I imagine that you’ve heard something on the news or read an article on Indie Publishing, a form of self-publishing. Since I am choosing that path for my memoir detective story “The Woman in the Photograph: The Search for My Mother’s Hidden Past,” I am very excited about this modality. For me it is an opportunity to produce a book of professional quality equal to what the big publishers produce – and learn more about becoming a publisher than I ever wanted to know before.
Initially all my attention went into the search for my mother’s hidden past. Then came the decade of research and writing… and rewriting…and rewriting, with the help of developmental editors, copy editors and infinitely patient friends who let me read the same first paragraph aloud on the phone, over and over, with just a little change. Do you like forgotten? or buried? how about my mother’s obfuscated past? I asked. But they were kind, and always eager to hear the next version when it was ready.
But now the writing is done and I want to produce this fabulous story overnight. I thought of the publishing part as something I could rush through, get over with so I could get on the book tour (whether virtual or in person). Then I started reading some of the incredible blogs about Indie Publishing that are written by experts who already were at the top of their game in traditional publishing decades ago.
Now becoming an independent publisher, whether for one book, or more, is becoming a passion in itself. There is so much to learn, and so many ways to make it happen, and a lot of choice about how much you want to spend, based on what you want to do with your published work.
Here’s the thing. I’m an author and a teacher and I want my memoir to get broad distribution. But my neighbor also has a unique and worthwhile story to tell. He was a paratrooper in World War II and survived the Battle of the Bulge. A niece interviewed him and recorded his tale of heroism and fear. They too have a book to share with relatives and friends. It may only be 50 pages, and they don’t need to advertise. There are sites like Lulu.com where they can produce a book pretty inexpensively, probably cheaper than a xerox spiral bound version, and make it a gift or let friends buy it directly. Sure, they need a bright high school student to upload it, but there are many people born and raised on computer technology.
Every life has events, and the inner story behind the events. Both are interesting and often revelatory. If you are fascinated by all the things happening in the world of independent publishing, and might have a yearning yourself to produce something people can read on their digital reading device or hold in their hands, here’s a great site full of advice, information, and links to other sites TheBookDesigner. You can look at the list of past articles if you are looking for something in particular.
This is the publishing revolution. We all have experiences that have been pivotal in our lives. We all have a voice that needs to be heard. Consider whether independent publishing might just be calling to you. You have a story to tell.