Posted by: drizl | July 2, 2011

Wanted: A brain that understands publishing

I used to consider myself fairly intelligent. That idea is slowly going away as I read more and more stuff on publishing and self publishing. Since all I’ve been getting is rejections from agents lately, I’ve been entertaining the idea of self publishing. A friend of mine recently went on Create Space, went through the entire process and then actually pushed the button to create her very own book. It’s a POD or Print on Demand version meaning that as people purchase the book, their copy would be printed and mailed to them. Oh uh, Create Space is affiliated with Amazon.

Anyway, I asked about an ebook. Apparently that is a separate process that one must go through. So, I signed up for Create Space and it seems that I have to do Print on Demand book and then a Ebook…I think…I’m not really sure…I think the ebook costs money to create whereas the POD book was free along with the ISBN number..which, even though it’s the same book, a POD book and anEbook will have different ISBN numbers. Are you with me. I lost about 1/4 of my brain looking at the stuff. So, I wondered about other companies. I checked out ITunes…things really started to get confusing here. I ended up on a site where you can purchase ISBN numbers…then I found a list of companies who format your work for ebooks…I looked at a couple of the sites…Libre Digital and INscribe Digital…yeah, I lost another 1/4 of my brain trying to figure out those sites. Then I found a site called SmashWords. I like the name….from what I understand from their site is you get free ISBN #s for you work and then they are ready for the Apple gadgets, the Sony Reader, the Nook (Barnes and Noble) and a few other names I’ve never heard of…I still don’t understand if you go through SmashWords where you ebook ends up…maybe floating around in space somewhere? And then since the book would already have an ISBN # how would that work if you wanted to add the book to Amazon? FUCK…no wonder people still want an agent and shit…this stuff is confusing…BUT on the flip side…since my friend pushed the complete button, it took about two weeks and she’ll have a published book in her hand. If you manage to land an agent, who in turn sells your manuscript to a publisher to print the book…you won’t have an actual book for about a year…that’s crazy. I want my stuff now. We are a society who can get our hands on stuff immediately, yet our book world insists that we wait…for a long time…to get the product…I also realized that if I did go through the traditional publishing industry and now had a release date, I couldn’t even do a signing in my home town in a large bookstore because within the last year and a half, both Barnes and Noble and Walden Books closed their store fronts. Agents and traditional book publishers regularly pooh-pooh self publishing but when the traditional avenues to sell the actual books are closed…what next? And don’t say that the publishing world doesn’t get down on self-publishing, I’ve been to enough writer’s conferences. I’ve heard the agents say the bad words about self publishing. Don’t get me wrong, because if an agent or an editor or publisher came calling I would elope with them immediately. I”m just asking the questions that I’m sure a lot of people have in their heads, including me. Our world is changing and although I don’t want to see the bookstore disappear or the physical book go away, there are other options out in this world and I don’t want to shut the door on them. Plus, I’d like to see my work published in my freaking life time.



  1. Maybe i can make Smashwords a bit less confusing for you. First, they will give you a free ISBN if they have one available. I just published my first novel and paid for mine since Smashwords had run out of freebies temporarily. They buy them by the thousands. Even if you have to pay, it’s only 9.95, and the cost is taken out of your sales. My sales paid for my ISBN in two or three days. I believe that you would use the same ISBN for Amazon.

    As for the rest, you upload your properly formatted book and cover art to Smashwords. When it goes through the checking and multi-format process, it goes up on its own page, where people can select from differently formatted samples to see if they want to buy it. Once they pay, they can download it in any of the available formats. Smashwords also acts as a distributor. When your book is approved for the Premium catalogue, it is “shipped” to other outlets such as Sony, Apple, and Barnes and Noble. So, once your book starts selling, you will be getting income from more than just the Smashwords page. You don’t have to worry about all the behind-the-scenes stuff because Smashwords handles it all for you.

    Since ebooks are outselling POD books by a large factor, most writers are publishing first as ebooks, and maybe later on as print. ebooks are also much simpler than producing books for POD, and they can be sold more cheaply because, unless you pay for editing, cover design, etc., there are virtually no production costs, and no shipping costs. And the reader gets them instantly.

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