Wednesday, June 17, 2009

DIY Author

By Angela Henry

Not many people know this, but I started out as a self-published author. I self-published the book that eventually became The Company You Keep under the title The Pleasure of His Company in 2002, three years before it was picked up and republished by BET Books. When I self-published I had no idea what I was doing and I sold very few copies.

But a lot has changed since I self-published. Namely, self-publishing has become a viable and respected way to get your work to the masses. Though there are still many who view self-publishing as the last resort for the desperate and untalented, that view is rapidly changing.

I think views on self-publishing are changing because authors are realizing that talent alone doesn’t cut it when it comes to getting a book contract. Publishing has adopted the blockbuster mentality of Hollywood and it’s not always about what’s good and well written. It’s about what sells. If you don’t have a platform, or you’re not a brand then it makes it even more difficult to get your foot in the door.

Another reason why I think views on self-publishing are changing is because with all the current technology and software out there it is possible for an author to produce a quality book that can be indistinguishable from books produced by traditional publishers. I can usually spot a self-pubbed book a mile away because of the horrible covers, bad layout, and shoddy editing. I've also seen others that are so well done I never guessed they were self-published. And, yes, my first effort could be counted amongst the former. I like to think that I’ve learned a lot since then. One of those lessons being that readers don’t care who publishes a book. They just want a good book to read.

Maybe you’ve already guessed where I’m going with this post. If not, I’ll just come right out and announce that I’m returning to my self-publishing roots. I’m in the beginning stages of publication for book 4 in my Kendra Clayton series under my own publishing imprint. For the past two years I’ve received numerous emails and constant questions about when the next book is coming out. It killed me every time I had to say the series had been dropped. Thus far, no publishers have been interested in taking it over.

So, I did what all authors are advised to do in my situation. I wrote a different book with different characters. And I’m still very hopeful that this new book will sell to a traditional publisher. But even still, Kendra was still tugging at me whispering in my ear and telling me she still had plenty of stories to tell. I had to get this chick off my back. And admittedly it made no sense to me to have two completed Kendra books burning a hole on my hard drive when people could be reading them. I haven’t at all given up on traditional publishing. But I don’t see any reason whatsoever why I can’t have the best of both worlds.

Look for Kendra book 4 this fall!!!!!

Later!

4 comments:

Rhonda McKnight said...

Go for it, Angela! I'll buy.

angela henry said...

Thanks, Rhonda!

SomeAnyEvery said...

Hi Angela. This is great news! I am looking forward to Kendra's next adventures.

angela henry said...

SomeAnyEvery,

Thank you! Kendra has many more adventures to come ;).

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