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Here's an interesting article in the CreativIndie:


"How to self-publish a book

Let’s say your book isn’t commercially viable: which means, it won’t earn enough for an agent or publisher to invest in. You can either continue writing and pitching until you have a great enough book that somebody wants to publish, or you can self-publish.


First, a warning: if you self-publish, it may be harder to traditionally publish later.


Publishers, like art galleries, want a clean slate – a biography they can work with. No history is sometimes better than an embarrassing showing. If you self publish and all your books are poorly produced and sell no copies, the next time you try to pitch a book, the agent or publisher is immediately going to Google you and see all these failed projects, with a few reviews and abysmal sales rank. That’s an indication that you don’t know how to market your books. It might have been better to wait until you get traditionally published.


However, publishers will often take on successful self-published authors, if they’ve sold between 5,000 and 10,000 books. A lot of publishers also watch to see what’s selling on Amazon, and make an offer so they can capitalize on your success.


SO, if you are going to self-publish, you should do everything you can to do it well. Set a goal of 5,000 copies, and treat your writing and publishing like a business.

That means, stop asking for help and support. Stop desperate, useless marketing tactics like spamming Facebook or blasting Twitter.


To sell 5,000 copies, you need to reach about 50,000 readers in your target genre or topic, get their attention with amazing content, and then convince them they need to read your book. You can do this with:


Blurbs or testimonials

An amazing summary or description

An amazing book cover or graphics


As for the production of your book, you’re going to need to learn formatting or cover design – which are unique skills that often take years to master – or you can pay someone to do it for you.


You will probably also need an editor to make your book good enough to be that successful. A line editor will fix your writing; a proofreading will correct your errors and typos… but before that you really need a masterful manuscript review to fix your story and organization. Story trumps everything. The little things and the writing are important too, but the difference between a mediocre book and one that sells 5,000+ copies is story (personally I get bored of beautifully written books that don’t go anywhere, whereas I’ll read a badly written book with an amazing, gripping story).


So first: study story and organization and plot. Then edit and rewrite and edit some more, then get as much professional help as you can afford (if you can’t afford any help, find beta readers who will read and give feedback)."

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I know what follows is going to look snarky.  It isn't intended to be that.  But, I felt the need to put into perspective what's being presented here, as well as the source.


So, I looked up CreativIndie.  The website is connected to Derek Murphy.  Derek Murphy has a fairly big presence on YouTube doing "how to" videos on...




He is a self-published author.  I guess he's been successful enough to start up his own publishing company, called Urban Epics.  The books they publish are essentially Fantasy Romance novels.  From what I can tell, his publishing company primarily publishes him, and one other writer.  But, the majority of the books I've found that were published by Urban Epics were authored by Derek Murphy, or his pseudonym Drake Mason.


I also suspect that he's one of those paid writing consultant types.


Derek's bio on Amazon is:

Derek Murphy lives in castles and writes YA dark fantasy and science fiction. He wrote his MA Thesis on Harry Potter and his PhD dissertation on Paradise Lost, and believes that 'words are our most inexhaustible source of magic.' When not dreaming up epic tales with dragons, aliens, vampires, mermaids and fallen angels - either hunting or falling in love with each other - he prefers to be sipping espresso and half buried in a pile of books.


I'm not trying to be snarky or envious, but I've seen his YouTube videos.  Some of them have interesting information - he definitely knows how to market, I'll give him that.  But a lot of it is empty fluff that I can get from just about anyone on YouTube.  He also sells a book called Guerrilla Publishing, which is a how-to guide for self-publishing.  One of his articles is called: How to write & publish a bestselling book without spending any money.  A short article that provides absolutely no information aside from pushing a book he wrote called, How To Write & Publish A Book On A Budget.  I'm going to go out on a limb and say this is another self-publishing self-help guide.


His books look pretty much the same.  Put an elegantly-dressed, beautiful women over top some glowing backdrop, and BAM!  Successful cover.  I think I even know the artist he uses, because they're freelance, and their demos look surprisingly similar.


So, I'm getting traditional publishing advice from a guy who has never traditionally published, meaning Derek Murphy.  Or, at the very least, I'm getting warned away from self-publishing by a self-publishing guru.  Either way, I'm not buying it.


And if I'm in the wrong here, please someone tell me.  I don't think I am, however.


I'm not knocking the guy.  He's found his niche, and it appears he's successful.  Kudos to him.  But his "amazing content," isn't for everyone.  Frankly speaking, I'd rather eat undercooked liver and onions than read one of those books from beginning to end.  At least the pain of it would be over quicker.


(Ok, I'm being hyperbolic here.  I'd rather east boiled Brussel Sprouts.)


But, if aliens, mermaids, vampires, fallen angels, and vampiric mermaid-aliens is what I need to write to get published, I'm out.



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10 hours ago, Jeff Potts said:

And if I'm in the wrong here, please someone tell me.  I don't think I am, however.


Yes-- he's actually promoting the benefits, in this article at least, of self-publishing over traditional publishing.  And besides, he's just one point of view.

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On 12/13/2020 at 1:05 PM, suspensewriter said:

SO, if you are going to self-publish, you should do everything you can to do it well. Set a goal of 5,000 copies, and treat your writing and publishing like a business.


I'm not quite ready to market anything, but I have been researching what to do when it's time. Here are the resources I'm looking at right now (all written by friends I've met in person).

Tim Grahl's Launch A Bestseller

Pages & Platforms - Sue Campbell (book launch coach), Anne Hawley & Rachelle Ramirez (Story Grid Certified Editors)

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