Maybe self-publishing is the way to go

When I was invited to participate in yesterday’s Local Author Book Fair hosted by the Brookline Public Library in Brookline, Massachusetts, I had visions of readers standing in line, waiting to purchase copies of the anthologies that include my essays. Oh, how naïve I was! It didn’t turn out that way.

The weather was beautiful, sunny, in the mid 70s. We authors–about a half-dozen of us–set up our books on the tables we were assigned on the library lawn.

logodrdeedeesmI sold just three books, benefiting from the generosity of members of my church. The one author whose table got lots of attention was Dr. Oneeka Williams, a surgeon, and creator of the Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo series of children’s books. It seems that on nice Saturday afternoons, a lot of young moms and dads like to bring the kids to the library. The Dee Dee Dynamo table was, therefore, in a target-rich environment.

faint-promise-of-rainAs I introduced myself to the other exhibitors during the event, I began to realize that they all had one thing in common—they were all self-published. I’ve been hesitant to self-publish my novel. I figured that the reading world wouldn’t take me seriously. But after conversations with the two authors at the table next to me–Anjali Mitter Duva, author of Faint Promise of Rain, and Connie Hertzberg Mayo, author of The Island of Worthy Boys—I’m beginning to think about reconsidering.

the-island-of-worthy-boys

The artwork for both of their books is gorgeous. I understand that the company that published them did arrange a book tour. And even though they’ve had to do just about all of the marketing for their novels, in the current traditional publishing climate authors have to do much of the promotion and marketing themselves anyway.

So what do you think? Is self-publishing worth considering?

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About lisabraxton

Lisa Braxton, a native of Bridgeport, Connecticut, earned her MFA in Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University and her Master of Science degree in Journalism at Northwestern University. She is the immediate past president of the Women’s National Book Association/Boston Chapter and an Emmy-nominated journalist. She is a former television news anchor and reporter and spent her television career at stations in Champaign, Illinois, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and Hartford, Connecticut. She is also a former newspaper reporter and radio reporter. She currently lives in the Boston, Massachusetts area. Lisa has been published in numerous literary journals, including Snake Nation Review, Foliate Oak, and Meetinghouse: A Journal of New England Fiction, Clockhouse Review, and Literary Brushstrokes.
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6 Responses to Maybe self-publishing is the way to go

  1. Elizabeth Braxton says:

    I think that self-publishing is definitely worth considering. I think you should do it. There have been many successful books that were self published.

  2. I have a friend who has had great success with her self-published novels. It is a lot of worm, but can,be rewarding if the author has the time and attention to give e the marketing side of things.

  3. Hi Lisa! Thanks for mentioning my book. It was lovely to meet you. One important thing to consider as you look at publishing options is distribution. She Writes Press, the press I am with, differentiates itself from actual self-publishing in a couple of key ways, and one of them is that it offers traditional distribution. This means my book is in bookstores, libraries, etc. This is not an option in self-publishing. SWP also curates its list, accepting only a fraction of the submissions it receives (although a much larger percentage than traditional publishers accept), and offers very professional cover design and editing. Do keep all this in mind as you pursue publication. And best of luck!

  4. Liz says:

    It all depends on the person, really. Just like not everyone is cut out to be a small business owner, same goes for self-publishing. You are the boss and no one else can hold you accountable but you. You’ll have to wear different hats, something many writers are not willing to do. You not only have to write the books, you now have to package them and bring them to market. You have to find your readers and build your platform. It’s not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure, especially the marketing because writing really is the easiest part of being a writer.

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