And now for the news!
Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing!
Don’t you just love finding nuanced conversations about self-publishing in the most unexpected of places? This week, we stumbled across this article by Heather Hansman of High Country News, and we just *had* to share! Hansman chronicles the lead-up to the third-annual Seattle Urban Book Expo, a grassroots event that has come to be a launchpad for authors of all walks and paths, including founder and self-published author Jeff Cheatham. As a Seattle-based author initially hoping to boost diversity and representation in children’s books (Seattle was, Hansman notes, “recently ranked as one of the 10 least racially diverse cities in America”), Cheatham saw a need … and set out to fill it, both with his own books and with the founding of the SUBE. Says Cheatham, “‘I’m all about creating a family reunion vibe […] When I first started, I felt like there was no one I could talk to, so I never want to deny anyone knowledge.'” For more on the expo and what to expect next from Cheatham, check out Hansman’s excellent article in full!
This article comes to us by way of Oon Yeoh of the New Straits Times, in which she tackles the evergreen subject of marketing after publication. Says Yeoh, a former editor at a local publishing company, “I had to deal with authors of all stripes. Each of them had their own quirks and personalities, as to be expected, but the one thing almost all of them had in common was their aversion to marketing their books. ‘Isn’t that the job of the publisher?’ would be the common refrain.” After laying out how even traditionally published authors have to dedicate time and energy to marketing if they want to succeed, Yeoh addresses self-publishing:
Self-publishing is a very realistic option. But once you go down that route, you’re becoming an entrepreneur whether you realise it or not. When you self-publish, you have to do everything yourself. You’ll have to arrange for the editing, design and layout to be professionally done; you’ll have to arrange for the printing and distribution to be done as well. Lastly, you have to market and promote your book to the general public. And, you have to fund all of these activities out of your own pocket. If your book sells well, you’ll reap the profits but if it sells poorly, you’ll be the one who suffers the losses. Just like in any other business.
This is realism, Yeoh writes, not a negative–it’s just the way things are, and as self-publishing authors themselves remind us regularly, it can be enjoyable when you feel empowered and engaged with your readers. Yeoh goes on to describe the “hard” and “soft” skills as well as the business skills writers of all publishing paths will need to refine in order to achieve success in marketing. A very worthy article!
- How Self-Publishing Can Serve Your Mental Health
**Note: The article proper, in keeping with the brand of AnOther Magazine, contains some NSFW art photography. We are moving the link to the bottom of this article so that you don’t click it by mistake at work. Do not open at work!**
Here’s some good news we didn’t expect this week: according to Georgina Johnson on AnOther, World Mental Health Day 2018 provides the perfect starting point for conversations about agency, self-fulfillment, and self-publishing. Johnson, described as “a London-based multidisciplinary artist and designer, and the founder of art collective The Laundry,” first dabbled in self-publishing in the form of a 2017 zine project embracing and amplifying stories of black womanhood and diverse lives. The zine spoke with a voice that resonated, containing such powerful lines as “Freedom is a direct derivative of creativity; you could almost call them two peas in a pod. But how do you become free to create without the validity of louder or weightier voices? The answer for me laid upon the pages I braved producing.” The zine set out to show what mental health actually is or can look like–a nuanced take not often found in popular media. The article closes with this rousing endorsement for self-publishing, which made the zine and its conversation about mental health possible:
In a culture in which you can be made to feel small, as a woman, as a Black person, or someone on the fringes of society, self-publishing gives you power on your terms. It’s in no way easy, but when you create something honest, funny, critical, or something that just embodies you and the way you see, you open up yourself to others and allow folks to experience the world the way you do. In our climate of increasing intolerance, this is needed more than ever.
As mentioned above, the article and zine contain some NSFW art photography. You can read it [here].
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 each month to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.