Here’s what I learned about self-publishing and how it connects to living our best chapter:
I could have sat and stewed about how my agent at Trident Media Group couldn’t sell The Mom Who Took Off On Her Motorcycle. I remember reading the rejection letters from editors at traditional publishing houses. One editor wrote, “We can’t take on this project but I remember after my siblings and I left home how my mother went through a similar thing…”
Another editor wrote, “Why would Diana do something so dangerous?”
They just didn’t get it.
I could have spent time wishing I could change their minds, or wishing the publishing world were different.
But instead, I started action.
My agent was unable to sell the book. Wah! Bad things do happen to good people. Sometimes no things happen to good people. And sometimes writers have to enter into self-publishing.
At first, I thought I’d go with a small publishing company and have them handle my book. They offered to upload it onto amazon.com, to make a cover, to handle the sales and help me with my own marketing. But Bill Quain then talked some sense into me.
He said, “Publishing companies – traditional, print on demand, and self-publishing companies alike – make outrageous marketing claims about their relationship with Amazon…[but] Nobody has a relationship with Amazon that will help you sell books. Nobody.”
Bill pointed out the power of word of mouth…and good marketing…and those are things that authors have to do themselves.
So here I am.
My goal is still to have a book bought by a traditional publishing house—because it’s validating and very satisfying. I know, because I felt it when Jewish Publication Society took on my first book, The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women–created with Lori Grinker with her stunning photographs–is now, unfortunately, out of print. (You can still find a few stray copies here.)
Meanwhile, though, I’ve learned so much. Here’s to living our best chapter. Because we don’t have to give up our dreams.
Remember: we don’t always get what we want, but we can still get almost what we want! Or something fresh and new, which opens another door.
So, you want your FREE copy of The Mom Who Took Off On Her Motorcycle in paperback? You have to ask! Enter the contest and get someone you love a gift! (Either yourself or someone else!) Here’s all you have to do:
Tweet a link to my blog and use the hashtag #TheMomWhoTookOffOnHerMotorcycle
OR type a comment below. Even one syllable. The word “Oy” is not included, unless you’re from Finland because someone told me that “oy” means “Incorporated” in Finnish. (Is this true? Any Finnish aficionados out there?) Comment and you can win your free copy of The Mom Who Took Off On Her Motorcycle.
THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON FEBRUARY 19, 2013.
Of course, you can also just save the tree and buy dozens of ebooks…that’s cool, too.