I am pleased to present another guest post from the site WOW! Women On Writing™ (really lightens up the writing for me and nice to introduce other voices). This blog is one of the stops on the blog tour for Birds of Paradise and this post is by author Kathy Handley and her advice on what to look for in an Indie publisher. Thank you. Kathy and WOW! for the book and sharing a copy of this book with a reader…yes, a giveaway!
Birds of Paradise, follows a group of runaway teens through a quickly changing world but one in which friendships and alliances are made and honored. There are connections and an underlying sense of caring and thoughtfulness in this tale of friendship and growth. Ms. Handley writes with both sensitivity and clear-sightedness and captures the language and feelings of teenagers.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN AN INDIE PUBLISHER, by Kathy Handley
After an author has taken on the creation of a book project, the question of publishing arises at varying stages of the process. The brand new writer often thinks that she is read to publish and starts asking questions and researching the avenues of getting the book into print. Conferences offer classes on “query” writing and general sessions and sometimes an agent will request a partial manuscript or even the whole manuscript. Meanwhile authors are also encouraged to have their drafts critiqued and polished up–most need it. Often an author will ultimately turn to an indie publisher. It is lovely to talk to authors who have used small presses and found them to be professional and considerate.
I discovered two new presses in the New York-New England area–run by two amazingly capable women; Stephanie Blackman, of Riverhaven Books, Inc. who published my first two books, Birds of Paradise and A World of Love and Envy as well as several books by Virginia Young and several other writers, and Michelle Toth, of SixOneSeven, Inc. who published her first book, Annie Begins, and has opened up her business to other authors.
It is important to note that several very talented authors who self-published their books had them picked up by major houses. Lisa Genova’s Still Alice and Brunonia Barry’s The Lace Reader are prime example of best sellers with fabulous second books to follow …
My personal needs in a self publisher (after the fact for me)
- An honest forthright person who readily and often communicates directly with the writer.
- A person who will get answers, investigating the nuances in the process and supporting the writer during promotions
- One who will give you an honest estimate of expenses
- One who will encourage promotion–planning events and working in tandem with the writer.
- One who will participate in an interview in person and/or by phone and provide references and samples of work
- Do it yourself: Michelle Toth started her own company and published Annie Begins – only totally brilliant folks will do this!
Considering Indie publishing means that you are ready to do the work and celebrate when you hold your book in your hand.
About the Author:
Kathy recently won Word Hustler’s Page-to-Screen Contest (2011) and currently serves as Prose Poetry Judge for the National League of American Pen Women Soul-Making Contest. A collection of her work has just been released under the title A World of Love and Envy (short fiction, flash-fiction, and poetry). She credits the folks at Grub Street, the creative writing center in Boston, for offering her the classes, encouragement, and schmoozing opportunities she needed to finally become a published novelist. Read Kathy’s Grub Street post here.
Book Giveaway Contest: If you would like to win a copy of Birds of Paradise, please leave a comment at the end of this post to be entered in a random drawing. The giveaway contest closes this Sunday, October 16th at 11:59 PM, PST. For an extra entry, link to this post on Twitter with the hashtag #BirdsParadise, then come back and leave a link to your tweet. The winner will be chosen at random from my favorite plugin “And The Winner Is…” and announced in the comments section of this post on the following day Monday, October 17th. Good luck!