authors, self publishing, writing

Here’s what makes self publishing so great and so hard.

As some of you know,  I have authored and self published two books. About six months ago, I had something happen that I thought was pretty cool. A person I know spoke at a conference in Europe two summers ago. Unbeknownst to me, he took copies of the first book I published called A Clear Viewand gave it to someone from Italy. That person took the book back with him, read it and began telling others about it. As more and more people started reading it, an Italian publisher got interested in translating it into Italian and contacted me about getting permission to do that. Needless to

Writing an additional chapter for the Italian version of this book showed me how important a deadline is to an author

say, I was thrilled. Not because there is going to be some financial windfall, but because I wrote something and got it published and people who I have never met are being impacted by the work. This is one of the reasons why self publishing is so great.  Instead of the manuscript sitting in a drawer. It is a book that people can order if they want and read if they want and publish in another language if they want. Tell me what author would not want that to happen and self publishing makes that possible every day.

But something else happened in this experience that made me realize why self publishing is so hard. The Italian publisher wanted me to add another chapter and he gave me a deadline by when he wanted it submitted. Sounds simple and obvious doesn’t it, but what occured to me is when you self publish there is no one else setting a deadline for you. You are usually on your own and so it is very easy to procrastinate and put off writing and publishing. That is one of the reasons why I think self publishing is so hard.  You have to push your self and set your own timeline and deadline. Sounds simple and obvious doesn’t it, but I think it is one of the reasons why so many authors interested in self publishing never get their manuscript done. Don’t let that be you. Set a deadline by when you want your manuscript complete. Pick an event or occasion or some date you can shoot for and that will keep you motivate and get your book into the hands of readers. You never know where it might end up.

authors, book signings, Indie book publishing, self publishing

Three Things at LA Times Festival of Books that Surprised Me


Young children, including boys, love printed books

Last weekend, I attended the LA Times Festival of Books, which I think may be the best book fair in the country. I was concerned because after years of being held at on the picturesque campus of  UCLA; this year it moved across town to USC.  I’m happy to report that the folks at USC did a tremendous job of hosting the fair and the change of venue ultimately turned out to be a non-issue.

There were three things at the fair took me by surprise:

The death of the bookstore has been greatly exaggerated: While recent headlines seem only to report about the struggles of national book retail chains, behind the story a revival of sorts is underway with the independents, as a number of them are thriving.
There were constant crowds at the Vroman’s tent; and the Book Soup tent was equally popular. In fact as I travel the country, I’m finding independent stores like Booksandbooks in Miami; and others I’ve visited in Austin, Texas, and St. Louis are succeeding by playing the role of community gathering places. Selling books is certainly an important part of what they do, but the books also serve as a reason for people of like interests to to gather and interact. The independents aren’t going away anytime soon!

 Children may like apps, but they still love printed books: I saw it time and time again. During the dozens of author signings Author Solutions hosted throughout the weekend, the longest lines included kids waiting with their parents to meet an author and get a copy of a book. There is hope for books and reading after all! That said, I think an opportunity exists for more authors to focus on writing books that appeal to young boys. In my opinion, there is a huge need to reach out to these young readers so that the love of reading takes root early.

Indie publishing continues gaining interest

Indie book publishing continues to pick up steam: While most of the people featured on the stages were traditionally-published authors, the interest in Indie book publishing continues to grow. More and more authors realize there is no reason to wait at the mailbox for an acceptance, or rejection letter, when you can get your book to readers now.
The numbers bear it out – indie publishing is now the rule not the exception; but it really hit me how popular it’s become as I spoke with even more authors who are deciding to take control of their works.

As usual the LA Times Festival of Books was a fantastic event. If you are a book lover, I highly recommend a visit to this fair.