Self-Publishing News: 1.16.2017

And now for the news!

This week in the world of self-publishing:

Since there’s not much going on in the world of self-publishing this week, I thought it’d be nice to follow up on the article we covered last week entitled, “Self-Publishing: An Insult to the Written Word”, as Huffington Post just released an article with a counter argument titled, “Self-Publishing: An Insult to the Written Word or a Boon to the Industry?”

In this article, Samita Sarkar–a self-published author herself–defends the industry with anecdotal and researched defenses for the industry that Gough had spent an entire article belittling. Sarkar points to the more intimate connectedness self-published authors can achieve with their audience, the freedom they experience with regards to subject matter and the opportunity they have to become their own small-scale printing press.

What Gough called the “burden” of editing independent authors work, Sarkar calls a pleasure and an honor. “These authors are investing in their book and realize that they need professional help to improve on their work and make it more enjoyable for their readers and more marketable,” she says, “Why put them down for that?”

Sarkar finishes the article by critiquing Gough for her heavy focus on the idea that the art of writing itself “has been cheapened by self-publishing,” she goes on, “But self-publishing can help to give people a voice. It provides them an outlet that they may otherwise never have had so they can connect with other people. Isn’t that what art is all about?”

Of course it is. Art is about creative expression. Maybe you don’t prefer the cubist art of Picasso, but instead find yourself more drawn to the High Renaissance art of Leonardo da Vinci; whether or not you have a palate for a particular type of art does not mean that one or the other isn’t art by definition. There are readers that will prefer self-published books and there are readers who will steer clear of them, don’t ever silence yourself because of those who don’t like your work, but keep writing for those who will continue to love and appreciate it.


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As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry. This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.


Kelly

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.

Saturday Book Review: “Courageous Footsteps: A WWII Novel”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.

When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review, courtesy of Midwest Book Review:

Courageous Footsteps: A WWII Novel diane dettmann

Courageous Footsteps: A WWII Novel

by Diane Dettmann

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478755586

Synopsis:

PACIFIC RIM BOOK FESTIVAL WINNER!

Courageous Footsteps is a historical novel about two teenagers, Yasu and Haro Sakamoto, who, along with their family, are imprisoned in a Japanese internment camp in eastern California during WWII. Surrounded by barbwire fences, Yasu and her brother struggle to make sense out of their young lives. They long to return to the life they enjoyed in Glenville, California, but instead are forced to endure hardships and make choices that will change their lives forever. Awarded runner-up in the Great Midwest Book Festival in the young adult category, this piece of America’s history is an informative, eye-opening read for adults too.

Critique:

The majority of novels about World War II are directed to adult audiences, but Courageous Footsteps is a story for teens and presents the experiences of Yasu and Haro Sakamoto, who are removed (along with their family) from their Glenville, California home and interred in a concentration camp.

All ages will find Courageous Footsteps a gripping, eye-opening approach, for several reasons. One is its ability to provide a stark contrast between the comfortable, middle-class American lifestyle experienced by the family at the novel’s opening with life behind barbed wire fences after they are removed from their home.

Few other novels, adult or teen, so adequately portray the emotions, daily experiences, and struggles of the Japanese during this period of time. From the moment Pearl Harbor is bombed and war is declared with the Japanese to the President’s orders to take away their lives, Courageous Footsteps progresses swiftly and documents the quick rise of fear and its accompanying prejudice, which place the family in constant danger and flux.

Nearly overnight, the Sakamotos become enemies of the people and are attacked, beaten, and maligned by strangers who only see their Japanese faces and not their American identities. Their personal possessions (radios, guns, cameras, binoculars) are confiscated by the Army in the name of national security, the family is forced to do the best it can under prison conditions, and camp regulations take over their formerly-free lives.

How does a family stay together and preserve their shattered dreams under such conditions? Courageous Footsteps is as much a story of this survival process as it is a documentation of one girl’s evolving determination to escape this impossible life and resume her dreams.

