A couple of months ago I wrote a post about vanity presses: those publishers that are in business specifically to take advantage of authors rather than make money by selling books. In the comments it was pointed out that I talked about vanity presses, self-publishing, and the Big Howevermany publishers as options, but not small presses. I even made the comment that there were a couple of small (some might say micro) publishers that I’d recommend without any qualms. But … I’m not going to name names. Instead I’m going to throw out a few thoughts on why someone might come to the decision to go with a small or micro publisher instead of self-publishing, and some of the things to consider in making such a decision.
I’ll start with a disclaimer that this is all just opinion. It’s not based on the experience of actually publishing a book using any process, publisher-assisted or not, but from observing the publishing landscape’s evolution over the last several years, reading about author’s experiences (both good and bad), and reading books that resulted from every publishing process out there. Continue reading “Small Indie Publishers: An Overview”
Audiobooks. My first thought when I hear the term are questions like Why? Or what’s the point? The thought that “those aren’t real books” might float through my head. I feel pretty damn full of myself unless I stop to think for half a second, maybe get a bit introspective. Then I realize how much I sound like the paper sniffers. You know, the people who say an eBook isn’t a real book. They love the smell of paper and apparently the reading experience isn’t the same without it. I don’t want to be one of those people. Then I’ll admit to myself that if my commute involved driving an hour or two every day instead of the 30-foot stroll in my slippers and work pajamas from bed to office that I might see more of a need. Then I’ll remember that I’ve actually listened to audiobooks a time or two when an ex and I would take road trips. (If you’ve driven I-80 across Wyoming, you’ll understand the need for entertainment beyond the “scenery.”)
All of this is just a big buildup to make the point that, as an indie author you’re a business person. You have product and customers. Some of your potential customers like a product, in this case your books, in different formats than others. You have your book available as an eBook (possibly in different eBook formats available from multiple vendors) and paper. Is it also available as an audiobook? Should it be? Continue reading “Everybody Listen Up: Smashwords Is Entering the AudioBook Market”
Over the years we’ve have several posts regarding companies that some call vanity presses or vanity publishers. About three years ago we had an entire series of posts about these companies, called #PublishingFoul. Five years ago there were two major players in this arena: PublishAmerica and Author Solutions with a few other smaller companies using the same business model.
The two biggies operated under a myriad of different names with foreign subsidiaries and multiple imprint names. Keeping track of them was tough. But a rule of thumb that is attributed to author James D. Macdonald that “money should always flow toward the author” was all a wannabe-published author needed to know to avoid becoming the victim of those who would prey on the less informed. But the only thing constant in the world is change, and over the last several years a lot has changed, both in this portion of the publishing industry and in how authors can protect themselves. Continue reading “You’re So Vain: Vanity Presses Versus Self-Publishing”
Coming up with blanks while trying to decide what to write about this month, I went back to a list of post ideas I’d started what feels like forever ago in internet terms. I found some notes about a New York Times article The Passive Voice had excerpted that talked about Google’s Ngram Viewer. This is cool stuff. Better late than never, right?
I’m going to briefly touch on two different areas in this post. What the Ngram Viewer does, and how it might be useful to an author. Continue reading “Big Book Data for the Little Author Guy”