1) Why did you choose to self-publish and what were your expectations?
I chose self-publishing because I knew the odds of getting published by a traditional publisher were slim to none. Most publishing companies get hundreds of submissions a week – sometimes more! My first book followed an Olympic swimmer and I was either going to self publish or be forced to wait an additional four years due to the timing. (I was able to time my book’s release with the 2004 Summer Olympics.)
2) Why did you select your specific publisher?
I selected a subsidy publisher off a recommendation. They offered Print-On-Demand digital printing and a return option for the books that no other subsidy publisher at the time could match. Whereas POD and subsidy publishing tend to kill most authors and their books, I had two things going for me – naïve willingness and a rep that understood marketing. My rep suggested numerous books and websites to assist me with promotions and told me to start making bookstore appearances. I eagerly followed all of his advice and by the end of the year, I’d done fifty book signings and built a good fan base.
3) How is it going so far? Are you achieving your goals?
I have gone as far as I can with this company. A year ago, I began teaching seminars on publishing and promoting. The massive amount of research I conducted to put together these seminars led me to one conclusion – the time had come to begin my own publishing company!
I spent 2007 establishing a firm online presence, expanding my territory physically, networking, teaching, and setting things in place while touring for the fourth book of my series. It has been exhausting (100+ appearances in about seven months!), but I am now prepared to start my company, republish the first four books and the final in the series, and take on other authors.
4) What advice would you give a person who has completed their manuscript and is considering self-publishing?
Study the market and learn the publishing industry before doing anything!!!!! Nothing hurts the independent and self publishing industry more than someone who doesn’t know what they are doing! Read Dan Poynter and John Kremer’s books on publishing & promoting – and any others you can get your hands on! Stay away from subsidy publishing unless you are prepared for the battle. (I only know of three that are worthwhile.) And no matter what, you will HAVE to do a lot of promoting and marketing!
Like anything else in life, you will work hard enough to succeed if you want it bad enough!
Author & Speaker, L. Diane Wolfe
Wolfe’s series, The Circle of Friends, focuses on the pursuit of dreams and the overcoming of obstacles. The stories intertwine as the characters learn that with belief and encouragement, they can achieve anything. Meant to inspire as well as entertain, Wolfe’s books have been described as “encouragement personified”. Her latest in the series, “Mike: Book IV”, follows one young man’s journey of forgiveness.
Traveling the East Coast to promote her series, Wolfe sets herself on a heavy tour of extensive book signings and speaking engagements. The author averages over one hundred appearances each year, maintains a website & blog for her series, and contributes articles for several other sites. She conducts seminars on publishing & promoting and goal setting, participates in book fairs, speaks to schools, and manages an online writer’s group. In 2008, she will start her own publishing company and take on other authors. Wolfe is located in Eastern North Carolina.