Thursday, November 15, 2007
MY STORY: Don Meyer
1) Why did you choose to self-publish and what were your expectations?
I had published my first two books through a POD Publisher (the one that just got bought), the first manuscript to see what it was all about, the second out of frustration.
As I was making the changes from my editor, to my latest manuscript, I agonized over what to do. Should I try the traditional route or just go straight to POD? Once I completed all the changes and had the finished manuscript sitting on my desk, I ultimately decided to take this one the POD route as well. However, this time, I did extensive research into the world of POD, reading several articles and even buying a couple of books. I checked their web sites, reviewed blogs and generally did "my homework." If I was to go POD a third time, I wanted to be more informed about the process as well as my options. I also studied up on book creation, terms and expectations, as well as publishing, terms and expectations. Maybe a bit of overkill, but I wanted to know just what I was doing, before I did it this time.
I knew the process and the stigma of the decision to go this route, so I have (had) very little expectations, except to make sure I put in the effort. After all, it is my book, my product and my responsibility, so the expectations are mine.
2) Why did you select your specific publisher?
I choose Cold Tree Press for a number of reasons. The most basic reasons were the quality of their books, their overall attitude, I liked what I saw and the research I did on them all showed positive. I felt I needed something different for my next book and I was ready for the next step in book production (as well as publishing). The process was rather painless, I didn't need to be a tech guru to figure it all out and I was assigned a senior designer that was responsive, informative, patient and generally very helpful. As you go through the stages of book development, from book cover to structure, to inside formatting and overall packaging, you gain an appreciation of how all of this is done and the work it takes to bring the best possible product to market. With Cold Tree Press, I was able to accomplish that mission, by producing a quality book.
3) How is it going so far? Are you achieving your goals?
Yes, but the caveat here is that I did my homework and preparation. I was ready for the book, when it "hit the street." I had a book signing lined up, list of reviewers to submit to and a list of people to announce the book was available. I know it will take time to get the word out and the reality that the work is just beginning, but I intend to keep spreading the word and hopefully make a few sales along the way!
As I mentioned earlier, I learned a lot from my first two attempts (which have been moderately successful), that this time I hope to a lot better.
4) What advice would you give a person who has completed their manuscript and is considering self-publishing?
The first thing I would say is to make sure the work has been edited and the work is the best it can be. The second would be to do their homework. Research the POD world to find the POD that feels right for you and then make sure you understand their contract, their requirements, what expectation do they have, will you have. Take your time, be sure.
Then, I would say be prepared to invest the time and money to make this happen. It goes way beyond the setup fees, you have marketing and promotion, travel expenses, book give always, postage, shipping and handling... Think of it as starting a small business. You need a good product, start up costs, reasons someone would want to buy your product and a comprehensive business (marketing) plan. The worst thing the author can do is to go into this venture blindly. Make sure you know what you are getting into before you do it, then you won't be surprised, or disappointed later. There is no greater felling for an author than to have their published book in their hands, but it is an even greater feeling to have a quality published book and an understanding of what to do next. Above all, have fun.
"Jennifer Cerriety was the victim of a heinous crime, in a place where the perpetrators were the law. With no hope of justice, she had another thought. Someone once told her that the only thing sweeter than revenge was retribution and Jennifer had a plan."