Exploring Your Publishing Options

Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

Before we get to our topic today, I want to give you a status update, because this weekend brought me great satisfaction.

First, I received Exiled from my editor after her first run through of edits. We’ve added some things, changed some things, and now there is only a final proof read to do on her part and Exiled will be officially ready for publication.

Second, I finished the first draft of Shift, the second book in the series. This in itself is amazing, and in ten weeks no less!

Exiled took me six months to write, and Shift only ten weeks? How can this be you ask? I owe it all to the outline. With Exiled I just sat down and wrote, day after day until it was finished, but as new idea’s came up, I had to go back and re-write scenes to accommodate these ideas. With Shift I did a scene by scene outline and that made the process – as you can see – so much faster.

Only one thing slowed me down using the outline for Shift, and that was myself. At the beginning of the book I struggled  trying to force the book to follow it religiously, but once I started using it only as a guide and I let the story tell itself, things moved along great.

Now on to the topic of exploring your publishing options. Originally I had planned to e-publish, and e-publish only. I didn’t want to deal with P.O.D. companies. I’d heard too many horror stories about vanity press and whatnot, I wanted nothing to do with that. The e-market would be the only market I’d cater too. Then I started thinking.

I know at some point in my life, I want to make a living as a writer. Sure, I do this now because I enjoy it, but long term I’m looking at a career. I want to create great books, and a brand people recognize, how I can I do this by only appealing to one market? The answer is: I can’t. So my journey to publication has added another fork in the road.

I’ve been exploring my options as far as P.O.D. companies and I’m torn between Create Space (CS), and Lightning Source (LS). LS was only brought to my attention yesterday, so I spent the evening and most of this morning learning about it. I’d already invested a little time in CS and was set on them. It seemed like the way to go. Now I’m not so sure.

CS vs. LS is a tough comparison. From what I’ve learned so far, CS is easier to use for the average Joe, where as LS goes a little more in depth as far as fire preparation.

There is the question of set up fee. LS charges around $75 (from what I’ve found so far), and you need to buy your ISBN if you haven’t already. Then if your file is incorrectly formatted, it costs money each time you upload the newly corrected file. If you don’t know what your doing (which I don’t) this could add up quickly. LS offers little to no hand holding so if you don’t know what your doing, this could be frustrating. Also, you need to have a publishing company with LS, they won’t work with you just under your author name. I’ve also learned it’s very simple to set this up, but another step none-the-less. The advantage to LS is they have a HUGE distribution channel that includes Amazon. If you want to reach the biggest market possible, this seems the logical way to go.

CS doesn’t charge a set-up fee except the $39 if you decide to go with the Pro Plan. Plus, it doesn’t cost money if you make mistakes throughout the process. However, I’ve been told getting your file approved for publication can be daunting, and most times they won’t tell you exactly what needs to be corrected, they simply reject it. Also on the downside, CS only distributes through Amazon, unless you upgrade you membership as I said above, then they can reach similar channels as LS.

Now keep in mind this is just what I’ve read so far, I’m just scratching the surface of the two companies to try and make my decision. This post is more or less to tell you what I know and reach out to you. I’d love to hear what you think, or what your experiences are. I want to make the best decision for me obviously, so how better to make an educated decision than to gather as much information as possible?

Reading other peoples experiences, the quality is similar, although I’ve read more often than not, that CS does deliver a better quality product. It’s fair to say however, all the LS users were completely satisfied with their finished product as well.

You tell me: Which services have you used and what do you prefer? I ‘d like to know how you found the process with both and what you recommend. And if you haven’t used either , but you’re looking into them, share your thoughts anyways!

It seems to me that LS is the way to go, but is the process really as difficult as I’ve been led to believe? After all, I don’t want to jump into it uneducated and pay a small fortune in making corrections!

    2 Comments

  1. Hi Mat!

    I found it interesting that you say CS's quality is better than LSI. I have heard the opposite. LSI is a lot more careful with placing their glue and and the quality is better as well. You also have more options as far as the paper too, and the finish on the cover. You can also do hardcover if you get the audience for it.

    I like to see what you find out though. I haven't really put out any feelers to the questions I have about the the two. I have just been digging myself. The real questions will come when I start the process. And Oh! I think LSI gives you an account rep, so when you have a question that you have searched and searched the solution for, but have come up blank, you do have someone you can go to. But this person should be a last resort.

    Look forward to your info about the 2!

    Angeline Kace

  2. I'd just read a few different comments on other blogs comparing the two, and a few people said it was the paper that made the quality difference. CS supposedly was a nice weight, and thicker, but if LS gives you the option of paper choice, that makes all the difference. I did read about the hardcover option and I think that is awesome, even if just for a personal copy.

    I like the idea of an account rep. Someone you can talk directly with is great, but if it's consistently the same person you speak with, even better.

    Consider me intrigued. I'm going to have to do a lot of research to make a decision.

    The general concensus I've gotten is that CS is easier to start with to get your feet wet, but LS is more advantagous to hit a larger audience if you can handle the advanced file prepping needs, but I'm a strong believe that if you're going to do it, do it right the first time!

    Thanks for your thoughs Angelina.

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