Friday, November 04, 2011

Self publishing and International Publishing

Once again I am appealing to the vast experiences of my fellow MFAers.

I am interested in gathering more information on self publishing. Does anyone have any experiences (good, bad or ugly) they are willing to share? Websites to visit? Contacts to make? I'm seriously considering right now and would like to make an informed decision.

Also does anyone have any experience with international publishing houses (espeically Italian)?

Feel free to post here or email me at

Thanks to all!


Jane K. Cleland said...

One question I would ask is why you're considering self-publishing. Have you determined that there's too small a market, for instance, to attract an agent and traditional publisher? Have you determined the subject matter isn't a good fit for small presses, those you might be able to approach without an agent?

Another question I would ask would be about your goals. On the one hand, self-publishing comes with many challenges, from getting the book reviewed to getting it stocked in bookstores. On the other hand, if you want to be able to sell the book yourself or have access to distribution channels (i.e., Italian American organizations), the challenges may not be relevant to you.

I do know the line between traditional and non-traditional publishing seems to be blurring, perhaps because of the explosion of e-publishing and the advent of new, lower-cost print-on-demand options. Two of Amazon's imprints, for example, are now on the Mystery Writers of America's approved publisher list, an important stamp of approval.

Good luck with the book, Claudine, whatever you decide.

Gwen Jones said...

Jane makes some excellent points, which I whole-heartedly agree with. Not to scare you, but sometimes it takes years to get a book published by a major house, but once you do, the benefits are enormous. Don't be discouraged; it'll happen, but you have to work at it. And even though Amazon does have its own imprints now, they still take only agented submissions. Keep working on it, and don't discount university presses or smaller houses. Two to look into might be Plexus Publishing which is out of Medford, NJ, and Rutgers University Press, which both specialize in NJ-based writers and titles.

ACW said...

I go by the hybrid approach. I think if you want to establish a career as a published author you need to go after established houses (and they also help with getting the word out, which isn't as easy as it may seem)but I think there are those projects that make sense self-published. But you have to do it right. Claudine, not sure if you are a Friend on Facebook of Press Pause Moments but I try to share links to some good articles about tos, industry discussions, to self or not self, etc. I get my content from well-respected, established industry folk I know from their FB and blog posts. I find this is the easiest way to cull out what is legit info and what isn't. Feel free to become a friend if you aren't. A

Jane K. Cleland said...

This Wall Street Journal article addresses many of your questions, Claudine, recommendations included.