Self-Publishing

CreateSpace’s New Distribution Options: Pros and Cons

Recently, CreateSpace added several new free distribution options to their distribution channels. This includes distribution to bookstores like Barnes & Noble and your local bookshop, academic institutions and libraries, and to CreateSpace Direct. These options, once available only to authors who were able to afford them, are now available to self-published authors with all sorts of incomes, writing styles, and fan followings.

Now there are definite perks to doing this. Authors would love more readers, and if they are able to reach readers in places previously unavailable to them due to monetary concerns, this can only be good for them. And bookstores, which have been suffering with the rise of the e-book and online distributors, will probably benefit being able to cater to the fans of authors whose works were before only available on certain online retailers. In a way, it’s a symbiotic relationship, both for authors and booksellers.

Not only that, but the books of self-published authors are sometimes rejected by libraries and academic institutions because they are self-publsihed in the first place, or their self-published status means that the books don’t come from certain distributors. If authors are able to get their works into libraries, that means people who don’t own e-readers or who can’t afford to buy books online can now read the books of self-published authors through this new distribution system.

And, using the expanded distribution channels means a potentially higher royalty rate for every copy sold.

However, there are drawbacks to this. Amazon, which owns CreateSpace and it’s print-on-demand services, determines minimum prices for all works published through them. They calculate these minimum prices by determining the length of the book, how much it’ll cost to print, how much they get from the sale of the book, and how much they need to give the author. Recently when I published my novel Reborn City, I saw that the minimum price they gave me was a little less than nine dollars, much higher than I’d expected. I wasn’t happy about it, but I decided to go with it and make the best of it.

When today I decided to try these expanded distribution options on RC, I found out that in order to use these expanded distribution channels, the list price would go up to at least thirteen dollars. In other words, the increase didn’t cost anything for the author, but it did cost extra for the reader.

I decided not to take these extra distribution channels because of the price hike it’d require. Some of my friends and family would not be able to afford a paperback copy because of a list price, or they’d be much more reluctant to buy it because is it not  their genre in addition to being over thirteen dollars. Plus, I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t want to make people pay too much for his work more than he wants them to actually read his work. Terrible character flaw, I know, but I live with it.

However that’s my own personal choice. If you wish to, go right ahead and sign up for these new channels. It’s your choice, which as I’ve said before is one of the best perks of self-pbulishing.

And who knows? You could see your sales go up dramatically, and your fanbase expand like a hot-air balloon. Not to mention the joy of telling friends and family that your work is now available in bookstores and libraries.  That’s always something to make you feel good. And for some books, the increase in the list price might not be too high, so if you have my problem with pricing books too high, it may not be so bad after all. I might still use these channels for my collection of short stories, which is already very low-priced.

What do you think of these new distribution options? Are you planning on use them? If so, why or why not?

*Note: Since this post’s publication, I’ve had a change of heart and I’ve decided to try distributing my books through these new channels in the hope of reaching more readers. Whether or not I’m successful, we shall see. Wish me luck, as well as everyone else using these options for the first time.

Categories: Amazon store, Author Platform & Branding, Book Pricing, Book Promotion, Business Plan, Createspace, Digital & ePublishing, Marketing & Promoting, Print-On-Demand, Self-Publishing, The Reader, Writing as a Business | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Length Debate

Lately I’ve been wading into a debate that I thought merited some discussion on. And as you can probably tell from the title of the post, it has to do with length. The length of different pieces of fiction, to be exact. For years, I’ve subscribed to a particular set of guidelines for fiction lengths that go something like this:

•Flash fiction: 1-1000 words
•Short Story: 1000-10K words
•Novelette: 10K-20K words
•Novella: 20K-40K words
•Novel: 40K+ words

(The definitons above are based on many self-help writing books I’ve read and on the submission guidelines for National Novel Writing Month’s online contest.)

Until recently, I had no idea that there was an actual controversy on the lengths of the various forms of fiction listed above. Some people consider flash fiction only goes to five hundred words, while others argue that a short story can’t exceed 7,500 words without becoming a novelette. Most discussion is saved for novel lengths, with many arguing that forty-thousand is too small and leaves readers feeling robbed when they’re promised a novel that turns out to be too short for their tastes.

When I asked a writing group I belong to on Facebook what their thoughts on this issue were, especially when it comes to novels, I got a number of responses. Some said that fifty-thousand was a novel, though they thought it was a short one. Others said sixty or seventy-thousand was an appropriate minimum for novel length, and a few said fifty-five thousand was a good compromise as it’s right between the lowest minimum and the highest maximum values often cited in the debate. (For now, I’ve revised my definition of novel lengths to fifty-five thousand words at minimum, both for the reasons listed above and because my work usually runs much higher than that, so it works for me.)

