When You Have a Passion .. A Reason to Self-Publish
edited: Saturday, November 08, 2003
By Laurie Anthony
Posted: Thursday, October 30, 2003
Become a Fan
Some suggestions for writers who want to self-publish!
When You Have a Passion . . . A reason to self-publish
My writing has always worked for me. My fifth grade diary detailed my first crush; my college spirals contained my soul-searching thoughts; my blank books reflected the ups and downs of marriage and raising a child. Do writers always write about what's most important to them? I just know that paper and pen have been my way to stay sane. When you have a passion—whether it's for personal growth, the betterment of society, or for creating a perfect mystery—the words are there inside you and with a lot of patience, the words will find their way to the paper.
Teaching fifth grade students has made me realize that students will write well only when they have something to say. When they choose their own topic, their writing comes alive! I remembered how many nights I stayed up, tossing a phrase around in my mind, only to wake up the next morning with the words I was looking for! This is what happens when your topic is part of you.
When I began writing my book, there was never a doubt in my mind that I would publish it. My passion for learning about homelessness and for getting J.C. off the streets fueled my long interviewing, researching, and writing hours. My writing spoke my heart, and I wanted to share it with others. I studied the Writer's Market and realized that finding a publisher to accept a book could take years. I didn't have years and neither did J.C. I didn't even know the word "self-published." When I first encountered the word, I thought it meant that I'd have to buy a printing press and learn bookbinding! I sent for information from resources online. I realized that self-publishing just meant paying someone else to print your book. If you had a clean manuscript and a credit card, you could publish your book! It was that simple. I didn't want to wait for someone else to agree or disagree that my book should be published, so I made the plunge. I went with my gut feeling and selected a company to print my book.
SUGGESTIONS FOR SELF-PUBLISHERS
1. Read John Kremer's book, 1001 Ways to Market Your Book.
2. Check online under self-publishing and send for information. I chose a company that had competitive prices and an understandable brochure.
3. Call the company when you have questions. My company was very helpful, especially concerning the cover of my book.
4. Access information online (RW Bowker) and get an ISBN number and a copyright.
5. Submit your manuscript. I received a proof for final editing and once I resubmitted it, my books were shipped to me (I paid for shipping) in about four weeks.
6. Find a distributor. Ingram and Baker and Taylor were the best known so I went for it! I submitted a marketing plan and completed a lot of paperwork. Ingram accepted my book!
7. Join PMA and SPAN. They offer many promotional opportunities, all of which do cost money. It's a good place to start.
8. Research marketing companies. I'm doing my own marketing, but will use other services if my budget increases.
9. Contact small bookstores that may not require a distributor. I have a scrapbook of all the bits and pieces of my publishing journey, and use it to help sell my book. It includes letters, book reviews, pictures, etc.
10. Start local: Barnes and Noble and Borders support local authors! So do neighborhood newspapers. Family, friends, and coworkers are irreplaceable!
1. Best advice: Do something every day, even if it is to just make a phone call, send a letter, or send a complimentary book.
2. Obtaining book reviews is crucial. List your book on Amazon.com and ask others to write reviews. Use these reviews when you contact other book reviewers.
3. Direct Mailings: Send out letters and postcards constantly so people hear about your book. I target agencies and individuals that work with the homeless.
4. Conferences: I attended the Small Press Book Fair last March. I found that although my sales were not good, the contacts I made there were important.
5. Online Marketing: Join publishing newsgroups and discussion lists. It's a great way to get and give advice and bring attention to your book.
Is self-publishing for you? It is if you feel passionate about your writing, have some money to invest, and are willing to put in the hours to market your work. It makes me want to self-publish again—so that's what I'm planning to do! Look for my new children's book, Saturday's Cups, in November.
PUBLISHED IN Cunepress.com/cunemagazine
Web Site: Another Way to Help the Homeless
Want to review or comment on this article?
Click here to login!
Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!
|Reviewed by aneeta sundararaj
I have just set up a publishing company, the initial purpose of which was to self-published my first novel, The Banana Leaf Men.
Thanks you for your kind advice above. The support in terms of your words are encouraging.
|Reviewed by Andrew Rafalski
|Thank you. This is helpful and informative.|
|Reviewed by Elizabeth Taylor (Reader)
|This is really a good article. Well done.|
|Reviewed by Erin Kelly-Moen
|Informative and well written, Laurie. :)|
|Reviewed by Cynthia Borris
Excellent article with terrific advice.
|Reviewed by William Neven
|First of all, may God bless you, Mrs. Anthony, in your efforts with the homeless. [I lived in my Malibu station wagon in Orlando once for two weeks and - believe me - it is an experience I have never forgotten.] As for self-publishing, I did it because I felt it showed I was serious about my book. I had sent mine to two publishers [who I seriously doubt even read the first sentence from the looks of it] before I decided I could at least find what some professional reviewers thought about it if I went the POD route. I have jotted down your remarks by the way. [I guess along with 'Write! Write! Write!', authors should also be advised to 'Promote! Promote! Promote!'.] Thanks for your observations.|