Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The art of self publishing...

I just came across this New York Times article about self-publishing. Less than two weeks ago, I self published my first novel, aptly titled The Age of Me. With shipping and handling, it cost me $15 to print one copy of this 300 page work of literary genius. This book is still not ready for widespread publication, as I must seriously edit its content (it was written 1.5 years ago when I was half the writer I am today...and twice as humble too), but I soon intend to continue using the self-publishing apparatus to build a following. The main difference between most self-publishers and me is that I am a writer by trade, whereas many people are writing their book for one occasion and one person (themselves). Thus, my plan is to use my self-published work to attract the attention of literary agents and publishers, while most self-publishers view the publication of their work as the end of their creative process.

Though The Age of Me isn't ready yet, I recently started selling my epic documentary film, Ain't Easy Being Green (about the ever-so-corrupt 2006 Pennsylvania Senate race) on Amazon using their partner site, Createspace. This site was very simple to use and within a few weeks, my film was ready to be sold. Traditionally, filmmakers collect only 10-15% of the sale price of an item when it's sold through a distributor, but this number soars to more than 55% when self-published. Thus, when self-publishing, one needs to sell five times fewer units to make a comparable profit. Something about cutting out the middle man feels lovely, especially in the case of Ain't Easy, a film whose very theme is to create change using nontraditional methods.

Viva La Self-Publishing Revolution!

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