Articles Posted in Self-publishing

Published on:

file000123053959Authors now have more options than ever to publish their works, ranging from self-publishing, through the hybrid “pay-to-play” publishers, to traditional publishing houses. So, what are the Pros and Cons of each?

Self-publishing. With online publishing, it’s now simple to publish your own book. Among the Pros of self-publishing:

  • The sale price, the cover art and the content are up to you.
  • You control the number of books printed, so there are fewer returns – you can print on demand.
  • You can alter your manuscript and reprint it, anytime you want. Did you find a typo when you were glancing through (for the 200th time)? Make the change and print it correctly for the next sale.
  • Your net financial return is greater on each sale. Of course, you will have printing and shipping costs and marketing/promo expenses, but after you pay these, the rest of the money is yours.
  • You get paid more frequently, maybe even monthly from sellers like Amazon.

Of course, the world of self-publishing is not all sweetness and light. Here are some of the Cons: Continue reading

Published on:

william gibson 1According to Doug Robinson, owner of Atlanta’s Eagle Eye Book Shop, you CAN judge a book by its cover. “So much self-published stuff is just mediocre,” says Doug, a 30-year veteran of the book business. “A (traditional) publisher weeds out the books he thinks won’t make it. But in a retail environment, you’ve got to have something eye-catching that makes people say, ‘Let’s go over there and pick up that book.’”

Doug’s first step when examining a book is to look at the cover. “You learn to judge how well a book’s going to sell just by looking at its cover. It’s got to be original and visually pop. I look for eye-catching, but I also think about things like potential copyright infringement.” Continue reading

Published on:

Self-publishing is on the rise.  Bowker Market Research reports that around 390,000 titles were self-published in the U.S. in 2012, a nearly 60% increase from 2011.  This is good news for DIY authors, but it’s important to remember that when you self-publish, you take on the risks formerly assumed by the publisher, and that includes the legal risks.

stock-photo-8204196-dollars-in-bookHere are 3 ways self-publishing authors can put themselves in the best position for success:

#1: Don’t infringe another’s copyright.  Except for certain limited uses under the Fair Use Doctrine (you must consider each of these four factors: the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; the nature of the copyrighted work; the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work), another’s words are protected and may not be used without risking a claim of copyright infringement.

For example, suppose your story is set in late-50s Memphis, and you think including a couple of lines of “Hound Dog” will help establish the verisimilitude your story needs.  There’s no rule of thumb that says it’s OK to ‘borrow’ a few words.  You may be able to license a few words or a few lines, but it won’t be free.  Unless the use of the lyrics meets the requirements of the Fair Use exception, or otherwise transform the lyrics beyond their original use, the best advice is simply to stay away from another’s words. Continue reading