Teens and new adult audiences alike will find Courageous Footsteps evocative, compelling, and hard to put down.

reviewed on Donovan’s Bookshelf of Midwest Book Review ]

Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:

Book really made me think about what these American born Japanese American citizens went thru at the hands of our government. How sad the way they were treated. This book evolves the characters so well with just enough info about them and not so much that you get bogged down with their personalities. Just a marvelous book that gives so much insight into what the Nisei’s went thru. How they worked so hard to build their lives and then to have it taken away and have them herded into these camps, how badly they were treated and how awful the conditions. OMG I admire and respect them for their perseverance and how they all worked together and were so respectful of their parents. Haro worked hard and applied himself and fought hard for this country after how badly he was treated. It was a different time…you won’t find many kids today with this kind of respect for their parents nor their work ethic. Just an amazing and enlightening book! Can’t wait for the sequel!

– Amazon Reviewer Karen Grossaint

The internment of Japanese Americans during WWII is a period of history which I was not familiar with. I had read magazine articles but they only touched the surface. Ms. Dettmann’s book is a real eye opener! I had no clue what my fellow Japanese Americans faced and the atrocities they lived through! While this book is a historical fiction novel, I had to continually remind myself of just that. The author’s extraordinary writing skills made it read like a true story. The characters and their experiences seemed so real.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese were rounded up and arrested like common criminals. They were forced in to camps against their will and remained there until the end of the war. The reader follows the painful journey the Sakomoto family through the eyes of their teenage daughter Yasu. They were law-abiding American citizens in 1941. They owned a small business in Glenville, California. Being a close knit family, they had a deep love for one another and their country. The quiet, peaceful life they had known changed quickly after the bombing. Persecution from fellow townspeople and even friends was immediate and harsh. Their lives became endangered in the very area and by the people that had been a part of their happiness.

My heart broke for young Yasu. Being a teenager is hard enough, but to face adolescence with such rejection and hostility was excruciating. Her sweet family continued to trust their country and government right up to their arrests. The gentle humble spirits of the Japanese were a great contrast as to how most Americans would have responded to this extreme discrimination.

I had no clue the camp conditions were so degrading and horrific. My first thought was about the concentration camps of the Jews. These camps were not as severe as Hitler’s, but they were shocking. There was filth, crowding, squalid living conditions, poor food, such as I would never have dreamed could take place in America. The author took me into the camp, to walk daily with the Sakamotos, living their experiences and allowing my heart of feel their emotions.

Though each era had different details, I saw a common thread running through history in the injustice toward other groups: the slavery of African Americans, the Chinese in the early 1900’s, the Jews, and the Japanese. People that had done no wrong but were victims of fear and misunderstanding.

I do disagree with this being labeled as a “young adult fiction”. This book is for teens and adults too! A must read for all! Watch for a sequel!

– Amazon Reviewer Moonpie

 AUTHOR INTERVIEW


saturday self-published book review

Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space every Saturday!

Self Publishing Advisor

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Conversations: 1/13/2017

WRITER SEEKS SUPPORT TEAM

Have you collected several years-worth of Writer’s Digest magazines anhelp!d multiple editions of the Writer’s Market? Have you gone to Writer’s Conferences, sat in the back row and collected every handout? Have you walked bookstore aisles searching for that one writing advice book that would motivate you to actually publish what you’ve written? These are, indeed, excellent resources and you’ll learn many things through listening to their articles and fact-finding pieces and reading each chapter. However, they are not the hands-on, personally invested assistants that we all need in our writing lives at various strategic moments. I’ve been told that the journey I’ve taken in my writing career is similar to that of many authors—even the famous ones. So it is that I hope the following examples of my personal experiences will encourage you to seek and accept help along your own writing path.

  • Stories popped into my head ALL the time and I never found/took the time to write them down except for the occasional basic concept which I filed Then a neighbor mentioned that our local county library was hosting a writing workshop—and I signed up! The instructor was an experienced author whose encouraging manner led to the completion of my first published short story!
  • That library workshop group of people grew in solidarity as we invested in each other during the next several 8-week sessions. Then times—and county library budget—changed and we learned that there would be no more workshops in the foreseeable future. SO—we established our own Writers-at-Work group and the instructor joined us as one of the working This group remains loosely connected today—after close to 45 years together! We will never stop mentoring each other!
  • One particular short story caught my husband’s eye. It is a Christmas story titled DEPLOYED, and its storyline touched several of my author-friends as well. With his big nudge and support we printed 500 copies and donated the majority of them to encourage military units as they were deployed. Later, I published it on Amazon/Kindle, and am now developing it into a novel. This would not be happening if I’d never surrounded myself with my Personal Support Team.
  • As I grew in writing skills and knowledge, and my supporters grew in their nudging skills, I became an Advance Writing teacher! What an amazing experience to work with high school students! Their imaginations inspired each other, I was inspired, too! Those are the years that I began setting aside notes for a different kind of book which eventually became FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writers Study of Words—self-published with Outskirts Press.
  • When the teaching season of my life concluded, a new door opened, and I started working with beginning authors to edit, critique, and prepare their projects for publication—and that has been my writing life for the past ten years. With the publication of each author’s book I am again blessed beyond measure!

