"All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality -- the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape."
--Author Christopher Benson



Monday, November 1, 2010

Pump Your Book Tour - John L. Betcher -The 19th Element

I am thrilled to be the one to help John kick off his Pump Your Book Tour for his book The 19th Element!!  I had the privilege to read advanced copies of both The Missing Element and The 19th Element and truly loved them!! 

I called The 19th Element "scary good" and it is one of my favorite books of 2010!!  It is a riveting suspense filled thriller that everyone should read.  Click on the links above for my full reviews and John's previous guest post here at Dollycas's Thoughts.

I now welcome my friend John Betcher.  I am so glad to be your first stop of your Pump Your Book Tour!!!

Thanks, Lori, for inviting me to your blog for a guest post. I appreciate your generosity in sharing your blog with me.

To Self-Pub or Not to Self-Pub

As you know, because you have reviewed both of my books, I am a self-published author of the James Becker Suspense/Thriller Series -- The 19th Element and The Missing Element.

As a self-published author, one question I am asked frequently is: "Why did you decide to self-publish instead of getting an agent and going the traditional publishing route?"

It's a fair enough question. But for me, the answer is not so simple. And the decision of how to publish their own books may not be easy for your readers either.

So today I thought I would share my observations and opinions about self-publishing and publishing in general.

If it's okay with you, I'll just dive in.

Observations Each method of publication has its strengths and weaknesses. The following is certainly not an exhaustive list. But just by way of example, here are a few characteristics of each publishing route that usually apply:

Traditional Publishing: 
  • Established distribution channels. 
  • Established marketing and review channels (e.g. access to pre-release reviews in well-established industry pubs like Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, etc.)
  • Established access to brick and mortar book stores. 
  • Access to cost-effective printing formats such as mass market paperbacks. 
  • Established editorial, artistic and promotional staffs to support your book.
  • Front money to take advantage of all of the above.
  • Author advances, many of which will never earn out. 

  • Less direct author control over the publishing process (including design, content, print format, etc.).
  •  Lower commission percentage on unit sales.
  • Less control over pricing and web availability. 
  • Can be very difficult to obtain a traditional publisher, or even a literary agent to represent your book to one. 
  • Takes a longer time to publish via traditional route than via self- or indie-publication. 
Self- and Indie-Publishing:
  • Total artistic and design control of your book.
  • Fast publication time-line.
  • You can publish your book in eBook formats and sell anywhere on the web.
  • You set book prices. 
  • Higher commissions on unit sales.
  • No contracts or commitments.
  • Easy to change/correct content (especially if printed POD). 
  • No one to share the financial risk of publishing your book.
  • No one to help with design, layout, editing or marketing. (Either you learn how to do it yourself, or you hire these services.)
  • No established system for credible, independent book reviews.
  • Many barriers to getting your book into brick and mortar stores.
  • No established distribution pipelines.
  • Continuing stigma in many industry and reader minds over "vanity publishing." 
  • Very challenging to distinguish your book from the slush pile of less marketable self-publications. 
My Decision to Self-Publish

What about my own decision to self-publish?

Back in early 2009, I started out thinking that traditional publishing was the ONLY viable option. After all, I hadn't seen self-published books crowding bookstore shelves.

Since then -- in the space of a single year -- the publishing industry has changed dramatically. More book buyers are adopting eBook readers like Kindle or Nook. It's gotten easier to publish books in digital format. High quality Print on Demand (POD) printing services have become affordable and widely available. And the traditional publishing industry has plunged into a state of flux (if not disarray).

By the time my first book was ready for publication in spring of 2010, I had queried a number of literary agents to see if they would represent me -- without success. I could have continued down that road, seeking representation. But with changes in the publishing world coming one after the other, and the old publishing model becoming increasingly ineffective for new authors, I decided to self-publish. And I have never regretted the decision.

Please don't misunderstand. I'm not saying that self-publishing is right for every author. But it has certainly become a legitimate and practical option for many.

Those are my thoughts on Self-Publishing. I hope I have answered some of your readers' questions today.

Thanks again for having me, Lori. All the best! John

Thank you John for stopping by and giving us some insight on self publishing.  I wish you a very successful tour!!!

If you would like to order either or both of John's books I have added links below to purchase them from Amazon.com.  They are also available at BarnesandNoble.com. They are both available in Kindle or Nook versions in addition to paperback.  Your local bookstore should also be able to order them for you. I have given both these books my highest recommendation which equals *****5 stars.  I hope you will order them today. You will have them in time to enjoy over the weekend.


Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I need to get in on this tour. Hope i am not too late. I have Johns book to read soon and really enjoyed his writing the first time :)

John Betcher said...

Hi Lori. Just thought I'd drop by to say "Hi" and to thank you for sharing your blog with me. You are the BEST! I'll check back to see if there are any questions for me to answer.

And Sheila...there might be a date or two open in December. I would love to come visit you at Book Journey!

Jennifer Lane said...

Great blog, Dolly. Good luck with your book tour, John!

Nice list of pros and cons. I went with a small press publisher that's somewhere in between these options. I think it's wise to educate oneself about the best options before publishing.

John Betcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Betcher said...

Thanks for the luck, Jennifer. Can never have too much of the "good" variety! Cheers!