Will Bernardara Jr.'s picture
Will Bernardara Jr. from Detroit is reading Snuff: Real Death and Screen Media September 17, 2017 - 11:37am

in the future, we'd like to self-publish a 2,000-some page anthology, mostly text but with some glosssy photos of screenshots and artworks. We want a gorgeous cover and we want the quality to be of the same as a major publisher. 


How much (ballpark) would something like this cost and would be the best method to do be print-on-demand or what?


Thanks in advance for any advice given.

Max's picture
Max from Texas is reading goosebumps September 21, 2017 - 3:49am

I recommend not publishing something that's 2,000 pages long.

helpfulsnowman's picture
Community Manager
helpfulsnowman from Colorado is reading But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman September 21, 2017 - 6:15am

I'm with Max on this front. I looked at publishing a REALLY long book once (just for personal use, scans of old journals and stuff), and when you start getting to that length, the costs just explode. Even if you did print on demand and consumers were paying, the cost of a really long, high-production-value item like that...without a known name or something, it'd be tough to make it attractive to consumers. 

From a purely physical standpoint, I can tell you (I work as a librarian) that books over a certain length don't hold up as objects. They tear themselves apart. 

If you're looking at publishing that much material, I wonder if you'd consider dividing it into volumes? I think that'd give you a better shot, and consumers are more likely to take a risk on 200 pages than 2000. 

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated September 22, 2017 - 9:28am

Your cost per unit is going to go down as you get more copies. Do you have an idea how many you want?

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami October 4, 2017 - 5:35pm

How about, instead of striving for a 2,000 page volume, write a bunch of flash fiction, find a friend who had already payed for an internet host, and publish these? You'll get writing experience, self-fullfillment, and sometimes you might even be able to weave them into a novel later.

Good luck, with whatever you strive for. -- Sarah, at cybercult.org/~sarah/

Max's picture
Max from Texas is reading goosebumps October 4, 2017 - 7:12pm

that's a very weird suggestion

Jose F. Diaz's picture
Jose F. Diaz from Boston is reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel October 6, 2017 - 6:24am

I'm still against self-publishing in our current market.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal October 7, 2017 - 6:37am

I think I am too...

helpfulsnowman's picture
Community Manager
helpfulsnowman from Colorado is reading But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman October 8, 2017 - 1:03pm

I'm of two minds on self-publishing. Or more than two, really.

On one hand, self-publishing can mean someone puts a lot of time and money into something in order to have boxes of unsold books in their garage. Let's face it, it's nearly impossible to get your book placed at bookstores, all the needed online outlets, and so on without a publisher. I also think some printers are taking advantage of people, charging a pretty penny for physical books that aren't going to sell.

Also, I think something that's bad about self-publishing is that it forces the concept of writers as marketers, which I could talk about all day, but basically I think writers need to make product, marketers need to sell it. 

Not to mention there is some level of gatekeeping, which I'm putting as a positive.

On the other hand, I think self-publishing provides options to do interesting, unusual things. For example, no publisher in the world is going to put out a 2,000 page anthology. Because they're never going to sell enough to recoup their costs. BUT, if recouping the cost is less important to you as an individual than it is to put out this thing, then you have the option. 

I also think self-publishing has room to do more stuff because publishers have to look at what will sell. The question isn't what's good or bad. The question is what will sell. Something can be great but no sellable, or not easily sellable, and it'll never find a home with a press.

I feel like when people are opposed to self-publishing, in general, they're assuming that the work isn't good enough to be published, which is why it isn't being published. But I don't necessarily agree with that. I think there are other factors, such as content and sellability, but also things like geography. We live in this internet age, but if you live outside of a place with any sort of literary scene, it's a lot harder to make connections, find people to talk to, and get your shit placed. If you're not in an MFA program, and if you're not talking to other folks who live and die by this stuff, then you're going to have a rough go. 

That said, people who are quick to pull the self-publishing trigger probably know that what they're looking at isn't a very marketable quantity.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal October 8, 2017 - 10:27pm

so... it seems like we're forgetting that you can e-self-publish for like, zero dollars. (should probably put some money into it though)