Thursday, March 10, 2011

Standing On The Right Track ... by DL Larson

I received two rejections this week. Both via e-mail. The writing styles were quite different, but the message was simple and direct; my story was not a good fit for their needs. I've been receiving similar responses for awhile now. I'm thick skinned enough to know my books will not be a good fit for every publisher, but I also know I have good stories to share and I will keep trying.

Publishing through a traditional house may not be the best solution right now. I have investigated the many and varied ways to self-publish, yet I hesitate and don't know why. I feel as if I'm standing on the high dive and wondering how much it will hurt when I jump. I don't know if the pain I fear is physical, emotional or financial. So, I'm asking for your advice.

1. How did you decide self-publishing would work for you?
2. What were you looking for in self-publishing?
3. What did you give up or gain by self-publishing?
4. Are you glad you self-published?
5. What do you know now and wish you knew before you self-published?

I'm sure any advice you wish to share with us at Acme Authors will benefit many writers wondering similar thoughts. I keep thinking of the old adage, "even if you are standing on the right track you'll be run over if you aren't moving."

For me, it's time to make a move!

Til next time ~

DL Larson


Morgan Mandel said...

The older I get, the more I feel my time is more valuable than to wait around for big ifs that may not happen. I self-published Killer Career. What I will do differently with Forever Young-Blessing or curse is I'll put it on kindle and Create Space.I'll get a professional to do the cover as well. Also, I won't worry about allowing returns just so I can get bookstore signings, since I'll do book signings at other venues and promote online.

Morgan Mandel

Deb Larson said...

Great advice, Morgan! Thanks for sharing ~
DL Larson

Helen Ginger said...

I'm not self-pubbed, so I can't give you advice. I love Morgan's though.

I think we hope to get an agent and a publisher because then we don't have to do it by ourselves. To me, self-pubbing is soooo intimidating. And, yes, I know and blog about the process. It's still intimidating. (And by "we" I mean "me.")

Deb Larson said...

I feel the same about it being intimidating. I hope as I progress through this process I'll gain some confidence.
Thanks for sharing your views!
DL Larson

Fiona L. Woods said...

Like you I have been investigating self-publishing (indie pubbing as most/some like to call it). Like you, I've spent quite a bit of time deciding if I wanted to try it. I've decided to go ahead and give it try.

I'm putting together a collection of my short stories (some already published and the rest new) to try out the new medium. I'm about three months away from having the new stories completed.

I've studied the price points and plan to set it at $.99. I'm planning this pricing to 1)see if impulse buying will work and 2)get a following.

I'm planning on pubbing to Kindle, Smashwords, Kobo and Nook for the ebooks. I'll use Createspace for the paper editions.

The way I look at it, there's really nothing to lose.

Anybody have any experience with the actual publishing and sales part of the equation here?


David DeLee said...


I decided to try self-publishing because I enjoy writing short stories and for crime fiction there just aren't that many pro-markets for them. The second reason was marketing, establishing a brand name and platform. I'm not a blogger, so I figure what better way to market my books and myself than having short stories available for people to try. I've only just stated, with just five stories up, but I'm pleased.

David DeLee said...


I have a similar plan but am going about it a little differently.

I currently have five short stories available (soon to be six)and I sell them individually at .99, all digitally. I plan then to put them in a collection (probably a 5 pack)which I will sell both electronically and in print. The electronic version I will price at $2.99, the print I don't know yet.

My reasoning, if someone wants to sample me thy can buy one story for .99. No great investment in time or dollars. If they like what they read and want more, or to have the stories in print they can buy it (them) at $2.99 or a reasonable print price point. And at $2.99 digitally I get 70% back on my work not .35%.

Just my way, but I do have a problem with the current tend of full size novels and whatnot being sold so low. Yes, I know a lot of authors are doing it and doing well at it, but I thing the de-valuation of such pricing in the long term hurts us as writers who work hard at creating their craft.

Fiona L. Woods said...


How long are each of your stories?

The stories I'm planning to put into the collection are flash fiction, ranging in length from 50 words to 2,500 words. (Total for the collection is 10,000 words.) That's why I'm doing them as a collection. I don't think readers would be willing to pay for my individual stories in this series because they are so short.

I do have some other longer shorts that I plan to put up for individual sales later. These average 5,000 to 7,000 words each.

I have three novels that will go up after that.

I'm hoping to build a reader base by starting with the short collection, go to the individual short stories, then the novels. Six to eight months is my time frame.

I chose $.99 for the short story collection (and the individual stories)because that seems to be the price point for an impulse buy. Also, Amazon/Kindle Store has the value buy advertising for the 99 centers.

I agree that's not the price I want for a novel. Sorry if I was unclear earlier about what and why I planned to do $.99 for a story collection. I was trying to be short and not take up to much space!

Thanks for your input. It gives me something to consider.


David DeLee said...

Mine are between 5000 and 8000 words each, with one I put up at 600 words. Sounds like you've got a good plan and pricing strategy in mind. Makes sense on the flash fiction. Watching this, boy is the pricing all over the boards at the moment, with all kinds of theories about what is the right price and what isn't.

Sounds like you're on the right track. Good luck.

David DeLee

Deb Larson said...

Wow! Thanks for all the feedback. This is exactly what we writers need to think about before we step into the selling business!
My head is swimming with ideas.
DL Larson