Those Passionate Self-Publishers

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Books in the wild!

I always have a great time at the writer workshops I co-sponsor. (Well, not me personally. The Southern Breeze region of SCBWI technically is the sponsor. I’m just the smiling face up there, introducing the talented writers and illustrators and agents who come to share their wisdom. The awesome Gwinnett Public Library System is the other generous sponsor.) But the last workshop was especially fun because it was on self-publishing, and writers who go that route are especially passionate.

They have to be, if they hope to find success along that road.

In traditional publishing, you have publicity people behind you, getting your books out there to the public. Some houses do a lot; others do considerably less. Still, they get your book off to the right start so it can land in bookstores and libraries.

But those who go the indie route must start at the beginning of publishing and work very hard to get a book…well, anywhere. So self-publisher types tend to be real go-getters, and I love their enthusiasm. Heck, before the workshop was over, I was seriously considering that route for one of my books that hasn’t been picked up by a traditional publisher yet.

Anyway, during the workshop, talk eventually came around to promotion and getting your book out there. Maybe that’s what inspired me for today’s post at the Muffin, Paying It Forward the Write Way.

I think it’s pretty good advice whether you’re self-published or traditionally published. What do you think? Maybe I’ll have another workshop on your suggestions. (Well, not me personally. Ugh. You know what I mean.)

Tooting My Horn After All

I’m over at The Muffin today, talking about how hard it is for writers to promote themselves.

Honestly, one of the reasons I like writing for a Korean publisher is that I don’t have to do any marketing. I mean, I guess if I went over to Korea, they’d expect me to do something. But here, even though I live in a community with a vibrant Korean population, it’s too costly to do book signings or other promotions.

For other projects, I’ll run a Tooting My Horn post and that’s a bit of promotion, right? All out marketing is a little more challenging for me because…well, you can read “Writer, Promote Thyself” and see if you struggle with the same promotion anxiety. And maybe share your thoughts on marketing?

201612_bigpulp_annual-793x1225But you know what all this talk about marketing has reminded me of? My story, Mary Beth’s Prophecy, appears in Big Pulp’s annual anthology. For cryin’ out loud, I almost forgot all about it–and I love that fun story! So yeah, why not check it out? Because it’s not just me…there are a TON of wonderful stories from 2016! (There! A bit of promotion for me and all those other writers!)

 

Showing the Love For Authors You Love

logo-bookmarkWe have a Georgia Center for the Book in my home state and it happens to make its home base down the road from me, in the Decatur library.

I love the Georgia Center for the Book because…well, it’s a center. FOR THE BOOK.

Anyway, last week, they announced their 2015 books for adults and children, books that all Georgians should read. (And I’m not gonna lie. Folks outside of Georgia will probably love these books, too.) Many of the authors were there to receive awards and I was there because many of those authors are friends of mine and members of SCBWI. After the ceremony, they had a book-signing (they had a book sale, too) but I refrained from buying books. I have a wee bit of a problem, buying books, but still, I wanted to support these wonderful authors. What to do, what to do?

I have a couple strategies to support authors I love (besides buying the book), and I thought I’d pass ’em along to you:

  • Go to your local library and check to see if the book is on the shelf. If it’s not, request the book. When enough people request a book, a library takes notice (and maybe orders the book!).
  • If you do find the book at the library, check it out and read it. If you use social media, talk about the book. (And make sure you include the author’s name along with the book title so the author can see your support.) Authors often are uncomfortable with self-promotion, but when you do it, it’s golden!
  • Leave a book review on Goodreads or Amazon. It doesn’t have to be a 5-star review (in fact, too many five-star reviews is not a good thing) and it doesn’t have to be a mini-book. Short and sweet is just fine. You will make an author’s day, leaving a nice review.

How about you? What do you do when you love a book but can’t afford to buy it?

And you know what else? I’ll bet you have a Center for the Book in your home state. Why not take a little road trip and check out what they’re doing for the authors you know and love? (And if you’re an author in your state’s Center for the Book, let me know. I’d love to support ALL my author friends!)