And now for the news!
This week in the world of self-publishing:
“When I self-published my book, admittedly, it was the last resort,” writes Eva Lesko Natiello in her September 8th article for The Huffington Post‘s Entertainment section. Natiello, who self-published her book The Memory Box after a series of rejections from traditional publishers, goes on to describe the dejection and intense discouragement that followed. “Quickly,” she writes, “the consolation prize felt very much like a booby prize.” This discouragement was only amplified by the positive responses she received. Says Natiello, “I’m probably the only author on the planet that cringes when a reader says, ‘I read your book in one night! I couldn’t put it down!’ Knowing the myriad all-nighters I pulled writing and editing it. And all the sleepless nights that are ahead of me to finish the next book.”
Natiello’s experience is hardly unique, however. Many authors turn to self-publishing as a last resort after rejection, and there’s a tendency to think that this somehow automatically equates to failure–that self-publishing is the hallmark of failed writers, even as sales soar and readers respond the way that Natiello’s do. But there’s a silver lining to the struggle, she reminds us: “It was unglamorous and worth every minute. I didn’t know it back then, but self-publishing is just a different way to do the thing I always wanted: to entertain readers. You can’t do that unless you produce something for them to read.” And Natiello has. To read her full story and catch up on the success of her book, you can access the full HuffPost piece here.
Some self-publishing companies are, shall we say, unique. And Erika Bester’s Fire Quill Publishing, the first fully female-owned publisher, is one of several experienced self-publishing authors who has taken steps towards activating the potential of other authors by launching a startup that defies the world of traditional publishing according to Neo Koza in this September 9th article for Eyewitness News. Bester saw a need–“Our publishing companies focus more on non-fiction and memoirs, they are not very supportive of fantasy genres and non-adult science fiction”–and decided to set about satisfying that need. But it’s not easy going, as Koza reports: when small publishers like Fire Quill do occasionally get their books into stores, they are often tucked away out of sight. “It’s always somewhere in the corner where nobody sees it,” says Bester. But her struggle is an important one, as Koza records, since the field of traditional publishing leaves little room for diverse voices like Simamkele Dial’s, whose book was published through Fire Quill earlier this year. As many self-publishing authors have discovered, self-publishing is more than just a home to discouraged authors seeking shelter after rejection by the institution; the platform provides a wholly new launchpad for diversity in thought and representation. (And content.) But enough of the summary; check out Koza’s coverage of Bester’s work at the link.
Award opportunities for self-publishing authors can be few and far between, but there are opportunities out there as this September 9th press release for Outskirts Press reveals. The full-service self-publishing company will by the time you read this have both sponsored and sent representatives to the first-ever Colorado Book Festival, held at the Denver Public Library. “As a Colorado-based company that assists authors worldwide,” says the release, “Outskirts Press is thrilled to provide resources to aspiring authors attending this free event.” The event is drawing some attention not just because of its novelty but because of the names attached; Colorado’s Governor, John Hickenlooper, attended the event as well as Outskirts Press’s founder and President, Brent Sampson, who took part in a panel discussion while the company’s CEO, Jeanine Sampson, met writers one-on-one in order to field questions about both the company and the process of self-publishing. The event, which drew more than 75 local authors (!!), ran the gamut from crime to sports, poetry to photography, and fiction to history as authors mingled and shared their experiences with other attendees. With book signings, giveaways, and children’s story times scheduled throughout the event, this first-ever Colorado Book Festival holds a lot of promise in terms of giving authors an idea of what they might come to expect in the future for their industry: Hope, optimism, and a great deal of public attention. For the full press release, follow the link!
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.