The Writer Mama Back-to-School Giveaway 2009, Day Twenty-Two

It’s day twenty-two of The Writer Mama Back-to-School Giveaway!

How do authors learn how to promote themselves using Internet social networking? By reading Plug Your Book! and e-Publish by Steve Weber.

plug your book Plug Your Book! Online Book Marketing for Authors by Steve Weber

  • Get massive exposure for your book, no special computer skills needed — trade published or self published, fiction or nonfiction
  • Discover why authors fail with paid advertising, pay-per-click, fee-based reviews, and “bestseller” campaigns
  • Blog to connect with readers, driving them to Amazon and bookstores
  • Boost your visibility with Google, use MySpace for viral marketing
  • Ignite word of mouth with Web social networks
  • Capitalize on peer content and “amateur” book reviews

Here’s what the experts say about this book:

    “A wealth of ideas for making your book stand out, including many techniques for Internet buzz you won’t find elsewhere.” Jane Corn, Top Reviewer

    “I spent two years building up skills to market my books online, and I can tell you right now that Plug Your Book! would have saved me MONTHS of time. I bought this book just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything, but it blew me away.” Scott Sigler, # 1 bestselling author

    e-Publish: Self-Publish Fast and Profitably for Kindle, iPhone, CreateSpace and Print on Demand by Steve Weber

    Sell your book now, in eBook and paperback! Book marketing guru Steve Weber shares the secrets big publishers don’te-publish want you to know:

    • Profit now by uploading your book to Amazon’s Kindle, Apple’s iPhone, and other mobile platforms.
    • Turn your text into a profitable paperback edition with no upfront costs for printing, storage, or shipping.
    • Get free, global exposure with no marketing costs.
    • Discover why you don’t need a traditional publisher or agent.
    • Get reviews for your book and maximize sales.
    • See the fastest, cheapest way to copyright a book in your name.
    • Get tax breaks and home-office write offs.
    • Price your content for maximum profits.
    • Cut out costly middlemen.
    • Spin off your books into more cash-producing formats.
    • Expand your income and marketing with podcasting.

    Now you can upload your sample chapter or short story to Amazon and other platforms and start selling it now. When do you want to start, and how much do you want to pay? You can pay thousands of dollars to a “self-publishing company” that might take months to get your book on the market, and screw everything up in the process. Or you can do it yourself the right way.

    You can read ePublish by Steve Weber, and get the advice you need to get started now — at the lowest possible cost, with the lowest possible risk, and highest possible chance of success.

    Author Bio:

    steve-weberSteve Weber is the author of a number of books on marketing and promoting using social networking. He is a native of Charleston, W.Va. He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and a Journalism graduate of West Virginia University. Steve lives in Falls Church, Va., with his wife and their four-year-old daughter.

    If you are new to the giveaway, please read “Da Rules.”

    Today’s question is…

    What do you think about self-publishing?

    Do you think that you will self-publish in the future?

    Would you both self-publish and traditional publish? Or only one or the other?

    Give me the goods in 50-200 words, please. 🙂

    Before you go! WE HAVE A CAUSE TO RAISE MONEY FOR THIS YEAR! Please read the story about the Applin family here and consider making a small contribution at some point during the giveaway. We’re aiming for $100/day collectively. Please help us help the Applin family adopt two beautiful children from Russia. 🙂


    30 Responses to “The Writer Mama Back-to-School Giveaway 2009, Day Twenty-Two”

    1. 1 Jaymie September 22, 2009 at 4:21 am

      I am not opposed to self-publishing, but I think a traditional publisher is the better way to go if your own platform is fairly small/new. If you already have a strong web presence, you could probably sell your own self-published book and get a good return. I like the idea that there are smaller traditional publishers out there that might be a happy medium between the self-publishing (where there is no guess work of will I or won’t I get published, but I have to do all the work) and the larger publishing houses (where you have a lot of competition for limited resources in this economy).

    2. 2 Janel September 22, 2009 at 6:34 am

      I have definitely tossed around the idea of self-publishing. My main source of writing income, right now, is writing instructions for crafts. There are many people who self-publish in this area and appear to be quite successful.

      I would be more hesitant to self-publish my fiction. I think there is a conception that a book isn’t very good if it isn’t under contract with a publishing company. Fighting that idea, to me, would be an uphill battle.

    3. 3 Cara Holman September 22, 2009 at 6:47 am

      I’ve definitely considered self-publishing, and I think it’s highly likely that I try that route someday. I know several women who did, and they are very happy with the results. I think it’s a wonderful way to break into publishing, for a book that doesn’t necessarily have the mass appeal of a blockbuster novel but that will still find a niche with a smaller but equally appreciative audience.

