When I published Making Room for George last year, I was, at best, a Labrador puppy with a new bone: exuberant, elated, undisciplined, and naive.
Why not? I had just accomplished the dream of a lifetime: I had written my first novel and it was good. I could not wait to see it in print, so after multiple rounds of “send me pages” and “send me the manuscript” and “can you do (four) re-writes?” with traditional literary agents, I decided to publish independently.
I don’t regret this. I didn’t want to wait. I am a Baby-Boomer after all. I had certain control: I used one of my own images for the cover, decided what font and colors to use, designed my page layout, hired my own editor, chose my own Beta Readers, and I still own the rights to my content.
I’ve gotten some good reviews. I’ve done several readings to en rapt listeners (these were awesome!). It is precious to be heard.
What I do regret is not having done more research before choosing a publisher and buying marketing packages, the Hollywood Treatment and Press Release, for example that eventually proved not to be worth the money.
So here I offer two valuable blogger resources I have found recently for your referral.
“Writer’s Toolbox” by Ryan Lanz (@theryanlanz) offers tips and resources for #writers. In this post, the particular link that caught my eye was the one about how to create your own book trailer (gratefully, one of the packages I did not buy from my publisher). With these hints, I think I’ll give making my own trailer a go.
As for legal issues surrounding independent publishing, they abound. Since I published, I have realized (via a Book Baby blog post) that I have one, one I still must correct, but that’s another blog post.
So that you don’t end up with your own legal issues, there’s Helen Sedwick (@HelenSedwick), a writerly business attorney out of California. She has a book, Self Publisher’s Legal Handbook, and a blog for you. Here’s the post she writes about the not-so-wonderful idea of purchasing a Hollywood Treatment package where the publisher writes a synopsis of your book for you and shows it to their associate Hollywood production company then, if it’s not picked up, files it away in a Hollywood database, a place akin I think, to those cavernous federal warehouses full of floor to ceiling, huge, wooden crates of boxed files you see in movies.
Good luck and happy writing!
Gavel Image: by Levi used with permission; creative commons