Last week on this blog I posed a question to find out if people thought that self-publishing was a viable option for getting published and getting a decent level of interest from readers. It turns out that most people responding to my poll don’t feel that self-publishing has the stigma that it once did and that maintaining creative control is an important benefit of self-publishing.
What would make you decide to self-publish your novel
The desire to maintain editorial and artistic control
The idea that self-published books are now as respected as traditionally published books
The desire to get the book published on a quicker timetable
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.
I 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.
As 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 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?
My book club recently read the biography, Walking In Her Shoes, self-published by Boston-area actress Marylou Depeiza. It is a family story in which a secret is being kept. In addition to us enjoying a page turner, we had the added bonus of having Marylou be our guest of honor for our book discussion. She shared with us one of the ways she was able to sell a large number of books at one time.
At one of her milestone birthdays, her children decided to host a party for her. In lieu of gifts, they had the guests purchase copies of her book. Marylou said she was able to sell hundreds that way.