[LMB] OT: buying (and selling) self-published books

Karen L. Black karen at plamondon.com
Wed Nov 25 15:43:20 GMT 2009


My husband and I have a small self-publishing business that we started in
2003. We started with four poultry books; one he had written and three that
were increasingly hard to find as used books. Since then, we've added
back-to-the-land biographies, a book on travel on the Nile, Scouting
fiction, and Robert's out-of-print book on role-playing-games and his SF
novel that had been languishing on his hard drive for twenty years. Our
criterion for republishing an out-of-copyright book is that we really like
it and think that our customers will like it too.

We've also bought a number of out-of-print books that have been republished
by print-on-demand (POD) publishers like us. Some have been pretty good,
some quite dreadful -- one of the worst was obviously a facsimile reprint of
page scans that had been put online by a university library, complete with
underlining and marginal notes. Since most of the books we are buying are
non-fiction, we are mostly interested in the content, although presentation
is not insignificant.

Most of our books sell online, through Amazon (Amazon reviews are very
helpful). We use auctions on eBay to drum up interest: Robert will post that
"XXX just sold for a penny!" on his Facebook page to let his loyal fans know
that they are missing out on bargains. This weekend, we'll be up at Orycon,
where Robert will talk about self-publishing and RPGs.

For small specialized markets, I think that self-publishing is the way to
go.

Karen Black
Blodgett, OR



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