Thursday, October 15, 2009

FerFAL, the author of The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse is very pleased that his self-published book is up to #2 in Survival Skills and Disaster Relief on Amazon. Many of you bought a copy last week when I did this post on the topic. Thanks very much for supporting this author. It's nice to know that authors who are not "mainstream" can now bypass the gatekeepers and do well anyway.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Doom said...

To the victor go the spoils. I think it is absolutely fantastic that self publishing has a chance to succeed now. I would love to see the next 10,000 top 100 books come from self publishing. The publishing houses have been acting as artificial and detrimental gate keepers, much as "news" agencies have been, and for too long of a time.

What is old must be made new. I am glad you could be part of the revolution. I hope you can find other such jewels. I am sure this is giving many a revitalized notion of the potential of becoming their own publisher. And I am more sure that publishing houses are quivering in horror at the notion that their upturned liberal noses may face being rubbed in the revolt's effluence to their impoverishment.

One, maybe not so much, but a dozen and more will shake the foundations. Long Live Americanism.

9:22 AM, October 17, 2009  
Blogger Kevin M said...

Having worked in publishing in NYC for several years, I would suggest you don't get too enamored with self-publishing. It has its benefits, but they are supremely few.

One of the biggest reasons a book self-published will die is the refusal of book dealers to carry it. Vanity publishers (as they are called) do not accept "remainders" from bookstores; if Barnes & Noble orders 300 copies of a title, and only 225 sell, they can return the remaining 75 for a refund. Not so with self-published books. You bought 'em, you sell 'em or you eat 'em.

On-line sellers (Amazon) can really help, but books that get self-published are 99% of the time books that were roundly rejected by traditional publishers. There's a reason for that...they usually suck. And selling crappy books online means getting tons of crappy reviews, online.

Sorry to be a wet blanket on your revolution, but the number of self-published authors who shelled out thousands of dollars to see their book published and end up with a basement full of boxes is staggering. And the occasional case of a successful self-published book, such as we have here, is very, very rare.

9:51 AM, October 18, 2009  
Blogger Helen said...

Kevin M.,

Sure, there are some self-published books sitting in the author's basement, that's probably true of published books too (though probably not as many). But some books are not published because the topic is too controversial, the author does not follow along with what the publisher wants or the topic only appeals to a small audience that is sufficient for the self-publisher but not a regular publisher. I think it's great that people with good, but perhaps controversial ideas can find a way to get their information out. I have also had colleagues who did better with their book when they self-published than when they had a big publisher. There is also the benefit of control which is huge.

10:47 AM, October 18, 2009  
Blogger FerFAL said...

First of all, thanks Dr. Helen for your support. You’ve helped so much.
Kevin M.,
You’re right about self publishing, but there are a few points I think you’re missing.
Some of the new print on demand service have gone a long way, and I’d hardly call it vanity press anymore. At least in my case, it was just a tool.
I had valuable experience that I knew others could benefit from, and knew people would see it. I simply needed a way to transmit that information, and a book has always been a great way to do that.
You’re right about self publishing writers usually not begin very good.
I’m not only not good, I’m actually bad. I can barely write and I’d give most proof readers a heart attack. But the experience of preparing for and navigating through an actual economic collapse was much more important than my literally skills.
In spite of the dramatic cover, the back cover clearly explains that an economic collapse, even a total one, is not the end of the world or anything like that. It’s simply a new reality people can either prepare for or not. Believe me when I tell you, preparing for it makes things easier, ensures the security and happiness of your family and allows you ( at least it allows me) to sleep better at night. That’s why I wrote this manual. There was already too much doom and gloom flying around, and of course that’s not helpful. A lot of people were preparing for MadMax when the reality of an economic collapse has nothing to do with such things. Didn’t occur that way in Argentina, nor did it happen in any other nation where there was a social or financial meltdown throughout history.
As for print on demand books, people should note that the books get printed when they are sold. Not a single book out there is printed just because.
This means less trees being cut down for books no one is interested in, less storage space needed, less fuel transporting hundreds, maybe thousands of book no one will ever buy.
As of right now, I have just 2 of my books in my home. One is the required proof copy I had to buy to make my book available for sale. I used it myself for side notes and revisions. The other one is for a person I’ll be meeting next week.
I didn’t spend a single dollar to have my book printed, not a single cent. I made the cover myself (that’s a picture of me and a bit of Photoshop, by the way) used the Word template provided, registered the ISBN, uploaded it and started selling. Of course I already had my blog for over a year, which receives almost 2000 daily visitors and it was them that finally made me decide to write a book. That helps a lot as well.
Again, thank you Dr. Helen and thanks everyone for your support.
Take care.

Fernando Aguirre

12:01 PM, October 23, 2009  
Blogger Helen said...

FerFal,

Thanks so much for commenting and for telling us about your experience in Argentina. As you point out, sometimes, experience and living through a situation is more important than being the best writer in the world. I learned much from your book about how to cope that I do not think I would have learned elsewhere. Thanks.

10:22 AM, October 24, 2009  

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