Books are a forest and it’s hard to see the trees, except the tall ones or the old ones. But when you enter the forest, it’s the new growth that emits the sunlight....

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Rewards of Indie Publishing!

The House in Windward Leaves is having an enchanting year.  This May, the comic children's fantasy made Finalist in two Indie award programs:   E-book Fiction Finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and Juvenile Fiction Finalist in the National Indie Excellence Book Awards.  The book is also in the Top Ten Children's Books at Kid Lit Reviews.  That blog presents new books from both Indie and established publishers.  The public can vote for the Best Children's Book of 2013, from the blog's top ten, in December.
My self-published book and many books from small or Indie publishers might reach the public!
The Duluth Public Library was built to look like a ship.
This week, I attended the annual book sale at the Duluth Public Library to fill in the shelves of my internet used bookstore.  As always, I looked for collectible books, especially books from the 1800s with fine bindings.  Over the years, I have given more attention to rare books, not only antique books but books from small publishers.   Early on, I obtained an out-of-print book on taxidermy published by Herter’s in Minnesota, a publisher I now buy whenever I find them, mostly because their photos and illustration are as focused as their books are detailed.
A more recent paperback about surfing on the Great Lakes brought an unusual price on the internet.  I had similar experiences with self-published children's books that contained high quality nature photography with their animal stories.  And if I find a book on regional crafts such as quilting or quillwork, or a university press book on Missouri caves, I buy it.  As many now know, there is hope for a good book, regardless of the publisher.  It used to be that an author of fiction had to go to an eastern publisher but these days, other things are possible. 
When I worked in new bookstores, a children's bookstore and a mall bookstore, small publishers and self-published authors came in to request shelf space for their book in the shop. They were seldom refused, however their books sold on quality.  Most customers then were wary of books from new publishers and especially when the store was brimming with books from the lists of recognizable publishers. 

Within fifteen years, self-published books were finding readers on the internet.  Having done stints in publishing while staying in the Midwest, I had dreamed of publishing books myself.  When the opportunity to self-publish came, I had to try it with an imprint name I thought I might use for my used bookstore - Couchgrass Books.  Digital publishing seemed like a completely different area at first but after learning its tools and formatting, layout and manuscript preparation produced the same paperback and screen print book.  I was putting together dummies on my screen and using Word program options instead of a ruler.  It’s been very rewarding that my efforts brought about much more than my own satisfaction.