      That being said, of course some day when I actually have a book to market, if a big name publisher comes along and wants to make me into the next J. K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer, far be it from me to say no!

    4. 4 Kristi September 22, 2009 at 7:40 am

      I think that I will try to get published by a traditional publisher while I continue to build my platform. When I feel my platform is ready, I think that self publishing will be a viable option as I’ll have the tools in place to promote myself appropriately and effectively. The publishing industry is changing so much that I need to make sure I’ve prepared myself adequately before jumping into self publishing. It definitely interests me though and I’ll continue to research the option.

    5. 5 Carrie Ure September 22, 2009 at 8:48 am

      Things are changing so fast and I’m so new at this,I can’t rule out self-publishing. For myself, I love the tangibility of a real book and have not yet ventured to Kindle or the other mobile platforms. Yet I know a few happy writers who do very well with self-publishing and e-publishing. It’s too early in my career to make a call on this one. I will be watching the trends.

    6. 6 Beth Cato September 22, 2009 at 8:52 am

      Self-publishing serves a purpose. It’s great for distributing books to family, students, or select groups. However, most people who think they are going to get a bestseller or even get the local bookseller to stock their book are deluding themselves. There are several publishers out there with horrible reputations (I won’t name names) who “pay” the author a $1 advance and then “discount” a $30 paperback to make the author feel as though they’re getting a bargain, and they will accept anything for publication. They are vanity presses in disguise, and people are falling for it.

      If I want to self-publish something just for my family, that’s fine. But my novels will either be trunked or traditionally published.

    7. 7 Amy Simon September 22, 2009 at 10:32 am

      My impression, based on very little research, is that self publishing is a big cost risk and usually isn’t worth it. I think there’s a tremendous benefit to having a professional editor go through your book, as well as having those who know the market really well concur that your book will sell. I would imagine you’d have to have a very established platform to sell a self-published book. I would also be concerned that it would look less professional. Again, I haven’t researched it, so maybe some companies out there have compensated for those issues. Just my thoughts! I’m definitely interested in learning how to market and build a platform (even though I don’t have a published book to market, yet!).


    8. 8 Jessica Varin September 22, 2009 at 11:02 am

      Self-publishing seems like a good idea for a book with a particular niche or regional audience.

      I may self-publish an artist book with writing, poetry, and sketches. I enjoy typography and graphic design, so it would be great to have creative control. I also have access to a printing press through school- it would be fun to do a project on that.

      I would self-publish and traditional publish. I worry about being able to sell a poetry chapbook that is self-published. Ideally, I would win an award for a manuscript through a small press. In other genres, I am not opposed to self-publishing.

    9. 9 Pat September 22, 2009 at 11:23 am

      Since I’m not yet at the point of looking for a way to publish a manuscript, I haven’t given self-publishing much thought. Many certainly argue against it.

      I believe that it’s most likely for me to try traditional publishing first. If that doesn’t work out, then most certainly I would consider other avenues to get my book in print.

      As the future of publishing evolves, who knows what authors will be doing down the road? Any way you look at it, I feel like there will be lots of new opportunities for writers!

    10. 10 Kathryn Lang September 22, 2009 at 11:54 am

      I think that there is a time and place for self-publishing. It can be particularly beneficial to people that have an existing platform. A person that is speaking several times a month would have an audience to sell a book to.

      The power of the internet has made me wonder if traditional publishing would always exist. I think that there are enough print books required no matter what the technology that there will probably always be some room for pursuing traditional publication.

      There are benefits and problems to self-publishing or traditional publishing. Self-publishing puts all of the risk on me and all of the marketing on me. But I will receive the bulk of the profits.Traditional publishing puts the risk on the publisher but much of the marketing WORK will still fall to me.

      I have to decide if the risk is worth the gain and also how much of the marketing I can handle.

    11. 11 writethejourney September 22, 2009 at 12:06 pm

      I haven’t read self-published books nor do I have contacts who have self-published, so I don’t have much on which to base an opinion. My uninformed impression is that self-published books might not be as polished as books published by a traditional publisher. From what I understand, the final product benefits from the scrutiny and input of the players at a traditional publishing house. And since self-promotion is a must either way, a strong platform is necessary for both. If I had a manuscript to peddle today, I would definitely seek out a traditional publisher first.

    12. 12 Brandy September 22, 2009 at 12:37 pm

      I know that self-publishing is a great way to go for some, look at The Shack. I believe the writer of that book self-published, and it was a huge seller. However, I would be more inclined to try the traditional route first, prior to self-publishing. There is a strong appeal for me in having an actual publisher accept my work, because then there is at least someone else that thinks it is worth publishing and not just me.

