And now for the news!
Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, specifically interviews with or articles written by self-publishing authors and experts!
Every now and again, we all need a really good overcoming-adversity story, don’t we? Each of us goes through our various lives with such different tools and attitudes, but at the end of the day, struggle is universal and when we stumble across other peoples’ stories of struggle and survival in the midst of dark times, those stories themselves become another tool. Basically, what I’m saying is this: Reading stories like Geordie Stewart’s helps both put things in perspective and encourages us all to not give up. Stewart, whose new self-published book In Search of Sisu just came out this year, ran a kickstarter campaign to raise the funds necessary to get his book out there in the world. And the world is what Stewart is all about! His book chronicles his adventures in summiting Everest and other high-altitude peaks throughout the world, one of the most dangerous adventure sports in the world. (“Sports” doesn’t even seem remotely like the right word to describe the grueling rigors of such an activity.) His book received blurbs from figures which loom large over the outdoor adventuring community, including Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Bear Grylis. But his attitude is all modesty, and this interview with Craig Smith of The Courier may be just the emotional boost you need to start your week off right.
Diversity matters, and the concept of seeing oneself and one’s struggles fully represented in children’s literature is one that is unattainable for many marginalized groups, for a variety of reasons. Well, children’s author Nury Castillo Crawford is setting out to change that reality for bilingual children and the children of immigrants who may never have seen themselves in a picture book before–and she utilized self-publishing to get there! Crawford, whose bilingual book 3,585 Miles to Be an American Girl came out in February, is a passionate advocate for representation and literacy. As Jordan Meaker writes in this Red & Black interview, that number–3,585–has personal significance for Crawford, who now works as a director of community engagement for Gwinnett County Public Schools in Georgia. “The entire story is inspired by my personal journey,” says Crawford. When she first moved to the United States, decades ago, there were no ESL classes to ease new immigrants into a monolingual English-speaking world. Her book, and other bilingual books, serve as a bridge between those two world for immigrant children who may be looking to learn English but struggling with figuring out how.
Crawford isn’t just a defender of the child and the immigrant; she’s also a defender of self-publishing! “Once you have a contract with a traditional publishing company, you don’t own the book anymore,” she says. “I wasn’t happy about that, I didn’t want anyone to change anything. I decided I was going to have to work and get my own publishing company.” The rest of her interview is just as fascinating. Give it a look!
Speaking of women self-publishing books to assist kids learning how to read and speak, I give you Ashley Imlay’s interview with Amelia Murdock on the Deseret News. Murdock, author and illustrator of the Dash Into Reading series of phonics books for young kids, got started because she wanted something constructive and positive to complement her hours and work as a mother. She used her own background in the arts to write and illustrate the ten-book series, which she self-published in April. She field-tested some of the art and pages on Instagram, and after receiving a massively positive response there, decided to push forward with self-publishing despite rejections from the major traditional publishing houses as a result of phonics books being such a “niche” item. Her journey to self-publishing may not have been her first choice, but now she recognizes that it is a good fit with the material. All of her sales have been made through word-of-mouth recommendations, she says, and through her presence on Instagram. If that’s not a good reason to try out the social media platform, we don’t know what is!
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.