Thursday, April 4, 2013

DIY or die...

Linotype "hot-press" metal cast printer (from: Brian Azevedo)

"The story of self-publishing is Jan Strnad, a 62-year-old educator hoping to retire in four years. To do so is going to require supplemental income, which he is currently earning from his self-published novels. In 2012, Jan made $11,406.31 from his work. That’s more than double what he made from the same book in the six months it was available from Kensington, a major publisher. He has since released a second work and now makes around $2,000 a month, even though you’ve never heard of him.
     Rachel Schurig has sold 100,000 e-books and made six figures last year. She is the story of self-publishing. Rick Gualtieri cleared over $25,000 in 2012 from his writing. He says it’s like getting a Christmas bonus every month. Amanda Brice is an intellectual property attorney for the federal government. In her spare time, she writes teen mysteries and adult romantic comedies. She averages $750 a month with her work.
     […] Of course, you’ll see articles lamenting the paucity of sales most self-published books enjoy, but there’s a problem with comparing average self-published sales with traditionally published books. In self-publishing, the slush pile is made available to readers. These comparisons between the two paths take the tip of one iceberg (the books that made it through the gauntlet and into bookstores) with an entire iceberg (all self-published books). It’s not a fair comparison."
— Hugh Howey, Salon
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"Self-publishing is the literary world’s version of masturbation, except the results are quite often less thrilling, and you usually end up with a mess. However, despite its reputation for producing amateur dreck or your crazy uncle’s genealogical findings, self-publishing has a long history that includes such luminaries as Marcel Proust and Lewis Carroll. As of late, the practice has been supercharged thanks to the Internet, which enables the production and promotion of a book by almost anyone. Since 2006, the number of self-published books, print and electronic, is up 287 percent – that’s more than 235,000 titles, according to Bowker, the company that handles ISBN numbers. In 2011 alone, nearly 150,000 print books were self-published."
— John Winters, Salon
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