Publishing a book sure isn’t what it used to be. Way back, when we still used typewriters and paper, authors had great ideas (or not so great ideas), they wrote them up, shopped them around to publishers and – voila! They had a book published.
If the authors were good (or lucky), their books made it big in the literary world, or the books helped build a platform from which they could write more and better books.
Alas, the world has changed and the book writing and publishing worlds have changed along with it. Now, authors may still go the standard route – and many do. But some authors who know they have a good thing are starting to take matters in their own hands.
Self-publishing was always an option for writers, but this route can be onerous. First, you have to find a book printer who will print it up for you (after you have done everything from write it to get it edited, formatted, and so on), and then you were committed to printing a sometimes outrageous number of copies, for you to sell. Alone. By yourself.
What happened more times than not, wass the author sold books to his or her family and friends, sometimes lucked out with local book stores, but unless self-published authors are willing to put all the money, time, and effort into self-marketing and traveling about, then word is likely not going to get out and the book won’t sell. Some authors avoided this fate, but there’s a good reason why self-publishers were often referred to as vanity presses.
Print on Demand
Luckily, with the Internet and all that goes along with it, also has come the print-on-demand format, or POD. At first, POD books had the same lack of cachet as many self-publishers did, but as authors and readers began to learn about how effective and good POD products could be, this new way of doing things began to catch on.
That’s not to say POD is easy – it’s far from it. Just ask Jennie Phipps of Freelance Success and the many people who put together the new essay anthology: Fits, Starts & Matters of the Heart: 28 True Stories of Love, Loss & Everything in Between. It’s no picnic, but the results were beyond what the writers and the team expected.
“Two years ago, we started talking on the Freelance Success Forums about the frustration of writing good essays that magazines just didn’t have room to publish. One thread led to another, and we decided to publish our own collection of essays.A long time has passed since that day and one thing we’ve all learned is that it is a lot easier to decide to publish an essay book than it is to actually do it. But Fits, Starts & Matters of the Heart – 28 True Stories of Love, Loss & Everything in Between is finished and ready to buy at and Barnes & Noble,” said Jennie on the FLX website.
The Freelance Success writers, editors, and everyone who put the book together are very pleased with the results of the book, a compelling collection of writers and their work.
“For anyone who has fallen in love, been betrayed, lost a parent or let a child fly from the nest, Fits, Starts & Matters of the Heart will resonate with your heart. A woman recalls her decision to lose her virginity at 17 - and the emotional roller coaster that ensues when her parents discover a secret stash of prophylactics. A mother comes to terms with her adopted daughter's quest to find her birth mom. A black Labrador wreaks havoc on one woman's idyllic relationship with her boyfriend- until she, too, falls in love with the beautiful canine. A pregnant woman discovers her husband's affair - and realizes that the baby she's carrying is her ticket to rebirth. A daughter learns that the way into her father's heart is through her hair. These are just a few of the essays in Fits, Starts & Matters of the Heart: 28 True Stories of Love, Loss & Everything in Between.”
As one of the authors in this book, I have to say I am flattered and honored to be part of this book. As an exercise, it taught the FLX community a lot about POD, what was good, what wasn’t, and what could be done better. It taught some of the writers patience, as they waited to see the final product. And it taught all of us that a group project can be achieved and revealed with great success.