Publishing today is a confusing mess of issues. Am I doomed to slave wages as a mid-list author? Worse, will I end up losing money? Does the ‘vanity press’ stigma still exist? If so, does it exist for the reader, or just the publishers? If you’re publishing indie, are you stuck with e-books? If not, what kind of solutions out there? Which ones are ripoffs? How can you get listed with libraries? How can I get my stories out to people who have a book fetish?
It’s an issue that requires a lot of research, and the answers usually lead to more questions (What are my price points? Whose service is really the best deal? What you do you mean ‘it depends’?)
April Hamilton has a great piece up on her blog Indie Author that answers at least some of these questions while comparing venerable Lulu.com to Amazon’s CreateSpace Lulu vs. CreateSpace: Which Is More Economical For The DIY Author?
A quick excerpt:
One advantage of listing your books through Bowkers and Nielsen, whether you do it yourself or let Lulu do it for you, is that doing so makes your books available for order through any retailer, bookstore or library. Personally, I don’t feel indie books receive enough bookstore or library orders to make this worthwhile, but if your motivation is to make your book available to be listed on Amazon.ca, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble online and even Borders online, it’s probably worth the expense.
As you can see, it’s not all about the price comparisons of the two services, but also a good explanation of what needs to be done to make your POD product function as a proper book in the main venues. April has some great free ebooks on her site that explain the whole process involved in creating your own book, starting with writing the damn thing and taking through through the whole indie publication process, so this doesn’t surprise me.