We can debate whether promotion, word-of-mouth or shopping makes the difference. But why not record what actually happened and over time discover the different ways we are connected to the books we buy? And since most of us (I think) buy more than we can actually read, let’s confine this thread to buying behavior.

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A fairly large library system. They have been a thorn in my side from the start. Donated books go to their shop where they are sold for 50 cents.

Your problem may be that you didn't start your own small publishing company (which is very easy to do.) There is no way possible for a library to know (unless you tell them) that you are the owner of said small publishing firm. They are just as likely to stock your books as any other small publisher's. There are thousands of small publishers and the libraries rarely know who is who. All the names sound the same anyhow. There is a huge difference between self-publishing and Indie publishing; this is one of them. You DO NOT want to self-publish under your name. You want to INDIE publish under your own publishing company's name. If this feels like cheating, then publish a couple of other authors through your company. That's easy too, and believe me, that's all these well known small publishers are doing.

Great advice.

Yes, but Createspace does put its own imprint on books.

That is only if you are self-published, I. J. You are technically allowing them to be the publisher.

If you have started your own publishing company only that name will be on the book, just as they do for publishing companies that have been around for decades. Nowhere in your books will there be any mention of Creatspace.

I highly recommend Dean Wesley Smith's small book, "Think Like a Publisher." It explains all this so even someone old school, like myself, can understand it easily.

Ah, thanks.  Not altogether sure it's worth the hassle. I'm not about to start publishing other people's books.

Yes, I have no interest in publishing other authors at this time either.
Although I won't rule it out for the future. It is difficult enough to sell my own books. Still, many successful small publishers started this way and continue to publish their own work along with other writers. Stark House and Hard Case Crime come to mind. I do get queries from mystery writers looking for a publisher. I tell them all we are not accepting submissions at this time.
I still have to say that I think that in 99 percent of situations self-publishing is a major mistake. The only options as far as possibly making decent money, I think, are in traditional or Indie publishing, or in a combination of the two.

I have been in traditional publishing. Never again. Unless you get million dollar contracts, you should never go that way. The publisher is a middleman who pays a lot of other middlemen out of your sales and keeps your books forever. Penguin pays me 15% of each e-book sale! I'll never trust a traditional publisher again. And coincidentally, the return policy with book stores means that your just released title has only about 4 weeks to be noticed on the shelf. Then it goes back, never to show up again in the store. And don't hope for display on "recent releases" tables. That only happens if your publisher has paid the store for it. The whole thing is a recipe for failure! 

If you feel that way the only option left, which is the best choice in the majority of situations anyway, is Indie publish your work through your own publishing company. Keep all author royalties and publisher profits for yourself. You can probably do a lot of the publishing chores yourself. Those which you either can't or don't want to do, you can farm out to people that specialize in the needed service. Also, there are companies that offer a la carte services. They will only do what you need. Like editing, cover art, formatting, etc. Just pay for what you need. I would be glad to recommend a reliable company if you like. Or try the Yahoo Self-Publishing(don't know why this Indie site uses this term)Group. They all are very knowledgeable and very helpful. The site is extremely active.
Consider publishing one title as an ebook and in paper and see how it goes.

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