A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of spending some time in San Diego. But it wasn’t the seals or the weather that was the primary attraction, rather the opportunity to meet and talk with a group of independent authors who regularly meet up as members of the Publishers and Writers of San Diego, run by Karla Olson, that is specifically designed to help writers self-publish. The stigma of self-publishing as being a lesser alternative to having a traditional publisher is quickly going away. With more and more professional tools and services available to them, authors are taking advantage of the low cost of entry to distribute through e and print on demand, rather than having the expense of investing in inventory. Self-publishing is also a very viable channel to the big houses, as authors can demonstrate an audience for their work.
What struck me at our Southern Californian get together was the desire and willingness by these authors to have their books professionally edited, proofread, and reviewed to ensure they are positioned for success. More and more they are ensuring that the cover is professionally designed to attract their audience and that they don’t cut off distribution channels by not having an ISBN. The Independent Book Publishers Association is going a long way to ensure some of these basic rules are reinforced because these stories are good, worth telling, and have an audience. Let me give you an example of some of the publications that this group had produced. You might like to read some of them as well. Add them to your Want to Read shelf.
And while on the note of discovering independent authors, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all those aspiring writers who entered our Aspiring Writers Competition. This year was highly competitive with hundreds more entries than previous years, and I would like to thank the readers and judges for their time in narrowing the shortlist. Having read the shortlist, it’s going to be a difficult task to pick the finalists.
Check out my picks below:
Clear Your Clutter by Sue Crum
The Emperor and the Spy by Stan S. Katz
Outrageous by Neal Katz
The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey
Self-Publishing Boot Camp Guide for Authors by Carla King
Also be sure to check out author Penny S. Tee‘s first book, coming soon!