Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Announcing: The Birth of a Book

Drum roll please! The book Janine Boyer, Kim Messinger and I wrote is now available. We’re holding a Book Launch Party on Saturday, February 11, 12 noon to 3 p.m., at Maria’s Restaurant, Millersburg. This is your official invitation to celebrate with us!

As most of you know, my first book, Sisterhood of Faith, was released by a traditional publisher, Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. We self published this second book through WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson, and I discovered self publishing is a very different ballgame. In case you’re interested in the differences, read on.

Once you submit a manuscript to a traditional publisher, things are pretty much out of your control. The publisher chooses the cover and designs the layout. Editors work with you on changes, but your publisher is responsible for the final product.

When you self publish a book, you are responsible for everything. You choose the cover and offer input on layout. You either pay the publisher extra to edit or do as I did and contract someone else to edit. It’s much scarier to self publish. If there are errors of any kind in the book, it’s your fault. Talk about guilt. You alone are responsible for the accuracy and appearance of the final product.

When you publish through a traditional publisher, the publisher sends copies of the book to bookstores and press releases to radio and TV stations. When you self publish, the burden of promotion rests on your shoulders. You can’t afford to send copies to bookstores, but you must find a way to get the word out. We are hiring a publicist to do an April blog tour. You want to reach a national audience, and this option seemed the most reasonable.

When you publish through a traditional publisher, they pay you an advance and as the book sells you receive royalty checks. When you self publish, you pay the publisher for a publishing package. Once the book is on the market you receive royalties, and here’s one advantage: They are higher than the royalties you would receive from a traditional publisher. But you must find a way to sell or you’ll end up with a garage full of books.

So there you have it. It’s been a fun ride with Kim and Janine. And we are very pleased with the final product. Found only one error so far—a comma missing in a series on the back cover. (My bad.) Can you find it?

Autographed copies of Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides may be ordered from our website, www.friendsoftheheart.us. The book is also available at our local Carpenter’s Shop, online on Amazon (Kindle version, too), Barnes and Noble and WestBow Press websites. 

Feel free to pass on our blog and to comment on it. I'd love to hear how you like the blog format. Visit www.friendsoftheheart.us to view our schedule, which shifts into high gear this spring.

Have a blessed day.