    13. 13 Jenny September 22, 2009 at 12:47 pm

      These books sound perfect for me! I like both self-publishing and going the traditional route, based on the fact that I already have a widely-read blog. The Web has worked to help build my audience already, so I’d definitely like to e-publish in the near future.

      Still, a book doesn’t seem as real to me without also having a traditonal, published, paper book that I can hold in my hands.
      However, writers need to keep up with the times and e-publishing seems to be a big part of the future. I say do both!

    14. 14 Heidi Cogdill September 22, 2009 at 1:16 pm

      I am definately supportive of self-publishing, as I’ve seen many who have done it successfully. I would consider doing it myself in the future, but I also believe the sucess of a self-published book depends on the genre and how far in advance you begin to create your platform/audience. I think I would prefer to publish with a traditional publisher, yet if I believed strongly in my book and it wasn’t finding a home with a traditional publisher, then I’d persue self-publishing.

    15. 15 Lorraine Wilde September 22, 2009 at 2:37 pm

      I went to the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference this summer and the gist I heard was that self publishing is great IF you sold a lot of copies. If you didn’t sell a lot, then the agent or editor won’t be convinced you can sell another book.

      But if a lot of copies were sold via self-publication, then its great platform.

      I think if I don’t have success finding an agent or publisher for my memoir, I will probably self publish.


    16. 16 Pam Maynard September 22, 2009 at 4:25 pm

      I’m not wild about self-publishing. I need a traditional publisher to help me get started. I have the knowledge to build my platform, but I wouldn’t have any time to devote to plugging my book if I had to do all the publishing tasks too!
      I would consider self-publishing in the future if I was passionate enough about my book and had enough money to back my passion. There is always a time and place for both forms of publishing. I feel the right one for me at this time in my life is traditional publishing.

    17. 17 Jenna September 22, 2009 at 4:36 pm

      I have self-published before, when it’s something timely. It’s not something I really enjoy, because I’d much rather stick to the writing and let experts handle the other details, but I have surely seen some situations where it’s more profitable for the author. You really have to be prepared to take on a lot of business roles, though!

      I admit I’m a little frustrated about the lack of distinction the public makes between self-published and traditionally published, though… when I tell people I’m an author, I so often hear, “Oh! My dad/friend/grandma/neighbor/cat is a published author, too!” Then I have to fake smile while they tell me about the book of poetry published through iUniverse, and compare that to the career I’ve worked for since college.

    18. 18 Daree Allen September 22, 2009 at 5:30 pm

      I may self-publish a small book that I want to get out quickly, like the one I’ve started–a nonfiction book for girls. Bookstores don’t carry much teen nonfiction because it doesn’t sell well, according to the booksellers I’ve asked in various cities across the country. I’ve done some up-front research from my friends who have self-published–five of my girlfriends have published books in different genres. The lack of distribution channels was their main headache with self-publishing.

      I am a technical writer and editor who works at home full-time, and I know I make grammatical mistakes here and there without a peer reviewer to back me up. But even if I hire an editor for my self-published book, the stigma of self-published books being poorly written and edited is a concern of mine.

      I want to publish a book the good old-fashioned way once I have developed a stronger platform, made more literary networking connections, and sold enough articles to deem me as an “expert” in my niche.

    19. 19 Joyce Lansky September 22, 2009 at 5:40 pm

      Honestly, I’m not a big fan of self-publishing and do not plan to do it in the future, but I think this book would be valuable for its marketing techniques.

      I would like to work through a traditional publisher. I’ve heard that it’s even harder to publish a book that has already been self-published. Plus, I would like the expertise of a publishing house to help me market my book. Self-publishing means you must do everything yourself.

    20. 20 fringlerfilms September 22, 2009 at 6:03 pm

      Reading through these posts makes me wonder if self-publishing hasn’t changed since I read a lot of writing & publishing books a few years back. Just like web-publishing, the scene has changed, so maybe I should learn more about self-publishing and in what situations it would be a solid direction to consider.

      I have always thought that working with a an editor and a publisher would make a book better. Seems like a team effort would improve the book, make the author not so much a lone ranger, and provide expertise. But maybe there are situations where those aspects could be handled successfully. For example, a local author I’ve met wrote a history on an aspect of our town. Not a big enough audience for a traditional publisher, but he said he’s doing fine financially with it self-published. He sells it at local bookstores and the Farmer’s Market.

    21. 21 lringler September 22, 2009 at 6:06 pm

      Shoot. I did it again. The Fringlerfilms entry is mine. That’s what I get for grabbing a few computer minutes on the family computer – the son’s login associated with my comment.

