A friend of mine just emailed me an excellent question about what it is like to work with a small publishing house. For those of you who are thinking about trying it, I thought I might post some insight into just what my experience has been so far…
My publisher is Brighter Books. They are an amazing company with great vision and they are capable of producing a high-quality product. The troublesome part is that as a young publishing house, they don’t yet have the contacts to do much more than sell and promote my book online.
My dreams are bigger, and I’m willing to work and risk for them. If I never took the chance, I think something inside would begin to wither and die.
So I’m working with a publicist I’ve hired on my own dime and have been doing all the legwork myself. This means I’ve been going personally to bookstores, writing other authors/reviewers/book buyers and organizing promotional events myself.
I’ve joined toastmasters to improve my public speaking and I am preparing several educational presentations of creative writing so that I have something to offer local high schools and young adult groups. I’ve also quit my job to give me time to do both writing and promotion (I still have another 3 books coming!).
I work about 1 to 2 days at a retail store and this just barely covers my expenses of working with a publicist and buying pre-release promotional copies of my books from Angela. Fortunately, my amazing husband works hard and covers the basic cost of living or else I would never be able to afford doing what I do.
The good news? Angela (my publisher) created a beautiful product and the hard work of the last few months is really paying off. A lot of people are excited about my book and the word is spreading. My first book signing went amazingly well and I’m actually selling enough promotional copies of my book to help cover some of the expenses. Promotional copies can be bought online, at the Buzz coffee shop in town, and at Alberni Outpost (the retail store where I work. They’ve supported me from the start!)
I’ve just made contact with an interviewer on Check TV and in an amazing breakthrough, Save-On-Foods will be carrying my book once it is released. I think Chapters will carry it locally as well.
The idea is – if I can sell enough books locally, a bigger distributer may become interested in carrying me. A major distribution company can place my book in stores across the country but first… I need my book to do well here. 🙂
A big happy shout out to my friends and family who have supported me this far. The journey is frightening but the risk is part of the thrill. I feel alive, happy, and terrified all at once.
It’s a good thing. 🙂