Publishing your own first book - any good experiences?

Discussion in 'User Topics' started by brezel, Oct 22, 2022.

  1. brezel

    brezel Newbie

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    I've been writing my first book for a very long time. There have always been breaks when I didn't have time or motivation. But in the meantime I'm making good progress and I hope to finish the first version this year.

    The plan for next year is to find some beta readers and get honest feedback from them. Do you have any idea where to find competent, honest and friendly test readers? Once I get their feedback, I plan to edit my book again myself with some distance in time.

    After that, however, I would very much like to take steps towards publishing the book. As a new author, how likely do you think it is to find a publisher? And in your experience, how much time and cost is involved in self-publishing? What is your experience with writing and publishing your own first book?
     
  2. Mak1442

    Mak1442 Raven

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    You will need a job at a publisher or a breakthrough mega book. And something like a tier site.
     
  3. brezel

    brezel Newbie

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    Getting a contract with a publisher would be great, of course. But what are the chances of being accepted as a new author? Even if you've written a really great book, that doesn't necessarily mean that publishers will recognize your potential.

    Even bestselling authors like Dan Brown had other jobs to support themselves for a long time. And his very first books didn't sell very well either, as far as I know. And to be as successful as Dan Brown is now, you not only have to be a damn good writer, you also have to be very lucky.

    I would first be happy if I could finish my book and then publish it myself or have it published with an experienced publisher. It must be a great feeling for any author to be able to hold their own printed book in their hands and see it on the shelves of bookstores.
     
  4. Zyntono

    Zyntono Newbie

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    Why don't you contact a publisher first? Maybe they can find some readers who can read the book in advance and give their feedback.
    You could also publish parts of your story online and get feedback.
    I would definitely try traditional publishers as well. While you're waiting for the publishers to respond, you can also look at the other options and find out more about them. If you only get rejections, you can take further steps right away.
    Self-publishing takes a lot of time. Even as an inexperienced author, you don't know what you have to do. That's where I would look for help. Perhaps a service publisher would also be an option for you.
    I don't want to take away your motivation, but it won't be easy to find a publisher. Not only does your story have to be good, it also has to fit into the current trend, publishers have to have resources available for your book,...
     
  5. brezel

    brezel Newbie

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    I had not yet had the idea of going directly to a publisher. I've always heard and read everywhere that you should only approach publishers and agents when the book is really already as perfect as it can get in your own eyes. That there will still be a lot of work then, of course, is clear to me!

    With self-publishing, of course, it doesn't matter whether the book is good or bad when you publish it. The providers will also be completely indifferent to whether the books that are uploaded to them are bought and read or not. With traditional publishers or service publishers, that should be different, right? I think they probably also have their own interest in ensuring that their authors' books sell as well as possible. And that's probably why they do more marketing. With self-publishing, you have to take everything into your own hands, too? I don't have the time for that. And if you use service providers for the various tasks, that will also cost quite a bit.
     
  6. Zyntono

    Zyntono Newbie

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    But that's where the publishers differ. It doesn't hurt to contact them directly and at least see what they have to say. In the worst case, they'll hang up on you right away, but you might also get some valuable tips. You can try to implement these tips right away.

    I don't know exactly how self-publishers make their profit. But I don't think anyone is against the author. Success is always good for both sides. The difference I see is that with self-publishing, you are the only person in charge. You don't get any help or tips from the publisher. Unless you know your stuff or really have a lot of time to invest in such a project, I wouldn't advise self-publishing.

    It's the same with marketing - with self-publishing you are responsible for it, you have to take care of everything yourself. That doesn't mean there's no marketing, it's just not done by anyone, you have to do it.

    I would seek out publishers that publish your genre. Contact them once and ask how it goes. While you're waiting for all the answers, also look at service publishers like novum publishing. There may be something for you in what they offer. Also look at self-publishers and see if you can and want to do it all. Maybe it will just take a little longer, but maybe you don't have time for it at all and you'll lose the motivation to publish at some point.
     
  7. brezel

    brezel Newbie

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    I also don't think anyone has anything against authors. But self-publishing, traditional publishers and service publishers have different business models. With self-publishing, the risk is entirely on the author's side, with traditional publishers it's on the publishers' side. And with service providers, the author and publisher share the risk. Personally, I think that's a good model, because the publisher is still motivated to sell books. With self-publishing, it's only in the author's interest.

    Yes, I will definitely do that! But with self-publishers I have already seen that their statements and the reality sometimes diverge significantly.

    One author I've talked to wonders why he can't find readers for his series of novels. But the homepage he has created is honestly terrible in terms of structure and design. Even the book covers are indeed ugly. He replied to my feedback that he is not an artist.

    I'm not either. But I know where I need support from professionals.
     
  8. Zyntono

    Zyntono Newbie

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    There is more to publishing a book than just writing it. Yes, you can publish it - but in most cases no one will notice. Books are published every day, so you get lost in the crowd. You have to do something to get publicity. Especially nowadays there are many possibilities. On the one hand it's easy online, but on the other hand you have a lot of competition because it's so easy. You have to be clear that you have to do more - as long as you don't outsource this work to others (agents,...).
    Writing a book is not enough. Even if you get a job with a traditional publisher, you have to go to book fairs or readings. Nobody can take that off your hands, but for me it's part of the job.

    Your example certainly shows how some people think about it. But then you shouldn't be surprised if no one wants to read the book. The cover alone appeals to people. There are many books on a bookshelf - the title and the cover have to move people to read the blurb or to take a quick look at the book. If you don't do that, no one will reach for the book and take one of the other books from the shelf instead. These are all important points that you have to think about as an author.
     
  9. brezel

    brezel Newbie

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    I've always enjoyed book fairs too and it would be great if my book was exhibited at a fair someday! But when you find a publisher, the publisher usually takes care of that, right? Unless they've written a bestseller, authors rarely exhibit themselves.

    I hope I'll get some help from the publisher when the time comes. With service publishers, you can probably choose for yourself what you want to use?
     
  10. Zyntono

    Zyntono Newbie

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    I was also at a book fair yesterday. There was a book fair in my town this week:)

    Usually yes, you have to look at what services the publisher offers - there will certainly be differences. That should be checked beforehand. Whether a marketing is included or not, what measures that includes,...


    It also depends on how it looks at the publishing houses. Either there are packages in which everything is included or you pick out the points that you still need yourself. You also have to check carefully, not every publisher will have the same way of working.
     

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