So there you have it—a personal example of one writer who has experienced the multiple benefits of supportive people throughout one writing career. I call this the TEAM EFFECT, similar to the concept of a ripple effect as each individual nudges you along and widens your horizons making your writing better!

About my decision to self-publish? I simply did not want to wait years to be accepted by a traditional publishing house as I queried and/or worked with an agent who would receive part of my royalty. Instead, I did my research into self-publishing companies, talked with other authors who have self-published, and then selected Outskirts Press. Their Author Consultant, Publishing Consultant, and Design Specialist were excellent additions to my Support Team. When the time comes, I’ll be publishing with them, again! ⚓︎


Royalene

ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.  

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.

In Your Corner: Hook, Line, and Sinker

fishing reading hook

Hooking your reader is, shall we say, important. There. I don’t want to dance around the point, because that is the point–when it comes to getting a potential reader to become an actual reader, or better yet, an actual reader who buys your book, you don’t wan to hedge around the issue. You want to go straight at it, and nail it down with a few well-placed expert strategies.

So how does one hook a reader?

As with actual fishing–the kind involving scales and tails flopping in the bottom of your boat–there are different methodologies and categories of fishing, and within those categories there are umpteen number of hook varieties.

There’s what you do with the text itself.

Don’t worry, I won’t draw out the analogy much farther, and I won’t compare any one strategy to fly fishing vs reel fishing vs net fishing vs spear fishing. I will leave those distinctions to your imagination instead and simply say this: The first line has to count. And the first paragraph. And the first page. In the digital age more than ever before, a book has to sink its teeth into a reader immediately. Gone are the days of Tolstoy, sad as this is to say, when readers were more likely to give a book a couple hundred (or thousand, even) pages before passing judgment. These days, we are all bound by the necessity to impress in an online preview, such as the “Look Inside!” feature provided on Amazon.

It’s not such a bad thing; pithy first lines and impactful first pages are not the worst thing in the world, and neither is a reader’s predilection to choose a sure hit over uncertainty. I like to think of the root cause as something other than simply that tendency towards “instant gratification” which many people tend to levy against younger people as a kind of weaponized term; when it comes to picking books, people of all ages tend to make their choices much the same way. No, I like to think of the “first line fever” as the natural and healthy response to a world simply saturated with possible books to read.  People have to narrow the list somehow, and previews are an effective, efficient way to do this. (Ever been overwhelmed just walking into a bookstore or library with how many good books there are out there that you’ll never have a chance to read, simply because of time and quantity? I have.)

Self-published books have long been known for their first lines, as Andy Weir’s The Martian exemplifies. (I won’t repeat it here, since it includes some language.) Indie authors have the freedom to push boundaries and that can result in some pretty wonderful things, so if you’re looking to ramp up your opening pages, take the time to immerse yourself in examples that worked and which you admire. Many people will point you towards Jane Austen and the classics; but remember, they had a different audience.

But there’s also what you do with the book once it’s written.

I’m talking about marketing, as you might have guessed. But I’m also talking about presentation. If first lines are about first impressions, so too is your back cover copy, your cover design, and your online presence. To quickly and effectively hook a reader, you want to present yourself and your book as easy to access. Make sure your social media platform is well-developed and that your website and book page listing on Amazon are as rich with information and as sharply-written as your first page. As I mentioned earlier, it doesn’t pay to beat around the bush when it comes to presenting your work to the world. And if your book looks beautiful online and in the hand when someone pulls it off of a bookstore shelf, they are so much more likely to pick it up.

