Am I reinventing the wheel?

Posted: January 1, 2011 in Self Publishing

I started my research by searching for blogs that are attempting to do the same thing I am here.  A Google query produced a whole slew of results, most of which didn’t answer my question, and many of which were just totally confusing.  I did look long enough, however, to decide only a small majority of the results share my goal of documenting my research into the pros and cons of self publishing.  I’ll share two of them here:

Journey to Self Publishing

At first glance, this seemed identical to what I was attempting.  It even has a sub heading of “a candid account of my experience as I learn the ins and outs of publishing my own book.”  But the blog also serves to document Natalie Wickham’s journey of writing the non-fiction book she intends to market.  Also, in the beginning at least (June 2008), she means self-publishing a printed book including printing, marketing, and shipping, which is not my intent.

She did eventually self publish hard copies of her book, and in November of 2010, did also publish electronically with Kindle.  Interestingly enough, she also published an mp3 CD of an interview entitled: “Journey to Self Publishing – 12 steps to successfully publishing.”  As a promotional strategy, she started a second blog named for her book: Something I may choose to do when/if I actually make this move.

I can see that there are subjects in her blog that I might find useful, like her comment about how Print-On-Demand (POD) is a better option for short-run jobs, but web offset printing is better for print runs of 500 or more books.  But there’s also a lot written that doesn’t apply to e-publishing, my main focus, so isn’t much help in making my decision about whether I want to self publish or not.


Self-Publishing Adventure

This site mirrors my intent much more closely.  For one thing, Sarah Ettritch writes fiction:  lesbian spec fic it’s true, but that genre has much more in common with my mystery/suspense novel than a non-fiction book about home schooling.  She has published electronically for Kindle and in ePub form, which makes her work available on a variety of eBook readers, including the iPad.  The main difference seems to be that her research is based upon publishing in Canada, although she states that much of what she found out applies in the US as well.

My main problem with the blog is that it’s not as easy to find the oldest entry and then read forward chronologically.  It’s a WordPress site, like this one, but her sidebar does not let you search archives by month or year.  The only way I see to do that is to continually click on the “Older Posts” link at the bottom of each page and since I have no idea when she started writing the blog (she mentions thinking about self publishing in 2008, so it may got back that far!) I could be clicking for a long time.

She does have a link on her site to another blog I also found helpful and will write more about next time, So this affirms my feeling that her process of research is similar to mine.  Because of that, I believe I am going to find this site very interesting to read.  Her latest posts concentrate on promotion, but by clicking on various category links, I’ve found information relevant to where I’m at right now.  For instance, she mentions how Smashwords has distribution agreements with Amazon, Apple, Sony, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo and goes on to explain how to use them to convert your Word document into the various formats these online venues require.

Next Time

Next time, I’m going to review a few other blogs I’ve found.  There are so many of them, I’m sure I could post for a year or more just doing reviews of self publishing blogs.  But that’s not going to get Painted Black onto anyone’s eReader, now is it?  My next step after that will be researching the ePublishing options that are most recommended and summarizing what each one involves.  That will help me focus on what’s most important in each option, and provide you with information to help you vote on my survey of whether I should…Self Publish or Not Self Publish.


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