Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Author's Journey

Today marks seven months since I signed off on the final version of Again in a Heartbeat and sent the file to my publisher.  I remember the trepidation and exhilaration I felt.

Since then I have had book signings, facilitated workshops, been offered a chance to talk to college students about memoir and, most importantly, met fabulous people.

The Women's Writing Circle has been fulfilling beyond words.

None of this would have happened if I hadn't published my book.  So if the next seven months are anything like the first seven, I can say you will feel rewarded for all your hard work.

Because I went the POD or print-on-demand route, I have a beautiful product AND  I didn't break the bank doing it.  Many people are under the impression it costs thousands of  dollars to self-publish, but nothing could be farther from the truth.  If you take the time to produce good writing, find an editor and illustrator, you can publish for under $700.  This is not as much as you would spend on your child's textbooks for one year in college.  Don't you think you owe yourself that much?  

The first draft of the cover
I could order only enough books to SELL.  That way, I did not have a closet or garage full of books.  Through what my publisher calls the "Expanded Distribution Channel," my book is available on Amazon and other online outlets, as well as college and library ordering services . . . all at no additional cost to me.

While marketing is an ongoing process, not to worry. So much is free, from Facebook and Twitter, that everyone can market at little or no cost.   There are many free how-to guides and blogs on marketing.  Networking through a writing group like the Women's Writing Circle is another way to get the word out.

The downside - only if you let it get you down - is that it takes time to build the momentum for your book.

I view this journey as ongoing.  Some people tell you that a book's shelf life is no more than a year, tops.  With POD you are not tied to that timeframe. Simply said - marketing your book is something you can do for as long - or as little - as you like.  Your book is always available for production and purchase, you own the copyright and can go to another publisher, if dissatisfied.  And you can say, "I did it!"

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