I suppose, really, at the base of everything I’ve said here is the assumption that you’ll be self-publishing in a world gone so thoroughly digital that most book purchases are made online. There are a lot of politics and high feelings surrounding this issue, but it is the current state of things, and worth paying attention to no matter where you fall on the matter. And if you still haven’t found your hook (or hooks) and are struggling to figure out the next step, we’re here for you in the comment section below and would love to point you towards even more specific strategies.

You are not alone. ♣︎


Elizabeth

ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 18 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, pre-production specialists, customer service reps and book marketing specialists; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Elizabeth Javor can put you on the right path.

Planning for 2017: Success?

After taking time to consider occasions that will lead to the need for damage control, this week we’re going to redefine what “success” means in respect to our goals, and as a concept in general. While the assumption is often that “success” means completing a new book or successfully marketing an already finished one, this one-size fits all definition does not look good on, or flatter the strengths and weaknesses of each unique author.

The author of “Eat, Pray, Love”, Elizabeth Gilbert, interestingly experienced the “success” of her book to provoked the same sense of anxiety and discomfort that is often associated with failure. She explained that the success carried a large looming cloud of expectations from her readers that she feared she wouldn’t be able to live up to in her next book. “Failure catapults you abruptly [into] the blinding darkness of disappointment,” Gilbert said. “Success catapults you just as abruptly, just as far, into the equally blinding glare of fame, recognition, and praise.”

For Gilbert, your subconscious cannot tell the difference between these two opposing poles, because they are both so far from the spectrum of our everyday, normal existence. Taking that into account, I think it is important to transform the idea of success into something more normal, more everyday, rather than something that just comes from world-wide recognition for our work.

eat pray love elizabeth gilbert

Re-conceptualizing Success

While finishing a book or having it fly off the shelves should be appreciated as a success, this is a very long-term and difficult goal to achieve. To put this into perspective, let’s say you were training for a marathon and never considered any of your training days leading up to it as successful because they weren’t the big day–logging those miles is going to start to feel hollow and unrewarding. Sure, that first training run over ten miles isn’t a marathon, but that is a huge success compared to sitting on your couch at home, and should be celebrated as such!

Having your vision of success span from the time you begin your project, to the time you complete it will definitely keep you in a better head space and keep you more motivated and excited with each leap and bound you make! Hence why we like to stress the importance of dividing up that overarching goal into smaller, more bite-sized pieces that you can achieve along the way and count as successful mile markers to your grand finale, which may be a finished book.

What are some short-term mile-markers that should be perceived as successes for a writer?

  • An outline completion
  • A chapter completion
  • A first draft completion
  • A marketing plan
  • Winning a writing competition
  • Writing an awesome Tweet, blog post, or other social media post that gets a lot of traffic
  • Your first piece of fan mail
  • Your first royalty check
  • Getting a gleaming endorsement for your back cover
  • And countless other examples.

Let’s make success part of our everyday. Let’s make small goals for ourselves that we can objectively look at and say, “You know what, I succeeded today” when we’ve accomplished them. Success doesn’t have to be this epic thing that becomes almost intimidating, as Gilbert describes it in her TED talk, and nor does failure. If we become at home in our everyday successes and failures, the monumental ones won’t seem so shocking to us.

“Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be.”

– Zig Ziglar


Thank you for reading!  If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or contributions, please use the comment field below or drop us a line at selfpublishingadvice@gmail.com.  And remember to check back each Wednesday for your weekly dose of marketing musings from one indie, hybrid, and self-published author to another. ♠


Kelly

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com

From the Archives: “A New Year’s Manifesto”

Welcome back to our Tuesday segment, where we’ll be revisiting some of our most popular posts from the last few years.  What’s stayed the same?  And what’s changed?  We’ll be updating you on the facts, and taking a new (and hopefully refreshing) angle on a few timeless classics of Self Publishing Advisor.

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[ Originally posted: December 30th, 2015 ]

Around this time last year, I was busy making resolutions for the new year–2015, the year we’ve just finished–and in some cases I have actually managed to make good on those resolutions (see the list here and here).  This year, however, I’m pushing back a little against the instinctual attraction to “list-fever,” that special kind of holiday mania that leaves us mellow and warm and happy once the list is complete (it always feels good to write up a list, doesn’t it?) but panicked and anxious as the year reaches its end and we haven’t yet accomplished all that we set out to do.  And so it is that this year, instead of compiling all of the things I want to do, I thought I’d sketch out a quick drawing of who I think we are, as self-publishing authors.

