Prepare for Saturday – Read a Book – Plan a Trip to the Library
This Saturday is a historical day from the standpoint of Independent Authors. It is the first ever annual Indie Author Day.
You will find hundreds of libraries across the United States hosting thousands of authors on Saturday, so mark it on your calendar. They all come together at 2 pm Eastern for an inspirational digital gathering.
Also, the event brings independent authors together through the library system both literally and digitally. It’s something authors like me have waited for a long time.
Things Are Changing
“Publishing your work is more viable today than ever before. The Independent Book Publishers Association is honored to support those who choose this entrepreneurial path,” said Angela Bole, IBPA CEO. “Indie Author Day will provide a chance to discuss publishing options, learn best practices and celebrate successes with a tribe of forward-thinking writers, publishers, and librarians.”
I’m sure you’re aware there are thousands of books published each day. Many independent authors and presses are responsible for the increase in publications.
No longer is our thirst for the next great book series dependent on the big publishing houses to agree to publish. Authors today aren’t forced to take a flat fee for a book that makes millions for the publishers. (In reality, there are very few of those. The average book sells only about 200 copies)
Blips in the System
I’ll be the first to admit there are a few problems within the Indie Publishing arena.
- Some of the books have lousy covers.
- Also, many authors believe they can do the editing and layout themselves, producing substandard books.
We’ve all run into books that leave something to be desired.
For every subpar publication, there are just as many great books out there.
I spent nearly $15,000 to publish Elle Burton and the Reflective Portals.
My total costs included editing, layout, cover design, the publisher’s costs, copies of the book in bulk, a website, advertising, advertising copy, and the list goes on and on.
With everything I did to guarantee a quality production, the publisher’s experts missed some things. It wasn’t anything horrible, but I believed I’d have a perfect book in the end and I was a bit disappointed.
Reading some of the books from the largest publishers in the nation, I fear you will find a few errors in every book you read. I’ve learned to accept that perfection is nearly impossible to achieve no matter how much money you’re convinced to spend in the process.
My Humble Beginnings
My husband and I spent hours researching the big publishing houses as far back as the 1980’s when I published my first book, The Art of Business Credit Investigation. It was a reference guide for commercial credit managers. Nothing like it had ever been written.
I quickly learned that I needed to master the art of writing a proposal and that it could take over a year for me to get everything put together.
The process required dozens of letters to just as many publishing houses. My chances of being chosen looked slim to nonexistent.
One other option presented itself. With the help of my husband and a woman who worked as a ‘for-hire’ secretary.
- I could write, edit, and publish the book myself.
- It would require me to figure out how to purchase an ISBN number.
- The Library of Congress would need a copy of the book and forms filled out to protect my copyright.
The cover was amateur, but I had a tremendous advantage in marketing it nationwide.
I was the National Account Manager for the Minnesota offices of the National Association of Credit Management (NACM)
Talk about having a captive audience! Not only did they know me as a trainer and speaker, but also many of the largest companies in the United States already worked directly with me.
My firm’s primary products were Experian Business Credit Reports, Industry Credit Groups, and other business credit services.
Access to the names and addresses of companies from South Dakota to Central Wisconsin was available through my firm; I also had access to the bookstore at our national headquarters.
NACM National immediately agreed to place my book on their shelves for sale to members nationwide when it published. I refinanced my car for the money to purchase 1,000 copies of the first run of the book.
The goldmine opened when one of the largest petroleum companies in the United States bought a copy. They loved the ease of finding addresses, phone numbers, and websites to confirm corporate standing, liens, and judgments, etc. They quickly recommended my book to their suppliers and competitors.
I put a chapter in the book about my competitor D&B. It was fair and honest, and they started purchasing copies of the book.
I made an astonishing $50,000 profit the first year of publication. That was in the 1980’s, long before Indie Publishing became popular.
To date, that’s my “Author Success Story!”
Indie Authors Have Come of Age
We will never go back to the days when a few major publishers make the decision on which books to publish. Indie Authors, both good and poor, continue to write and publish the books they can’t wait to put on paper.
“Library Journal is proud to be involved in helping libraries engage their local writing communities and help them find the best indie books,” said David Greenough, General Manager & Group Publisher of Library Journal. “Over the past three years, we’ve seen this movement grow and evolve, and Indie Author Day will be the first instance of bringing this whole community together on one day to raise awareness of self-published books and demonstrate its place as a vibrant part of the publishing ecosystem.”
Kicking off the First Annual Indie Author Day
For those of you unable to make it to your local library on Saturday, I’ll share some great resources with you to find the Indie Authors to fill your weekend reading wish list.
Find free books on the Clean Indie Reads (CIR) website and new writers in the genre of your choice. Some incredible authors are among my peers here. CIR also has a Facebook page.
#IndieBooksBeSeen is a movement of Indie Authors who offer support and expertise to each other. The Facebook Page will allow you to meet the authors and learn about their books. They also have a Blogspot.
Dozens of Indie Author sites exist on Facebook, advertising new releases and special deals. Put the word “books” into the search window and discover hundreds of new authors. Many of the groups use keywords like “fantasy” to help you in your search.
Don’t forget to support your local library! Without our libraries, Indie Author Day isn’t possible. We thank not only the libraries but the librarians who work diligently each day to provide a positive reading experience for their communities!
Thank you to the Menomonie Public Library for putting “Elle Burton and the Reflective Portals” and “Missing” on your shelves!
Enjoy 2016 Indie Author Day!