Self-publishing, independent publishing, vanity press, traditional publishers, small press–these words fill the head like a bad smell. But I’m getting clear on these issues. And finally producing the books I want. (Go look at my bookshelf page.) In order to get here, this is what I did:
- Came to regard self-publishing as my best choice, not an act of desperation;
- Had honest, knowledgeable colleagues read and comment in detail on the material;
- Studied the options and learned the difference between independent publishing and getting scammed by a vanity press;
- Realized that, no matter which route I took, promotion and marketing are my responsibility;
- Learned to use social media–Word Press, Facebook, Twitter, Linked In;
- Identified and identified with my audience;
- Learned to be patient and organized in order to make each book as nearly perfect in content and design as I possibly could.
I take pride in the books, confident that I have written and produced something that feels like a small gift to the world, not just a potential money maker. The added benefits are intangible but very important: creative control of the book, the ongoing challenges of learning the process (just did my first ebook), bigger royalties and a more active place in the community of writers, readers and designers. Of course, there is risk. If I do a sloppy job, I get a sloppy product and no one will want it. But in this virtual cloud where so much of writing happens, I am still thrilled to hold a beautiful book with my name on the cover.