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Old 08-15-2019, 11:10 AM   #1
pwalker8
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on self publishing

Here is an article from an author who has taken the step into self publishing that I thought some here might find of interest.


https://pjmedia.com/rogerlsimon/why-...hing-the-goat/

Trigger alert. PJMedia is a conservative opinion site. I don't want to get involved in politics, I thought the article was of interests purely from the stand point of why a specific author decided to move to self publishing. I personally have never read a book by Roger Simon and never heard of him before running across the article. So please, let's leave politics out of it.
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:22 AM   #2
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Thanks for this.

He's a [well]-known author of the Moses Wine detective series, and also a writer of screenplays.

I read one of the Moses Wine books years ago. The covers below my jog the memories of elder readers.
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:33 AM   #3
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Thanks for this.

He's a [well]-known author of the Moses Wine detective series, and also a writer of screenplays.

I read one of the Moses Wine books years ago. The covers below my jog the memories of elder readers.
Ah, ok. I got the impression from the article that he wrote fiction, but I had no idea what sort of fiction. Thanks for the info.
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Old 08-17-2019, 05:05 PM   #4
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He did one thing right. A lower price for pre ordering. On top of that it is ebook only. Without losing money, the pre order price of $2.99 cannot be done in paper, let alone hardcover. Comes september first, and the price will go up. That tells me that he understands clearly that while self publishing it cannot be justified to match pbook and ebook prices for no other reason than to match them. It also shows that he believes in the value of pre ordering. Publishers? They use the pre order numbers to gauge how big the initial print is, but they don't give anything back for that trust in an unpublished book. There is an incentive to pre order even if you are not yet convinced. ETA: Rereading the last sentence, it can be easily misinterpreted. I meant, hopefully obviously, that here in this case there is an incentive to pre order. The way the article was written peaked my interest.

Did you? I did. After reading the blurb it doesn't interest me topic wise. But topic really doesn't matter if it keeps me reading. Not obvious how all those elements tie together, if done right it will keep me reading. Maybe I even learn something about mountain climbing or tennis while being entertained. If the book turns out to be so horrible to be a waste of even $3, then I highly doubt he would put his reputation on the line like that.

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Old 08-17-2019, 05:24 PM   #5
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He did one thing right. A lower price for pre ordering. On top of that it is ebook only. Without losing money, the pre order price of $2.99 cannot be done in paper, let alone hardcover. Comes september first, and the price will go up. That tells me that he understands clearly that while self publishing it cannot be justified to match pbook and ebook prices for no other reason than to match them. It also shows that he believes in the value of pre ordering. Publishers? They use the pre order numbers to gauge how big the initial print is, but they don't give anything back for that trust in an unpublished book. There is an incentive to pre order even if you are not yet convinced.
Yup.
Wise move: pre-order discounting lets him beef up launch day sales numbers just like the big boys, which moves his ranking up. Better visibility. (Yes; Amazon pre-orders are counted on the day ordered, but there's a cumulative element to rankings so he doesn't start at zero.) And all the preorders might lead to more and quicker reviews.

Not something every author can do but given his existing fanbase it should pay off big. Wouldn't surprise me if he launches with a high ranking.

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Old 08-17-2019, 05:35 PM   #6
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He did one thing right. A lower price for pre ordering. On top of that it is ebook only. Without losing money, the pre order price of $2.99 cannot be done in paper, let alone hardcover. Comes september first, and the price will go up. That tells me that he understands clearly that while self publishing it cannot be justified to match pbook and ebook prices for no other reason than to match them. It also shows that he believes in the value of pre ordering. Publishers? They use the pre order numbers to gauge how big the initial print is, but they don't give anything back for that trust in an unpublished book. There is an incentive to pre order even if you are not yet convinced. ETA: Rereading the last sentence, it can be easily misinterpreted. I meant, hopefully obviously, that here in this case there is an incentive to pre order. The way the article was written peaked my interest.

