69 votes

Is there a way I can print a book only for myself?

'Publish' is a word with specific meaning and from the context of your question I can tell you're not looking to publish. You're looking to have your work printed. That can be done quite easily, if ...
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58 votes

Is it true that good novels will automatically sell themselves on Amazon (and so on) and there is no need for one to waste time promoting?

It is most likely anecdotal evidence. There are always breakout successes where this worked - people published their story somewhere and it got big. 50 Shades of Grey comes to mind, which came out of ...
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  • 2,832
47 votes
Accepted

Should I self-publish my novella on Amazon or try my luck getting publishers?

Unfortunately, the word count of your work means that traditional publishers will not be interested. Even well-established authors like Stephen King publish their novella-length work only as part of ...
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41 votes

How to prevent ebook piracy from stealing your livelihood?

Is there a practical, effective way to prevent this IP theft? Yes. As someone who has pirated countless books, I might give you some insight into my frame of mind. There's a very simple way you can ...
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32 votes

Is there a way I can print a book only for myself?

Yes, this is relatively easy to do these days through Print On Demand services. One that I've personally used in the past is Lulu.com. Their user interface is easy, and their POD books are of ...
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31 votes

Is it true that good novels will automatically sell themselves on Amazon (and so on) and there is no need for one to waste time promoting?

TL;DR: No I'm not really versed in the world of writing, but I do know things about software engineering and delivering content. If you are just writing for fun and the royalties are a bonus, you ...
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28 votes

Should I self-publish my novella on Amazon or try my luck getting publishers?

I will disagree with the advice you received. The vast majority of self-published fiction earns nothing, or at best some friend and family sympathy purchases. The case is even worse for un-marketed ...
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  • 93.3k
23 votes

Is there a way I can print a book only for myself?

Just to offer an old-school solution, you could always print and bind it yourself! Yeah, there's lots of services which can print on demand these days, but when I printed a book for a friend, they ...
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  • 1,452
19 votes
Accepted

Is there a way to know who bought my books on Amazon?

There is no way to track who buys your books on Amazon. In your books, give readers a way to connect with you. Links to your book/author/publisher web site. Link to a mailing list. Links to your ...
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19 votes

Is it true that good novels will automatically sell themselves on Amazon (and so on) and there is no need for one to waste time promoting?

To be honest, I think what he says is fairly ignorant. He has a big audience already, mainly due to putting in a LOT of effort and dedication for years to grow his online image and brand. When you've ...
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  • 191
18 votes

How to prevent ebook piracy from stealing your livelihood?

There is probably no stopping of file sharing in the modern world. But there is a chance we can make it cool to be backer and investor, sponsor and patron. Patreon, flattr, kickstarter, indiegogo ...
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18 votes
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What matters more when it comes to book covers? Is it ‘professional quality’ or relevancy?

It depends. Using Amazon's book store as an example: If your book is in an Amazon category that has very few books and the reader finds a poorly-done homemade cover that speaks to what they are ...
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  • 9,883
16 votes
Accepted

Would there be any problems with choosing a pseudonym of another ethnicity and sex?

Using a deliberately deceptive pen name is essentially a marker of fake authenticity. It can lead to success, but also criticism on the grounds of cultural appropriation. I would personally ...
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15 votes

How to express copyright when you use a pen name

The form for filing copyright has fields for both "Author" (the person whose name is on the work) and "Copyright Claimant" (the person who is claiming the copyright). Under Author, ...
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  • 336
15 votes

How much web presence should I have?

You need a website As a fiction author you should buy a web domain (URL) as close to your nom de plume as possible. Include contact info, and a professional bio. If you want a blog or some personal ...
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  • 24.8k
14 votes
Accepted

If I get a free ISBN through Amazon's CreateSpace now, will that impact any decisions about getting my own ISBN later?

CreateSpace ISBNs are real, legitimate ISBNs. You can use them to distribute your book anywhere in the world. The key limitation is this: If your book has a CreateSpace ISBN, you must buy your copies ...
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14 votes

Are tables of contents mandatory in novels?

I've seen many novels with a table of contents, and many without. Whether it matters depends more on how you want to structure things, than on any actual rule. I've also seen novels with no actual ...
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  • 4,616
13 votes

Is CreateSpace 100% free for self-publishing?

I have sent eight books through CreateSpace this year, including one that I'm proofing right now. The only upfront cost is the printed proof copy, and you can forego that (though it is highly ...
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13 votes
Accepted

Outsourcing people to make a cover

I've had very good luck with fiverr.com (yes, two r's). It is called "fiverr" because the artists are supposed to be able to do some (relatively small) thing for $5 US. I have zero financial interest ...
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  • 93.3k
13 votes

What matters more when it comes to book covers? Is it ‘professional quality’ or relevancy?

Am I to believe that the person will move on and not check it out simply because it was clearly homemade? Yes, believe that. Of course, believe that on average, you will still get some percentage of ...
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  • 93.3k
12 votes
Accepted

How overcome the budget constraint while building a fiction writing career?

My advice is to ignore the people that advocate writing a book in one month, or two, or three. Even with no other duties, it takes me at least six months to finish my fifth draft of a book, and I may ...
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  • 93.3k
12 votes

Is it true that good novels will automatically sell themselves on Amazon (and so on) and there is no need for one to waste time promoting?

I think this is a total myth. Even if the book is well written: If no one knows, that it exists, no one will buy it. Promotion is the way to tell the people "Hey, here I have a good novel and it ...
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  • 2,621
11 votes

Does self publishing via Amazon or similar services make your book ineligible for later acceptance by a publisher?

My wife and I own two small publishing companies in the UK, and have been in the business for about 18 years. The brief answer to your question is that doing your self-pub thing doesn't hurt at all. ...
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  • 336
11 votes

Would there be any problems with choosing a pseudonym of another ethnicity and sex?

There's a long history of women using male pseudonyms to be taken seriously. It's a sad fact that there's still prejudice, even in academia, against female authors. And so the practice continues; by ...
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11 votes
Accepted

What is "Buying Back My Book"?

The reference is to buying out of a publisher's exclusivity clause, in order to regain the rights required to republish your own work elsewhere. Writers often refer to "getting your rights back" for ...
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  • 4,616
11 votes
Accepted

How do you generally share your novels with the masses?

Oh boy, this one will have a thousand plausible answers. But I'll do my best to help as I can. There are, of course, a plethora of options, so please do not think this answer is the be-all end-all of ...
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  • 5,441

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