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Old 03-21-2013, 10:22 AM   #1
SPLaunchpad
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Question What do you struggle with most when self publishing?

Hi! I'm new to the forum here but certainly not new to e-publishing and digital readers (I have a first generation Kindle, a Kindle Fire and a Fire HD so you could say I'm a little obsessed with my gadgets!)

I'm working on a website that's designed to help first-time publishers through the self publishing process - which one to choose, getting things setup correctly, converting your book to Kindle/iBooks/etc. and so forth.

My question is, what do you struggle with most when it comes to self publishing? I'm curious what your biggest obstacles are and what has kept you from doing it successfully so far. Or if you have self published already, if there's anything you'd like to know to make the process easier next time?

I hope this is the right place for my first post, if not, please feel free to point me in the right direction

Kind Regards,
Timo
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:53 PM   #2
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Marketing.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:16 AM   #3
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Hi Vydor,

What specifically about marketing do you struggle with? Online marketing? Offline marketing? Both?
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:57 AM   #4
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Charles Stross's blog yesterday was illuminating on the subject:

http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog...f-publish.html

Quote:
Anyway: this is why I don't self-publish. Yes, I could do it. But it'd suck up a huge amount of time I would prefer to spend doing what I enjoy (writing) and force me to do stuff I do not enjoy (reading contracts, accounting, managing other people). The only sane way to do it would be to hire someone else to do all the boring crap on my behalf. And do you know what we call people who do that? We call them publishers.
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPLaunchpad View Post
Hi Vydor,

What specifically about marketing do you struggle with? Online marketing? Offline marketing? Both?
The whole domain. I sell books, but I know I could sell a lot more if I had the skills of a marketer.
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:48 AM   #6
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Like VydorScope, I would have to say marketing. I find that marketing takes up a lot of my valuable time and energy and it is something that does not naturally fit with my skill set.

Last edited by M.T. Miles; 03-25-2013 at 05:04 AM.
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:22 AM   #7
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The thing that most independent authors fall down on is editing. Only a small percentage of self-published books are properly edited.
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Old 03-24-2013, 01:52 PM   #8
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"My question is, what do you struggle with most when it comes to self publishing?"

I think Vydor nailed it, marketing. I can't imagine a self-publishing author that thinks it's a breeze. Getting reviews is like pulling teeth with an old rusty pair of pliers. And I'm not talking five stars on Amazon.

The editing challenge is easy. Hire a professional editor.
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Old 03-24-2013, 01:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
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The editing challenge is easy. Hire a professional editor.
True enough, but sadly something that all too few authors actually do.
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:52 AM   #10
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Harry is correct - that is the place to start.
Great marketing of a poorly edited (and formatted) book will result in some sales for awhile, but will stop eventually.
Poor marketing of a book that has been professionally edited and formatted will result in slow sales - but those sales will continue over time.
Get your book right, then market.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:59 AM   #11
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I'm not about to argue against the importance of editing - of producing quality work in general - BUT the OP was asking: "My question is, what do you struggle with most when it comes to self publishing?"

Editing isn't a struggle as such, after a certain point it's "just" money and finding the right editor. Marketing is definitely a struggle.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Editing isn't a struggle as such, after a certain point it's "just" money and finding the right editor. Marketing is definitely a struggle.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:42 PM   #13
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Thinking about the question: "what do you struggle with most when it comes to self publishing?" The more I ponder this, the more I realize he's not asking about the editing or marketing, it's about formatting.

I've self published two works. Both in ebook formats and both in print. With ebooks I've struggled with getting an active TOC to function. With print books, the wrestling match has been about getting the page numbers to start at the right place. I'm also challenged to find away to get rid of the occasional blank page, or one sentence page, created by chapter breaks. Lurking in the forums, I think the first two problems are common with self published works.

I'll probably re-struggle with these issues in a couple of months when I jump into the process again. Perhaps this time I'll take some notes on what worked and what didn't!

L
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:58 PM   #14
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I didn't find the epub creation too much trouble, fiddly, but just requiring patience. Formatting the print edition of my first book to avoid orphans etc. was a bit of a trial an error affair for me - adjusting the various styles (chapter headings and margins mostly) by fractions of a millimetre here and then scrolling through to check the result - but compared to everything else I didn't find it too bad.
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Old 03-30-2013, 03:46 AM   #15
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Marketing and publicity.

... And maybe my editing would be better if I struggled more with it.
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