Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Should You Self-Publish?

Should I self-publish my book or find a "real" publisher? That is a question many people seem to have on their lips these days. With the advent of  technology we are seeing more books self-published than we ever have before. There are so many pros and cons to self-publishing though, that you need to step back and take a serious look at what is right for you, before you proceed any further.

After I foolishly self-published 30 copies of my first book, I was surprised and a little afraid at what happened next. Once I realized what I had gotten myself into, I did some research and didn't like what I found. It seems that books don't sell by themselves. Who knew? Apparently, if you have a book that is published you have to market it too! What a concept! So I started with who I knew and presented my book to my local Christian Bookstore. Fortunately, I knew the owner and she was so lovely and supportive of me that she gave me shelf space and even put my book in a beautiful display at Christmas. Remarkably, I started selling books! Woohoo! 

But, I learned that was only the first step. I needed to do something more and get my name out there. I needed to take some classes on marketing. But where? With whom? That's when God introduced me to The Word Guild, Canada's largest community of Christian writers, editors and publishers. I signed up right away, especially when I found out they were going to have a conference in London called Write! London. One course I took was lead by award-winning author Donna Fawcett whose pen name was Donna Dawson. She suggested during her course that book reviews are something every author needs if they want to sell their books. So, immediately after class I handed her my book and asked if she would review it. Hers was the first review I ever received and she has been a source of inspiration to me as well as a dear friend ever since.

As I got to know the people, and talked to more experts, I quickly realized that not only did I need to think of a marketing plan, but I needed to have a book signing. Once again I went back to my local Christian bookstores and much to my surprise and delight both stores in my city agreed to host me and yet I found myself in a difficult position. I needed more books printed. 

Suddenly, self-publishing was becoming inconvenient and too expensive. There had to be a better way!

More on that next time!



Peter Black said...

You speak for me, and I'm sure, for many others of us who self-published, Laura.
Donna and you continue to be sources of inspiration to me, personally.
I look forward to your next installment.

Laura J. Davis said...

Thank you Peter.

Popular Posts