Archive for August, 2011

A Short History of a Book Publishing Phenom | Jeffrey A. Tucker

Recorded at the Mises Institute Supporters Summit, 1 November 2008; Auburn, Alabama. Introduction by Mark Thornton. Jeffrey Tucker is Editorial Vice President at the Mises Institute, and editor of

Duration : 0:31:7

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Posted by mark - August 28, 2011 at 1:07 am

Categories: Book Publishing   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What are the advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing and vanity publishing?

If one was to be a self-published author, how would he or she go about doing that? Is it harder than finding a vanity publisher? Also, what are the advantages and disadvantages of both?

Really the only difference between self-publishing and vanity publishing is how honest the publisher is about what they offer, and what’s in it for you. Both of them are a waste of your time and money unless you’ve written a book that inherently has limited appeal, like your granny’s recipe book, or a history of the village where she grew up. For any book where you want to sell as many copies as possible, traditional publishing (publisher pays you, not the other way round) is still the way to go.

Advantages: you don’t have to worry about proofreading or editing or any of that tedious crap that wannabe writers brush aside by saying "that’s what publishers have editors for." Acceptance is guaranteed, as long as you can afford it. You can have the book in your hands in a matter of weeks, rather than the couple of years it can take if you go the traditional route.

Disadvantages: there are many, but they boil down to: the only people who will buy your book will, almost certainly, be people who already know you. With a few small exceptions, bookshops will not stock self-published books. Reputable book reviewers won’t review them. The publisher does no marketing – that’s your problem. Unless you use a print-on-demand service, where copies aren’t printed until somebody orders them, you could (you *will*) be left with a garage full of books that you can’t sell.

If you tell an agent or traditional publisher that you self-published a book, they’ll just laugh at you. Agents and traditional publishers accept, on average, one manuscript in a hundred. Self-publishing companies *reject* about one in a hundred – either because it’s too fat to be bound, or because they’re worried they might be sued or thrown in jail if they print it. Nearly all of what they print, therefore, is stuff that an agent or traditional publisher would reject.

If you think that an agent is going to offer to represent you after finding your self-published novel on Lulu or CreateSpace, you’re deluding yourself. Nobody goes trawling places like that for the Next Big Thing, for the same reason that nobody goes dredging slurry pits in case someone dropped a diamond ring into one of them. Well – anybody who does offer to represent you as a result of your book being there is clueless or a scammer, or both.

Authors do occasionally hit the big time after self-publishing first, but you have to weigh them against all the others who self-published and were never heard from again.

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Posted by mark - August 1, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Categories: Self Publishing   Tags: