seeking advice

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seeking advice

Post by marty » February 16th, 2012, 3:05 pm

Hello, folks. I am a beginner in self-publishing, and I was hoping to get some direction from those who are more experienced. How about it I start off by giving an overview of what I anticipate doing soon, and any who feel inclined may advise. (If this question would be better-placed elsewhere on the site, please let me know.) I plan on setting up my title with Lightning Source as a publisher, creating my own “incorporated” publishing company to avoid having the apparently less profitable “subsidy publisher client” status, and availing myself to LSI’s print-on-demand distribution package for handling sales and deliveries. As it seems to me now, I will incorporate through the use of a “” package for $616.95. I want to go through the traditional, plain galley cover (with associated book information) for reviewers for about a six month margin, hopefully to gain favorable quotations to include on my illustrated cover design. When the book reviewer phase passes, and I avail the formats (simultaneously: hard cover, paperback, and ebook) publicly (amazon and b&n, etc.), I also plan to avail a book promotion poster, but I’m not sure about whether all my ideas for the poster are kosher, or legal. Would anything be necessarily wrong with the text toward the lower side of the poster, reading: “Order The Doorway Online / at / /also available at / & b&”? By the way, I’m wondering about whether or not Lightning Source could include such a personalized website title to feed directly into their own sales and delivery services. Well, I guess that’s enough for now; any thoughts anyone?

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Re: seeking advice

Post by Starchaser3000 » February 18th, 2012, 7:16 pm

I self published through CreateSpace. I might go through them again for my second volume. Though I have heard Lightning Source and Lulu are credible self publishing companies as well.

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Re: seeking advice

Post by Mira » February 19th, 2012, 5:25 pm

Sounds to me like you already know more than I do about this! You might look over some of the self-publishing threads, though, and see what people say. I know that David Gaughran is considered a pioneer - check out his threads. Also, Margo here at the forums is very successful.

Read around, and hopefully, you'll get some good ideas. Good luck!

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Re: seeking advice

Post by Ryan » February 20th, 2012, 10:50 am

You definitely don't have to pay for the legal documents to set up an LLC. Maybe if you go big one day and have two dozen members and employees then you might need some legal documents. Not sure if the state you live in requires that paperwork to set up the business.

I am using the Lightning Source model and like it. There has to be a Pro/Con article out there somewhere comparing CreateSpace, Lulu, and Lightning Source. Aaron Shepard has a book called POD (Print on Demand) for profit that is all about the Lightning Source model. I've been really happy with Lightning's customer service. I had some pricing calculations off and they contacted me to tell me that I'd actually be losing money if I sold any copies overseas.

Good luck and make sure your project is REALLY ready to be released.
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Re: seeking advice

Post by dgaughran » February 21st, 2012, 9:43 pm

Hi Marty,

I think you need to switch around your priorities a little bit. Unless you are big on the speaking/con/festival circuit, or write specialized non-fiction, or photobooks or anything like that, the overwhelming likelihood is that you will make far more from e-books than print.

With that in mind, it makes no sense to hold back the release of the e-book until the print edition is ready. And these days, it makes no sense at all to hold back any release just to get it reviewed.

The books should be up for sale as soon as they are ready - no reason to delay at all.

Also, as Ryan said, you might also be getting ahead of yourself with legal expenses and setting up an LLC etc.

Finally, if you are a complete print newb, Createspace has a much simpler learning curve, and is easier to use all round. LSI can be an expensive place to make mistakes.

This is the order you need to do things.

1. Look for an editor and cover designer.
2. While they are working, learn how to format e-books, set up a blog/website and Twitter account etc. Familiarize yourself with how they all work.
3. Hang out on sites like Kindle Boards, blogs like Joe Konrath, Dean Wesley Smith, and The Passive Voice, and start learning from everyone who comments there. There is so much information on those four sites.
4. When you get your edited MS and cover back, make your e-book - i.e. formatting.
5. As soon as it's done, upload it yourself to all the sites (Amazon, B&N, Smashwords etc.)
6. THEN worry about reviews, whether to set up an LLC, and a print edition.

Focus on the e-book. Once that's up and running, do your print version.

The PDF of my how to on digital self-publishing is free on my blog and covers all the above steps, and has plenty of marketing and social media advice. That's here:

Come back with any questions.
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Re: seeking advice

Post by longknife » February 17th, 2015, 2:42 pm

The problem with Lulu for self-publishing is the lack of a wide base for sale.

CreateSpace is actually part of so when you publish your work there, it appears on the site. Be aware that before your work can be put up for sale, you have to buy the proof copy.
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Re: seeking advice

Post by polymath » February 17th, 2015, 4:28 pm

Lulu offers distribution packages similar to CreateSpace's options, as does Xlibris: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, Nook, regional, national, and international, and Ingrams, and Lulu's own distribution channel, which is only available through Lulu.

Several Lulu features recommend their services over CreateSpace's: unbranded publishing, without CreateSpace's imposed brand association; hardcover book options, independent, unaffiliated retail outlet access; and Lulu's sole mission is publication manufacturing and related distribution activities: digital and print. CreateSpace's conflict of interest publishing promotes Amazon at the expense of naive self-publishers' misguided vanity.

For self-publishers who desire institutional distribution and brick-and-mortar distribution, Lulu and Xlibris are wise options. One benefit of note for CreateSpace publishing on Amazon: rapid product deployment on Amazon. Only Amazon. Deployment through other distribution channels is a similar time span delay for all self-publishing service firms . To me, that former, rapid deployment, may not be a best-practice strategy, anyway. The delay allows timely reconsideration at least.
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