This is my self-publishing manifesto:

I hereby claim the mountain of content and the island of method for us, the (few, the mighty) self-publishing authors of the world.  I assert our right to write what we please in whatever manner we please and within whatever time frame we deem fit.  I declare nothing off-limits, nothing too “edgy” or “tame” or “niche” or “unique.”  We are the fearless in life, and we have the right, too, to write and publish as adventurously as we live.

I hereby claim the lake of responsibility and the waterfall of ethical treatment for us.  In the little skirmishes and give-and-take between the traditional and self-publishing worlds, we occupy the high moral ground, ground from which we foresee a future in which authors are treated with the respect that they have earned, simply by virtue of being authors, and in which no one–neither the authors nor the publishers, the editors, the graphic designers, nor any other professional involved in the industry–uses their influence to abuse or undervalue others and the services they offer.  I assert our support for a future in which no-one can claim a monopoly on distribution or quality of product.  I claim the right to creative freedom and creative control–as well as an ethical flow of profits to and from the right people–for us, the self-publishers.  And I also claim the collective right to not tolerate unethical behavior from the corporate publishing sector which routinely reneges on its commitments to writers, readers, and its own employees.

I hereby claim the plains of ambition and the foothills of inspiration for us.  We will write, to the best of our ability, the best books we are capable of writing.  We will create, to the best of our ability, the finest covers and illustrations and altogether visually pleasing objects of which we are capable of creating.  We will learn from our mistakes without damage to our sense of self or our ego; we will seek out expert feedback and emerge with a refreshed sense of purpose and vision for where to go next.

I also claim the right to act out of self-interest, collectively and individually, for us–the authors who have been told we don’t belong or aren’t good enough but most definitely do and are–while also upholding our commitment to generosity, compassion, and social responsibility.  I claim the right to take full advantage of the digital revolution, to look forward to and think with a futurist’s imagination about, a publishing world and a market that looks radically different from the one we work with now.

I hereby claim ownership of my own decisions.  I do not ask for permission from others to write what I write or publish what I publish; I write and publish what brings joy to me and to my readers.  I do not ask for compliments or pats on the back or for any recognition which undervalues my skills and the intelligence of my readers.  I declare my obligation to respect, value, and represent the interests of others, and to balance this obligation with my own needs as an author and human being.  I recognize the privileges of my position as a person of influence, a person with the vocabulary to reflect and shape the world around me, and seek to put that privilege to good use for good ends.

I am not shy about recognizing my strengths, and I am not afraid of my weaknesses.  I hereby claim the valley of well-earned pride and the city of well-learned failures as my province.  I am proud to be a self-published author, and proud to be a part of a wider community of self-publishing authors as well as the readers who open their hearts and minds to the books we place in their hands.

– by Kelly Schuknecht

 

manifesto writing cheerfully

I think this one stands on its own—don’t you? What else can we claim in 2017 that we weren’t able to claim in 2015 or even 2016? The self-publishing industry hasn’t necessarily broken new ground, but it has built steadily upon its previous successes, and reports keep coming in that the market share division between digital and print books has leveled out and begun to run steady. But there’s a lot of tension in the air, politically, socially, and yes, metaphorically—tensions that have the power to shape our decisions. If I were to add any one “claim” to my original list, it would be this:

I hereby claim the fearlessness, both frantic and calm, of the entrepreneur, of the start-up, of the crowdfunded, cloud-built-and-stored, groundbreakers. I opt to place myself in the way of beauty, and in the way of success, by giving it all that I’ve got and taking no prisoners, taking no breaks from being myself and from pursuing my dreams, and yet taking a jackhammer to my bad habits with a sensitivity to my good ones, and to my body, mind, and soul’s needs. I claim the ambition of the space race, the empty-all-pocketbooks audacity of a world utterly bankrupt of fear, and the joy of knowing that whatever mistakes I make, whatever failures I slide into, I rush headlong into them knowing that I gave my absolute best and without fear that it’s the end. I will live with a future-mind, knowing that today’s fears and hardships will not hold me in place forever. I claim the right to unleash myself on this world, as an author and a purveyor of stories.

