for editors, cover art, copyright registrations, marketing, and so on; the authors just happen to be the people who manage those decisions.

If the CEO of Random House writes a book, is it self-published through Random House? (Of course not. I'm pointing at the semantics, not actually claiming there's no difference between Random House and WMG Publishing.)

The issue that's relevant to your survey is: It's impossible to tell what a "self-published" book is in a lot of places. If the author's had the sense to register as a publishing business, that's the name that shows up in the "publisher" spot; there's no way to tell if that's "really" a publisher in the traditional sense.

Examples:
Elusive Destiny By Beatrice Holloway; Published by Bretwalda Books
Morgan's Return By Greta van der Rol Published by PubRight
Poker Boy vs. The Silicon Suckers By Dean Wesley Smith Published by WMG Publishing

Are any of those "self-published?" WMG publishing is mostly run by that author. PubRight looks like a hired-services organization. Bretwalda looks like a standard small indie publisher, with the likely exception of author advances.

Do you expect survey takers to reach the same conclusions you have about which books are self-published and which aren't?

(Caveat: I have read none of those, and only know of the Poker Boy series because I read the author's blog; I have read only 1 or 2 of his stories.)
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:48 AM   #19
Yves Gorat
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Hi Elfwreck,

no, it is certainly not my goal to push people to conclusions I have myself. For the sake of the survey (or the thesis for that matter), I wanted to make a distinction between an eBook from an author that has to provide things "other than writing", for example the cover, by her/himself, and an author that has a publisher that provides the service for him/her. That's why I mentioned the "big publishing house like Random House" in the definition. I now realize that this might not have been clear enough. For me, the distinction is "self-pulishing" where I need to provide editing, cover, etc., while "publishing" means this is done by the big publishing house (with me not paying a cent/investing work in these things upfront). I did not focus on some of the examples you gave, as they do not yet feature that prominently when comparing with the long-standing publishing houses and the new players like KDP and Smashwords.
Thanks for your comment, I hope I could explain this somewhat clearer now for you and the other readers in this thread.
Best regards,

Yves
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:25 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Yves Gorat View Post
That's why I mentioned the "big publishing house like Random House" in the definition. I now realize that this might not have been clear enough. For me, the distinction is "self-pulishing" where I need to provide editing, cover, etc., while "publishing" means this is done by the big publishing house (with me not paying a cent/investing work in these things upfront).
Where does that leave small/micro press? I happily pay more for books from my quality local small presses, not less, because their overheads are greater per unit.
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:51 AM   #21
Yves Gorat
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Hi Meeera,

Random House is known by virtually all readers. Hence I took this example to try to make the distinction. It's not about trying to discriminate smaller publishing houses, but by choosing Random House as an example, to many readers the distinction between published and self-published is easier to comprehend.
Best regards,

Yves
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:42 AM   #22
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Random House is known by virtually all readers. Hence I took this example to try to make the distinction. It's not about trying to discriminate smaller publishing houses, but by choosing Random House as an example, to many readers the distinction between published and self-published is easier to comprehend.
People have no problem distinguishing between "published by a multi-billion dollar corporation" and "published by a college student with access to MS Office and a web connection." The problems start with cases that aren't that clear.

I don't read a lot of books by Random House. I do read a notable number published by Wildside Press and Loose Id. I also read a lot from Smashwords, some of which list a publisher and some of which don't. People like me aren't sure how to answer your question, because I expect to pay no more and no less for any of those.

I expect Random House to charge more for its books. I expect not to buy them.

It's as if you asked "how much more or less time do you expect to take for travel, based on whether you drive a car or walk?" And when people mention bikes or motorcycles, somewhere in between, you say you were trying to avoid confusion.
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:07 AM   #23
Yves Gorat
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Hi Elfwreck,

noted. For the next time I will adjust. But please keep in mind that the survey was addressed to readers, many of which will not be aware of the different nuances, but might be aware of the difference between a book which was chosen by a publishing house, who wants to invest in it and market it, and a book which the author her/himself pushes out into the market. For me personally, this is still a valid distinction.
Best regards,

Yves
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