And now for the news!
Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, wrapping up what’s new for you and yours in July 2017.
Self-publishing is a process, one that can transform lives–and this is what Maggie Bowers’ article this week in the Newnan Times-Herald affirms, as it chronicles the experience of author Angie Gallion. Gallion, who elected to self-publish her first three novels–Intoxic, Purgus and Icara–speaks to the stigma often associated with indie books (“‘It has gotten a bad reputation because there really are people who use the option just for fun […] There are unedited and badly written books out there.'”) as well as the benefits (“There is also a world of ‘undiscovered’ amazing writers worth reading, Gallion said, and she is proud to be a part of that group.”) before Bowers moves on to include another author in the conversation, columnist Lee St. John. We love what St. John has to say about going indie!
‘I enjoy meeting newbies who are also trying to understand this business,’ St. John said. ‘We share and support each other because we know how hard it is to be even somewhat successful. Success to me, as a humorist, is reading my stories in groups and watching the laughter erupt.’
Kudos to St. John, Gallion, and their ever-evolving writer’s community. You can find the rest of Bowers’ article, including St. John’s reflections on the challenges of self-publishing, online at the Newnan Times-Herald.
Novelists aren’t the only ones moving away from traditional publishing methods and exploring the wilds of self-publishing–comic writers and artists are, as well! So declares Cam Petti in his piece for Adventures in Poor Taste (AIPT), a popular go-to website for purveyors of comics, graphic novels, gaming concepts, film and television bytes, as well as general pop culture commentary. Petti, for context, is writer and co-creator of the comic Skeleton Bay Detective Agency, where he is backed-up by artist Taylor Carlise and colorist Brittany Peer. In this article–the fifth, as you will notice, in a series–Petti unpacks the process of getting their first comic out there in the world, sans traditional comic publisher. Not only is this piece a fascinating glimpse into the inner workings of the comic-making industry–which has always been a fluid and adaptive place–but it’s a rousing affirmation of the values which lead many of us into self-publishing to begin with, and the talent and elbow grease required to get us out on the other side of the forest. Come for the comic process, and stay for Petti’s insights into Kickstarter vs. Patreon vs. the world! You can find the whole article at the link.
To end the month on a note of dark humor, we bring you our last piece for the week: Jonathan Kile’s bleakly hilarious foray into the world of vanity presses who remind him of those Nigerian (or Ivory Coast, or et cetera) scammers which offer to arrange X in order to give you Y ridiculous amount of money. But of course, as Admiral Akbar warns, always remember:
Alright, that’s our meme out of the way for the day. But in all seriousness, Kile’s piece is both useful and revelatory. He debunks some of the myths of self-publishing (“Self publishing is about retaining control over these steps. It’s work and it takes time, practice, repetition, and likely a few books to become successful”) and points readers toward useful resources (including the latest Author Earnings report). He reminds readers that it’s okay–more than okay, encouraged!–to seek out specialized assistance on those elements of your book you’re not quite skillful enough to practiced enough to make look professional, like the cover art and jacket design. But he also comes down hard on vanity presses who promise the moon and can’t deliver, who outsource their advertising, outreach, and support to unscrupulous call centers, and who ultimately seem about as legitimate as my cat.
So basically, don’t spend money on something which doesn’t bring in good reviews, or which stinks of scam artists looking to make a buck. This might seem like common sense, but as Kile warns, sometimes authors are just desperate or inexperienced enough to fall for the ruse. Catch up on all his thoughts on the matter at Creative Loafing, and do your due diligence!