How’s that for an addition? I think I might just keep up this tradition. I might even codify our existing claims—along with any additions you, dear readers, might throw our way—into a document for year-round use. What do you think?

Thanks for reading.  If you have any other ideas, I’d love to hear them.  Drop me a line in the comments section below and I’ll respond as quickly as I can.  ♠


Kelly

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.

Self-Publishing News: 1.9.2017

And now for the news!

This week in the world of self-publishing:

Let’s Kickstart the new year with a piece on funding books with, well…Kickstarter. Funding is always the number one concern when thinking about publishing a book in general, but especially when self-publishing. Dylan Goldby used crowdfunding to help publish a book of his photography and says, “For me, crowdfunding made the most sense because I wanted to leverage my existing contacts, spread the word organically, and use the final product to raise more money without having to pay back any loans, etc.” Further, he says he enjoyed the rewards program built into crowdfunding which allowed him to send copies of his book to those who supported him, which also acted as a networking and marketing tool.

As far as using Kickstarter goes, Goldby has realistic and insightful advice for authors thinking about utilizing this crowdfunding platform. First off, he is explicit in stating that this is a time consuming process, so if you have a more efficient way to raise the money, by all means take advantage of it. The next piece of advice he offers: be prepared. Have your idea fully flushed out, study campaigns that have failed and succeeded and find out why. Part of Goldby’s preparation was creating a folder of Facebook and Instagram posts, emails asking for support, blog posts, videos, etc. Picking core hashtags relevant to your project is another great way to amplify your online presence.

Since you’re already in the self-publishing world, I’ll just keep beating a dead horse and say that marketing is a crucial piece to using Kickstarter–you need to self-promote like it was your job! Keeping up on your social media and networking presence is a fundamental piece to a successful Kickstarter campaign. To find out more about how Goldby experienced such success via this route, read the article above!

If you keep up on Huffington Post, you may have seen the article last week titled: Self-Publishing: An Insult To The Written Word, in which author Laurie Gough makes claims such as, “I’d rather share a cabin on a Disney cruise with Donald Trump than self-publish,” and “From what I’ve seen of it, self-publishing is an insult to the written word, the craft of writing, and the tradition of literature.”

Of course statements like these make me cringe, however something that makes me cringe even more is the sensationalism and mob culture of the online world which reacted to Laurie’s article with personal death threats, trashed ratings and the like. We unfortunately live in a world where technology allows us to fire vitriol at perfect strangers without ever seeing the repercussions or painful reactions of those we spew it at. Can you imagine threatening someone’s life you disagreed with if you were sitting next to them on public transportation? Of course not, because it is not only socially unacceptable, it is an absolutely insane and outrageous thing to do.

Gough has since apologized for the article (which has not stopped the hate-mail of course), where she recants her naive claims and admits on her Facebook page, “I’ve only read a handful of self-published books so was basing my article on that. I guess I was in a bad mood when I wrote it and I SO wish I’d never written it.”

Admittedly, Laurie’s article was offensive, brusque and clearly out of touch with the self-publishing world. Comparing self-publishing to screaming into a microphone and calling yourself a musician or saying that “the only similarity between published and self-published books is they each have words on pages inside a cover. The similarities end there,” are highly unfair assessments of the industry and have been proven wrong by numerous successful self-published authors.

So my question is why, when we know people are obviously wrong and expressing intolerant views, do we act so wrongly and intolerant right back at them? Intolerance shouldn’t breed more intolerance; if you fundamentally disagree with the tenants of someone’s argument, either ignore it and go on with your day, or add something productive to the conversation that will help persuade them via rational argumentation, rather than by fear of their safety or well-being. Screaming your opinion the loudest won’t make people listen to you, it will only make them want to plug their ears.

People will disagree with you, they will shoot you down, and they will tell you that you have no talent. Traditional publishing companies have done that to us for years, but we don’t go burn down their headquarters or troll their CEOs–we move on and we take the high road. I sincerely hope self-published authors let up on Gough, and I am sincerely happy to see her public and quite genuine-seeming apology.


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Kelly

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.