Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

One path to a self-published book; also Saturday's Show---how the internet has affected writing and publishing.

   The Indiana Writers Center is located at 812 East 67th Street in Broad Ripple. The building is located a short distance behind the Art Center. The lane to reach it is between the apartments on the corner of 67th and College and the Art Center. Guest panelist Barbara Shoup is the author of seven novels, including "Night Watch," "Wish You Were Here," "Stranded in Harmony," "Faithful Women," "Vermeer's Daughter," "Everything You Want," and "An American Tune. She co-authored "Novel Ideas: Contemporary Authors Share the Creative Process" and "Story Matters." Her short fiction, poetry, essays, and interviews have appeared in numerous small magazines, as well as "The Writer" and "The New York Times Travel Section." Her young adult novels, "Wish You Were Here" and "Stranded in Harmony," were selected as American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults. "Vermeer's Daughter" was a "School Library Journal Best Adult Book for Young Adults." She is the recipient of numerous grants from the Indiana Arts Council, two creative renewal grants from the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the 2006 PEN Phyllis Reynolds Naylor Working Writer Fellowship, and the 2012 Eugene and Marilyn Glick Regional Indiana Author Award.

   Shoup taught creative writing at Broad Ripple High School Center for the Humanities and the Performing Arts for twenty years and is a regular visitor to high school classrooms around the state of Indiana.  Currently she is executive director of the Writers' Center of Indiana.  Her most recent novel, "An American Tune," was published in 2012 by Indiana University Press. Visit her at www.barbarashoup.com

   Lynn Swayze Wilson is owner of and blogger on Genrebookreviews Blog. She is a novelist and has been blogging, writing a book, and responding to posts on the internet. She has been on the front line of the interface between the internet and traditional publishing.

   I had decided my second book to be published would go through a different process. "Crime Pay$" took about three years to write, through nine drafts. Once it was done I started to go through the motions of query letter/package, etc., as I had with "1975." After a few reject slips, I remembered my promise to myself. I began to research self-publishing. I realized I could do all the same things as the publisher of my first novel, and for a lot less. Here are the steps of the process, and the errors I made the second time around:

   1) Sign up w/a well-established publish-on-demand publisher. I went with LightningSource, an arm of Ingram. Things have changed in the industry. I did not go with them on my latest work. I'll get there in a moment.

   2) I had layout done by a person whom I knew and trusted. John Hunt with The Village Press did an awesome job, and saved me money over what LightningSource would have charged.

   3) I hired a PR firm to do the PR---mistake. The PR firm never before had handled PR for a book. For too much money I had an interview on a radio station and an interview in The Indiana Lawyer.

   4) The launch party was fun and I sold some books, had some good reviews, but again lost money.

   My latest book, "Billion Dollar Ball$" has been published solely as an e-book. It was released in February, 2013, by Amazon. Again, John Hunt did layout and cover design. Because the copy, etc., was done, Amazon did not charge for the book to be published as an e-book.

   Publishers place their books in stores on a consignment basis---yes, just like used clothes in consignment stores. The publisher does not receive money until the book is sold. Publishers do not like to take risks. That is understandable, since they stand to print a bunch of copies to be sent to stores, and those books might never be purchased. At the front of a chain bookstore are bestsellers and titles by authors with established reputations---i.e., low-risk books. Unless you have name-recognition for some other reason, your first book will be difficult to publish and, if it is, will be set to the back of the line. Also, new books have a shelf life, generally, of six months. If a book has not "caught," then it will be back-listed---i.e., will not be promoted and will be relegated to the nether regions of the publishers list.

   The internet has meant people can access publishing in new ways. We will discuss the impact of the internet on writing and publishing on tomorrow's Show. Tue in at 11 a.m. on IndianaTalks.com

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