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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Lawrence Block on self-publishing

   
Author Topic: Lawrence Block on self-publishing
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Years ago I subscribed to WRITER'S DIGEST, and my favorite part was Lawrence Block's column.

Now I find that he has a blog, and on his latest post, he has some very interesting things to say.

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History
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Stunning words, actually.
Then again, he is Lawrence Block.

Dean Wesley Smith similarly emphasized the benefits of epublishing one's backlist, even insisting having "quantity" is important. No one wishes to visit it a store with only an apple or two on the shelves.

The difference is both Mr. Block and Mr. Smith have established audiences from their years in traditional publishing, and both have made a successful transition to social media to promote their work (and themselves).

New authors striving to reach an audience have a far greater challenge, I believe. Perhaps some of our Hatrackers who've epublished could share how well they have done in reaching an audience (i.e. how many downloads).

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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Robert Nowall
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Man, that publishing route is looking more and more appealing to me...but, one thing I'd like out of going the traditional route of submitting one's stories to an editor is the validation I'd receive when a story is accepted and published. (At this point, it's sure not about the money.)

(I'm a little down right now 'cause the two stories I had out at market just came back with form rejections---on the same day, too.)

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Owasm
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Great blog.

My experience is a little perplexing. My first ebook was a sword and sorcery anthology. I sold 400 units until I got a bad review and then... sales fell off to a trickle.

I've since published three more novels. (I withdrew one of them since I'm changing the title and a few character elements). I've sold a few of those along with my anthology. A trickle, still. None of those are series and I think that even with a price point in the cellar (99 cents), series just do better.

I think part of the problem is getting your novel to come up soon enough in a search. (I'm talking Kindle books) If it doesn't, then your book never comes up for browsers. Success begets success and if you're mired in the bottom, you've got issues.

However books don't spoil. If you like what you've written keep writing to develop a fan base. Once you get something that stirs the market a bit, then the sales of your other books will pick up and you're going again.

I've got two more novels that will be published in the next six weeks. One of them, my latest, I have some high hopes and I'll write the next in the series this summer.

It takes a degree of persistence and belief in your work. Having your work published is miles and miles ahead of collecting 50 or so rejections from agents.

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EVOC
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I am still trying "traditional" publishing for my short stories. But I will either Self Publish or use a small press for my novel that will be released later this year.

I don't know if that will work for building an audience, but I would imagine getting a few fans from my short story audience in the "traditional" way can't hurt my ebook sales.

Getting it reviewed on a few book review blogs would help too. I guess I will see how my self publishing goes when I do it. But for my short stories I'll stick with traditional markets.

Duotrope has over 4,000 listed so there has to be a market for just about anything I have written. LOL

But, I have to agree with Dr. Bob. It is easy to talk about how great Self Publishing is and all when you are an established author with a loyal audience.

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