Hello and my road to self publishing

First off, I want to say hello to my fellow publetariats. This is a good website and props to everyone who makes it happen.

In brief, my name is David Perez, and I’m a writer/editor/journalist and actor from New York. I now live in Taos, New Mexico with my wife Veronica Golos, whose second book of poetry, Vocabulary of Silence (Red Hen Press), is due out in Feb. 2011.

You can check out my profile, as well as my website (click here) for more information on my work. What I’d like to briefly share is my road to self-publishing. I recently completed my memoir, Wow! about growing up in the South Bronx in the 1960’s. I was fortunate to have some accomplished authors read my manuscript and provide solid critique. All I need to polish it off is getting it copyedited and proofed, and then finding a good book designer. My brother George, a famous comic book artist, is going to design and illustrate the front and back cover and will also sketch some chapter headings.

I decided early on not to go the agent route, as there a re plenty of good presses that accept queries, samples and even whole manuscripts without requiring an agent. One small press quickly agreed to publish my book (they read it in less than two weeks and sent me a contract!) and another noted midsized publisher also expressed interest. But after doing extensive and sometimes exhausting research on the state of publishing, coupled with the fact that I have to do 90 percent of the marketing anyway, I decided to publish it myself. Among other factors, I wanted full control of the artwork, book design, price, and the schedule of publication – not to mention the higher royalties. My aim is for Wow! to come out early next year.

Soon after my decision, a good friend of mine involved in the film business decided to expand into publishing and wants Wow! to launch the new 11B Press, which is still in business formation but should be up and running in the next few weeks. I received excellent royalty terms and retain control over content, pricing and timeline, with the added bonus of my friend’s many networking contacts.

With all these things in my favor, it made perfect sense to me to go the self-publishing route. I’ll continue to do research into marketing and distribution, as well as navigating the bewildering and often intimidating world of social networking and media. Sites like this one, with its invaluable readers’ comments, have been very helpful. It’s inspiring how so many folks take the time to share their experiences, often in great detail. Gracias!

The main decision I have to make with Wow! is whether to print through Lightning Source or Createspace, both of which have strong advocates. I’m leaning toward LSI because of problems some writers (probably a minority) reported with their covers being warped, or the glue binding coming undone. These reports were actually on a discussion forum within Createspace itself, which I found interesting and refreshing for its honesty. To be sure, there are plenty of writers who’ve had great experience with Createspeace, and their website, pricing martrix and forums are clear and friendly. Still, all signs point to LSI being the best, taking into account, of course, that you need to be a “publisher” who can meet their extensive requirements. But the payoff seems worth it, in my opinion.

Assuming I go with LSI, I’m unclear how to proceed with individuals who want to order the book. I know folks can always ask for it at a bookstore, or order it through Amazon. But I think I’ll make the most money, if 11B Press orders quantities in bulk and then ships the books themselves. This would mean. I think, opening a Paypal account with Shopping Cart options – or something similar What my friend and I are unsure about is: do we want to become a shipping warehouse, or is it better to just let Amazon be the store of choice?

However I proceed, it’s been an exciting journey getting this far. I’ll keep everyone posted.

 

 

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