Fork in the Road: Publishing Woes

I’ve reached a fork in the road.

It’s a decision long time in the making. Despite my busy schedule, one thing hasn’t wavered: my goal to self-publish this year. My aim is to self-publish my story “Before the Legend” in summer 2013. In the meantime, I’ve been working on my latest story, Chasing Blue with the latest chapter Speechless now out in Wattpad and Fictionpress. However I know I will need to devote more time to Before the Legend to get it polished and ready to be published. This is why the current chapter of Chasing Blue I’m working on will be the last before I take a brief break from that story. I realized that the road to self publishing won’t be easy. There’s a lot of decisions that still need to be made: where to self-publish, pricing, marketing, etc. A lot of these are decisions that will greatly impact the success (or failure) of the book and are matters I’m still weighing out.

One of the big decisions I have to weigh is where to publish my story through. When I asked the question in a forum post about what is the best self-publishing site out there, I received several different sites. This includes big sites such as Amazon/Createspace, Smashwords, Lulu, Booktango, Barnes and Noble, just to name a few. Each site has their strong points as well as there disadvantages, making it challenging to find one site that will suit all of my following expectations….

  1. Allow me to publish my story in both e-book and print format. E-books are increasingly becoming popular in the digital age and are popular amongst the younger generation. At the same time print is still in and to increase sales I need my book to take advantage of both options to maximize readership. Lulu and Createspace (which is through Amazon) allows the option for print format.
  2. I want to be able to set my own price for my story. Setting the right price particularly for an e-book can be tricky. You don’t want to scare away potential readers with a high price but at the same time you don’t want to underprice your book. According to one blog article $.99 is still a popular price to sale book. However you may be surprised that in that same blog from Smashwords that books priced are $3.99 actually receive higher earnings! Click on the link to find out which price to avoid!
  3. The third expectation is related to pricing because I want to be able to have temporary promotions to lure potential readers. Who doesn’t like free stuff?
  4. I want it distributed as widely as possible. Sites such as Booktango promise to submit your book to a considerable number of retailers including Amazon which is the real make or break for any new story. Booktango is a legit site although I’ve heard mixed reviews about it. In my persona opinion if you choose the free option you can’t go wrong.

My question to those who may be reading: Have you or someone you know have used the following self-publishing sites and what was the experience using it? Pros? Cons? I want to hear it all.

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