Did you? I did. After reading the blurb it doesn't interest me topic wise. But topic really doesn't matter if it keeps me reading. Not obvious how all those elements tie together, if done right it will keep me reading. Maybe I even learn something about mountain climbing or tennis while being entertained. If the book turns out to be so horrible to be a waste of even $3, then I highly doubt he would put his reputation on the line like that.
I'm not following what you mean in your last paragraph.
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Old 08-17-2019, 06:15 PM   #7
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I'm not following what you mean in your last paragraph.
I am saying that I would never buy this book at any price purely based on the blurb. The only reason I preordered is because I like how he wrote his article. If his book is written in a similiar style, it will be a good read for the price I am paying.
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Old 08-18-2019, 06:21 AM   #8
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I am saying that I would never buy this book at any price purely based on the blurb. The only reason I preordered is because I like how he wrote his article. If his book is written in a similiar style, it will be a good read for the price I am paying.
Ah, ok.

No, I didn't buy the book. I just thought it was an interesting explanation of why he decided to go the indie route. I'm always interested in what real authors have to say about the business.

I suspect that one would find that some publishers provide a lot of value to their authors, while other publishers provide value to some of their authors and yet other publishers provide little value to their authors. I use the term publisher with regards to the imprint rather than the overall corporate holding company. At least that is the sense I get from what various authors say.
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:23 AM   #9
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I suspect that one would find that some publishers provide a lot of value to their authors, while other publishers provide value to some of their authors and yet other publishers provide little value to their authors. I use the term publisher with regards to the imprint rather than the overall corporate holding company. At least that is the sense I get from what various authors say.
Are you actually surprised? You recognize yourself that best sellers sell. Ignore individual imprints for a second. For all intents and purposes each imprint operates on their own. It doesn't matter if the differences in each imprint comes from the staff or from orders of the holding company, or even higher up from the holding company that owns each Big5 (or Big6 if you want to include Amazon). Let's look at one imprint at a time.

For each imprint the same holds true: bestsellers sell. Smaller imprint, smaller scale bestseller. A bestseller is simply a better performing author or book than the others. Some bestsellers are created and others are rising. From a business's standpoint there is possibly a good reason to treat bestsellers favorably to maximize profits. Your best resources (advertising budget, better editors,, guidance, advise) have to go to the most promising book. If everybody gets treated the same, then the bestsellers will leave and find a better publisher. Most superstar bestsellers never leave because they get that extra special treatment. Why would they if their advance is so gigantic that the book never has a chance to technically "earn out".
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:12 PM   #10
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Are you actually surprised? You recognize yourself that best sellers sell. Ignore individual imprints for a second. For all intents and purposes each imprint operates on their own. It doesn't matter if the differences in each imprint comes from the staff or from orders of the holding company, or even higher up from the holding company that owns each Big5 (or Big6 if you want to include Amazon). Let's look at one imprint at a time.

For each imprint the same holds true: bestsellers sell. Smaller imprint, smaller scale bestseller. A bestseller is simply a better performing author or book than the others. Some bestsellers are created and others are rising. From a business's standpoint there is possibly a good reason to treat bestsellers favorably to maximize profits. Your best resources (advertising budget, better editors,, guidance, advise) have to go to the most promising book. If everybody gets treated the same, then the bestsellers will leave and find a better publisher. Most superstar bestsellers never leave because they get that extra special treatment. Why would they if their advance is so gigantic that the book never has a chance to technically "earn out".
I didn't say that I was surprised. I was giving that as a theory of why some authors seem to love their publisher while others seem to be dissatisfied. Sure it makes perfect sense.

If I were a mid-list author who has a solid fan base and has the ability as well as the desire to do his or her own marketing, I think that I would seriously consider going indie, especially if I was a genre writer. Between ebooks and audiobooks, you will likely make up any lost paper book sales. Of course, marketing becomes the major issue.
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