    22. 22 Brianne A September 22, 2009 at 6:52 pm

      Right now my mind is completely opened to both options. I think that it would depend on the type of book that I wanted to publish. This is something that I know very little about, but would research in detail before making a final decision. As a beginning writer (without a book to publish), this is something that I haven’t put a great deal of thought into yet.

    23. 23 Kathy Bitely September 22, 2009 at 7:16 pm

      I have no problem with either self-publishing or finding a publisher. I would probably try finding one first but if that door is closed, I’m all about doing it myself. If I feel strong enough about my subject or story to complete a manuscript, I’m going to see it through! A traditional publisher sounds easier to get it to market but things are changing fast with internet help to lighten that burden. Both have advantages and disadvantages – ask me this again after I’ve had more experience!

    24. 24 karen k September 22, 2009 at 7:46 pm

      Self publishing isn’t something I’ve thought about. But, neither is traditional publishing. If I were close, I would not shut the door to either one. If I were close and really couldn’t get my book published traditionally, I would certainly consider self publishing. If I get to a point when I am ready for the world to read what I wrote, and I think the world is ready, and I’ve done my homework, my platform work, and put my hard working cap on, why not do it myself?

    25. 25 Mar Junge September 22, 2009 at 8:37 pm

      Self-publishing nonfiction specialty books is a great way for a business person to build credibility and increase sales. For that reason, I would definitely consider self-publishing. I would also consider self-publishing historical fiction if the book appealed to an identified market. And self-published books can also be good fundraising items, especially if they are self-help or slice-of-life books.

      As for self-publishing fiction, if you want to give your book to your family, friends and future generations, then go for it. It’s your money. But as for MAKING money, very few do. Then again, the odds of authoring a traditionally published bestseller are pretty slim.

      If in the future, when I think I have a marketable fiction manuscript, I’ll try the traditional route first. And if it never gets picked up, then I’ll self-publish so at least I have something to show for my labors. But I will never use getting published as an indication of my talent. To quote my writing teacher, “Some of the best fiction never gets published. Some of the worst does if it’s pitched to the right place at the right time with the right marketing.”

    26. 26 Kristin September 22, 2009 at 9:10 pm

      For some reason I am hesitant when it comes to self-publishing. I just don’t think I understand all that it entails. I also wonder if anyone would find my book if I self-published. When I get closer to publishing something I hope to closely examine both routes as I think that depending on the material to be published there may be a clear way to publish. I have purchased several e-books online and enjoyed them a lot. They are usually reasonably priced and immediately accessible. I feel that this method of publishing works well for how-to books.

      On the other hand, sometimes it is nice to hold a book in your hands and feel the crispness of the pages as they turn. I especially like the traditional method for a good fiction story. I think that both ways of publishing can be good and after a good deal of research I would feel comfortable publishing either way or both if the material deemed it. Hopefully, we shall see.

    27. 27 Mary September 22, 2009 at 9:56 pm

      I’m very new to this whole adventure but I think I would be open to both possibilities, with preference for a publishing house. I’m a little hesitant to self-publish, but I would not rule it out as a possibility if I couldn’t find a publisher. At this point in my career, I have so much to learn before I even need to make that decision!

    28. 28 Rene Eyerly September 22, 2009 at 10:12 pm

      I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot the last couple of days. I saw a class being offered by Stanford continuing education taught by two authors who started out self-published (actually audiobooks serialized as podcasts) and turned them into traditional book deals – very successful book deals. I think the market is changing and there is going to be more hybrid writing opportunities. I’m a lover of the bound book myself (aren’t we all) but I do see both the traditional and non-traditional means of publication as full of challenges and opportunities. It seems the choice will be more dependent on the type of work being published or the intended market for the work. I’m open to whatever works best for my pieces and my career.

    29. 29 Tonja September 23, 2009 at 9:31 am

      I think self-publishing is a wonderful outlet in the right scenario. I have to admit that when researching the process of publishing, it seems very daunting to go the traditional route. If you are even able to submit to a publisher without an agent, once you research them further, it turns out they are not accepting manuscripts for the rest of the year. Yikes! How is one supposed to get published with restrictions like that? It feels very tempting to go the route of self-publishing in that case. I, most likely, will only try the traditional route because I need feedback from others to have full confidence about my project. Forgive me for saying, but at this point in my writing journey, self-publishing almost feels like anyone can be an author as long as they are willing to fork out the money and the effort to pursue it. That doesn’t always make for good reading and to me cheapens the thrill of becoming published. I have considered self-publishing for a family memoir and children’s book that I am working on but that is mostly because I am not concerned about actually selling to the general public.

    1. 1 Day Twenty-two: And the winner is… « The Writer Mama Riffs Trackback on September 23, 2009 at 1:46 pm
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