Posts Tagged ‘Lulu’

This is probably going to upset a few people, but I don’t see the difference between vanity presses and self-publishing.

With both types of printing, the author is footing the bill to publish their own work. In traditional publishing, the press covers the costs in hopes that they will recoup their money through sales. With both self-publishing and vanity publishing, the author is responsible for marketing and sales and often has trouble getting their books into bookstores (though this problem is increasingly solvable).

With self-publishing and vanity publishing, the author is also responsible for edits. They can pay their printer (like Lulu or Createspace) for the editing service, but again that money is coming out of the author’s pocket. In traditional publishing, the book is edited by the employees (or freelancers) paid by the press.

The exact same is true for book design. You can pay for someone to design the book cover and interior, but the quality is often much lower than if a traditional press took the project.

There are several other differences, but my point is this: try traditional publishing first. There are tons of small presses out there, and if your writing is good, one of them will want your work. Otherwise, you are publishing your own work and let’s face it – that’s pretty much vanity publishing. And I, for one, still assume that a self-published work is going to be of lesser quality than a traditionally published work since usually the editing, design, and marketing will all be done by a less experienced individual.


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For my Book Marketing class this term, I’ve decided to create a book trailer. I’m one of those people who always wants to be at the movies early so I won’t possibly miss any of the trailers, because I really like trailers and I am often impressed by how they are cut and manipulated from the movie footage to show just enough of the story to be intriguing.

My trailer will be for the YA book The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley. This is one of my top five favorite books, and definitely my favorite McKinley book, though Spindle’s End and Beauty are also amazing (especially if you, like me, enjoy the retelling of fairy tales).

So I wanted to get an idea about how to do a book trailer. I looked at several, including The Graveyard Book , The Hunger Games, and The Lightning Thief.

From what I can tell, the best book trailers do the following:

1) Don’t usually show real people. I’m guessing that this is to distinguish the book trailer from movie trailers, to not hinder people’s imaginations, and to make production costs less.

2) Flash the cover of the books repeatedly. This is to make sure that people will remember the cover and buy it when they see online or in stores.

3) Offer much more text to read than movie trailers. Sometimes this text is also narrated, but sometimes there is just epic music.

I even found this site, which will probably help me: How to Create the BEST Book Trailer EVER.

Now, I will start storyboarding. Wish me luck!

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There’s been a lot of discussion about whether self-publishing is better or worse than publishing through more traditional channels. So I thought it was interesting that prominent author John Edgar Wideman has decided to self-publish his new book Briefs: Stories for the Palm of theMind with Lulu.

Wideman has won several awards, and was a National Book Award finalist. Currently, Briefs is only available through Lulu, but will be released with an ISBN in a few weeks. When asked why he self-published, he answered, “Why not?” Which is a really great answer coming from an author who is already established and tenured.

But what about the people who haven’t been published before? What incentives does self-publishing offer? Not many right now, honestly, but perhaps if other big name authors decide to self-publish there will be less of a stigma about self-published books being the works only of authors who couldn’t find a “real” publisher. It would be great if that was the result of Wideman’s break from the norm.

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