To be truthful though, instead of making me worry if I’ve been using a bad definition for what constitutes a novel all this time, I’m pleased that authors are having this debate, especially self-published authors. One of the benefits often touted for self-published authors is that they get to write what they want, and this debate is a reflection of that in some ways. Authors are free to use their own definitions of novels and short stories and novelettes and whatever they write, rather than having to listen to what publishers and agencies believe a novel should be. It’s just another form of the freedom self-published authors are afforded.

However if in November you want to take part in the NaNoWriMo contest and decide that the threshold they give for a novel’s length works for you, then go right ahead. You’re just as welcome to exceed it and write as many words as you feel constitutes the creation of a novel. It’s your choice.

What are your definitions for the various lengths of different kinds of fiction? Why do you think that?

Categories: General Writing, Self-Publishing, Writing as a Business | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Guest Post: How Self-Publishing is Made Easy and Effective by Jasmine Roy

How Self-Publishing is Made Easy and Effective

Are you an author aspiring to undertake the big challenge of self publishing your book? Then it is indeed a great challenge to put your own efforts and dedication to publish your creation. Several authors, worldwide, try their hands at self publishing as it allows them considerable freedom to exhibit their research and skills. Also, many authors who want to have full control over their written work and are particular with the artistic expressions opt for self publishing their book. While some go for it since this kind of publishing involves less expenses. If you intend to self publish your written book, then you need to have knowledge and take charge of the complete process.

As a matter of fact, self publishing a book is very stressful process since you are in charge of every step involved in the process. You are supposed to be responsible for everything right from writing your book to marketing it. However, this process has become easy by following some guidelines, in the recent times. It is important that you should never get discouraged and keep in mind your target and profits that you are expecting from publishing your book.

How to Self Publish

  1. The first essential step for successful self publication of your book is to write your manuscripts effectively. Be it a novel, short story book, poetry book to memoir create it in one specific electronic manuscript. Insert relevant pictures of high resolution into the manuscript. The self publishing companies do not impose additional charges for inserting pictures in manuscripts. Make use of alignment tools to align and indent text. This will help you to properly format your written work.
  1. If you are about to publish a hard copy of your written book, then you should first ensure that your book is fully complete, properly edited and also effectively proofread. Make efforts to get contacts of reputed freelance editors and proofreaders who can efficiently do this task at a fixed rate. One of the most important things you need to give your book is a catchy title that can draw the reader’s attention. If you happen to have any contacts with graphic designers or some good cover designers make use of their specialization in order to design the cover of your written book. Or else you can even hire a professional freelancer for this if it fits in your budget.
  1. Be it a comic book or a children’s book, including good designing in your book will greatly help you to win the half battle of self publishing a book. Once you have got edited manuscript with outstanding cover page, contact good printing services for quotations. The rate of printing will differ depending on the number of copies you tend to order and the quality of the printed book that you are publishing in the market. You can even try to contact vanity presses that will offer you an excellent option of print on demand. This option will not have any interference with the content of your book. One of the most important things you need to take care of is to get ISBN numbers for your written books. You should keep in mind that these numbers can only be purchased in blocks of ten and not according to per book.
  1. Invest efforts to self publish your book by making use of the internet. You can approach a great resource of self publishing companies over the web. Such a resource will also offer you the companies that can translate your written book in any desired language so that people can find books written by you in language they are comfortable with. Such companies even reduce the expenses involved in printing and related expenses and handover to you the effective amount that equals 80% of the total amount earned from publishing your book. In the modern times, with the e-book gaining good popularity, self publishing your book over the web makes a good sense since it tend to reach greater number of readers, worldwide. This is even a beneficial option for people looking for self publishing their books for free without shelling out even cent from their pocket.
  1. Last but not the least, while self publishing your written book you might have to face some prejudices. Keep in mind that you should not get adversely affected due to it. Several popular authors, once upon a time, even had faced rejections before being selected by an efficient mainstream publisher. Moreover, self publishing is a great platform for the authors, who have been facing constant rejections, to display before the world their unique writings.

Thus, with the advent of internet, technology and good resource of self publishing companies, self publishing a book has become quite convenient.

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Author Bio :- Jasmine Roy is a expert writer with rich experience in writing books, blogs, and articles on a wide range of topics. Through her years of writing and publication she has come to believe that Pubmatch is a great resource of book publishing companies for writers all over the world. She has complete faith in the book publishing companies over here as they offer various exclusive services such as offset printing services, valuable and up-to-date information in the favor of the book authors and also allow them to have a creative control on various aspects of publishing and promoting their books.

Categories: Digital & ePublishing, Self-Publishing

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