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Why did you go with PublishAmerica, AuthorHouse, Xlibris, or another publisher that you had to pay? Did you try other methods first? A traditional publisher, a small press, etc. Tell us what motivated you to use one of these often-talked about publishers!

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I went with BookSurge and I'm really happy. They did a terrific cover. I love it. I didn't need editing because I'm a retired university professor with plenty of writing experience. My first fiction book BUFFALOED was turned down by agents and a couple of independent publishers. The publishers said I'd have to edit out all the profanity to reach their markets. Gosh, the book is historical, about the famous Cowboy Artist, Charlie Russell, one of the most vulgar mouthed characters that ever walked Montana. I just couldn't do it. Charlie had to be Charlie.

My second reason for going to BookSurge. I understand the publication process takes two years with traditional publishers. Like Joel, I'm just too old to wait that long. BookSurge took about 4 months. They are giving me great support.
I went with iUniverse four years ago because they seemed to be the best connected interms of distribution and their connection with B&N. Yes, they charge for their service.

As I look for prospective publishers for another novel, I won't go back to iUniverse. That's not because of any problem with them, but more so because POD publishing in general doesn't seem viable to me at this point. Of course, writing fiction is a long shot anyway, but self-publishing seems to doom the project from the start.

Why take a potentially good novel, I wonder, and set up the publishing process so that no book store will take it, no mainstream reviewer will consider it, and no newspaper or magazine will cover the book or the author in an off-book-page article or interview? Yes, I'm glad I went with iUniverse and now have my novel "out there."

But too much work is involved writing a book to throw it out there into the deluge of self-published novels and expect anyone to ever find it or to write off the lack of sales by saying the satisfaction of doing it trumps the problem of low sales. Writing for me is a career choice, not a hobby choice.

Self-publishing, especially in fiction and especially by those with no name recognition seems--for me--to be a very poor choice of options.
Since completing my first fiction work and have had it "published" using Xlibris I'm quickly learning that it is so much easier to write than to sell.
Nobody wants to seriously talk to an unknown author about a book no one has heard of.
I went with self publishing for my first book after receiving a stack of rejection letters from traditional publishing houses. The only way, it seemed to me, was to self-publish. How could I possibly sell the book if I couldn't get it in print.
Now that I have it in print I'm finding it to be a full time job promoting it and trying to get it in bookstores.
I am fortunate in that I was a very popular on-air radio personality as 'Digital Dan', the only DJ in the world who uses a voice synthesizer to speak on a FM radio station, KHUM-FM, where I did two specialty classic rock shows for eleven years. The station is doing an interview with me about the book. The station also streams live to the internet so the interview will go world wide.
I'm hoping this will generate some 'buzz' giving me a little more with which to promote the book.
I suppose I'm using this first book to learn the ropes.
I had better learn them as I'm 70K words into the next book in the series.
I agree, Daniel, Self publishing whether through your own imprint or an author publishing company like Xlibris, Lulu or iUniverse seems better served with non-fiction and a writer who has the channels to market and promote their subject.

I didn't. And my advice is to use them as the last resort.
I used BookSurge. I think it is great. Why?
1. Small presses objected because my 1904 Western novel used profanity. I couldn't change it. It was essential to the characterization.
2. I'm 79 years old. Traditional publishers take two years to get it done and to market. I'm not sure I have that much time.

I have a second book well underway. I'll use BookSurge again and not waste time this go around with traditional.

Fairlee Winfield, Author of BUFFALOed
Lulu because I was a novice on how to put together a book. Covers, interiors, etc. Of course, I didn't have to pay them like with PA or the others. It's pretty much DIY.

Now that I've done a couple, I'm striking out on my own and going directly to Lightning Source for printing and Create Space to supply

The hardest part is getting the print-ready cover and interior. Lulu provides good tools to build these, including customizing covers and such. However, I have to either buy Adobe Acrobat Pro (maybe standard) to create the PDFs or get a service. Yes, I can create a PDF, but not distilled. Also, Word sucks for changing headers and footers midstream. I've yet to be able to keep those straight without having the front matter in one file and the text in another.

I had similar difficulties using MS Word. I think you can make it work, but you really have to be pretty proficient using this application with Lulu.

Mick Rooney

If nothing else, I'm stubborn. I have resolved the Word problems for headers and footers. My two books I'm prepping both now reside in a single Word file.

CreateSpace has added the ability to upload a Word file, and they'll distill it for you. I tried one time, and the formatting was skewed all over. Not ready for prime time I think.

Any relation? I'm sure you're asked all the time.

I initially started self publishing with my own publishing imprint. For my last two books, Academy, and Filigree & Shadow, I used

This allowed me full input into the external and internal layouts and while using Lulu's online widgets, it is well worth the experience for anyone considering self publishing. The two minuses against Lulu, though, the overall retail price and the shipping charges. I've blogged about my experiences on my blogsite below as well as recording my research on the self publishing industry.

Mick Rooney
I am currently working with and will be glad to keep people posted on my progress. I am a first time publisher for a children's book and based on what I have read online, first timers are better off being self-published.
Would like to compre progress and exchange notes.

Ralph L. McNeal, Sr.
Author: Sleeper Cell


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