Having visited with a large group of self-published authors and poets on Saturday and wondering how well their books were selling, I pondered the reasoning behind self-publishing. I talked with authors who had hoped to sell books and earn money, authors who had published one book and just wanted the joy of sharing their work with others, authors who had begun a series of books and hoped to interest a publisher or agent, and some who had put together a book of poems and photography their friends thought was worthy of sharing with the public and even might sell.
With all this fresh on my mind, I read with interest the article TENURE VS. FRESH TALENT, by Hope Clark in her recent newsletter. Hope compares tenure for teachers with publishers who stick with well known authors even when their books begin to fall short of the excellence of their first block-buster novels.
She discusses the concept of flooding the market with books published by everyone who thinks his book is wonderful even though he can't get a publisher to take it, versus the writer who works hard and long until he produces a book so outstanding an agent grabs it or a publisher recognizes its worth.Read Hope Clark's article here.
Self-publish and work, work, work to get the name recognition and market your book until you sell zillions of books on your own.
Or you work, work, work your tail off until you produce that book that a publisher wants.
It seems to me that even those who reach the goal of having that book published by a big company must work hard to market their book, while working on the next book, and the next and the next.
Is it worth it? I think about what Leah Maine, editor of Finishing Line Press, the small press that published my poetry book, Now Might As Well Be Then, said in a recent interview. After her first book was published the craving to have her name grace the cover of her own books faded and now she takes more pleasure in publishing the books of others.
But I look at Peggy Poe Stern, a dedicated writer who will not give up, will not quit even if she never gets that big contract. She writes several novels at the same time. She and her husband David do it all. Each book they sell is made by them from beginning to end. What a prolific writer and her books are presently like little gem stones in the mountains of North Carolina, waiting to be discovered by a master jewelry maker.
More about Peggy in a later post. Come back later and you might become the winner of one of her Appalachian novels.
Among the self-published books we picked up Saturday, my sister who is an avid of reader of good stories, not literary books but fast moving, character driven books that hold her interest from beginning until the end, found one she started sitting at my tavle and could not put down until she fell asleep in the wee hours of the next morning. The writer is a native of Appalachia, from around Boone, NC. She said she is fortunate to have two great editors and she gives them credit for the finalized copies of her numerous publications. Her name is Peggy Poe Sterns.
Some of her books are: