When you are a self published author there are a few things you need to know. First question from most people is ‘we love your book but why don’t you sell it to a big publishing house?’. Well, I’ve been told (and I believe it) that there are thousands of people writing manuscripts for various reasons. They want to prove they can, they have a need to try to help people and the old ‘I need to make some money and it seems easy’.
I wrote mine for the ‘I’d like to make a little extra retirement money’ reason, but I also noticed a void in the market. There are lots of stories about men going off to wars, coming home with issues and rebuilding their lives from various complications. But there are none about women. Women are seeing more and more battle action in our various services. Most often in the Marines and the Army. So I decided I’d write one for us.
I was in the Air Force. My job as an NCO was to insure our mission got done. I was in Transportation, the Chief Dispatcher. So I ran the shuttles, the taxies, and the supply trucks. My drivers went out and picked up broke-down, abandoned vehicles and basically kept the wheels turning. But even I, though not in actual combat during Desert Storm, suffered repercussions. Due to exposure to oil well smoke and who knows what else from the battle vehicles I developed Gulf War Syndrome which is a catch-all phrase. For me it is asthma, sinusitis, COPD, sleep apnea and various and sundry other problems. But enough about that.
My Book, The Homestead, is about a woman Marine combat veteran who was wounded and lost her fiance to an IED when they were en route to their assignment. She spends time in a medical facility and winds up inheriting the old family farm, discovering a 50-year-old cold case murder mystery.
I sent it to several big name publishing companies and received a series of very polite rejections. I seems that they were wanting something of a more supernatural bend like Vampires or Zombies in south Texas. Or a torrid sex scene. Or, while we liked the book we are not presently publishing this genre. Really?
So, I went in search of a Self-Publishing house that I could get along with. This is what I found out.
First you must find a publishing house to suit your needs: financially, responsibility, and work wise. I didn’t have $4,000. in my hip pocket, so that knocked a lot of them out. I had also heard stories of people who paid up front and got forgotten as time went on. I actually found one who takes monthly payments. And I kept 100 % of all rights to my book. I have a fantasy of that movie contract. LOL!
Second, you must find one where you have a real live contact person who will pick up the phone, give you good answers, make suggestions, and (at least seem) to care about you and your book.
Thirdly, find one who will do the basic sales deal. They will post your book on various venues. Amazon.com, Createspace, BarnesandNobles.com, the Apple Store, K0bo, the Google Play, etc.
And you must have one that fulfills your needs. Mine has a cafeteria plan. They have a long list of services and you can choose which one you wanted. I did’t want it edited, just proof read, got a nice cover design, print on demand, and a webpage. There were more options but that was all I wanted. Build a relationship with your customer account manager. Remember names of people who you WANT to deal with.
Now, actually selling the book is up to you. Go beat the bushes, get out to venues like bookstores, expos, conventions and things that are a part of your books. Mine has dogs in it so I advertise in Jack Russell Dog Show Flyers when I can find them. I also have horses so I went to the open house of my horse’s breed, American Indian Horse and I advertise in their magazine. Go on your FaceBook Page. And to the Group pages you belong to, (Ask Permission First, some have rules about this.) I know people through a Writers Guild, my husband’s bass club, and whenever I talk about the book, I hand out flyers with info on how to order it. Talk! You’re proud of your book, show it. Most of my doctors have flyers from me too. And donate to your local library, VFW, fund-raisers for your groups and anything else you are involved with. Oh! And Blog. Here we are, talking about the adventures and knowledge I’ve enjoyed since writing the book. So people say Twitter, but that’s too ‘right now’ for me. I like to write my blog and then re-read it before I post. It’s too easy to blurt stuff out I’ll regret later.
I’m sure you’ll think of lots else to do with your book, you just have to think about it. Good luck to you all.
By the way, the Publishing House I’m talking about is BookFuel. Google it and talk to the nice people there. Good luck.
Previously: I have lost my Bridget, but found little Katie. She had been imprisoned in ‘the pound from hell’ with a little identical male, possibly a litter mate. I has now been discovered that she is pregnant.
The vet assured me that she was indeed pregnant, possible 3 or 4 weeks. We should have a Christmas Gift. No, she doesn’t do abortions at this late date.
My husband was out of town, so I called him and told him of the good(?) news. As I expected, he was underwhelmed. Telling him about the more than likely father, he seemed better. At least they were going to be Rat Terriers, at least we could hope so.
But she was so skinny! So, I started feeding her like a French king, or Henry VIII. Every morning she got scrambled eggs with cottage cheese. Though, that doesn’t sound good to us. She quite thought she was in heaven and always asked politely for more. Then I made sure she had a good quality kibble and raw meat once in a while. She finally quit looking like a starving pup herself and began to look maternal, though she never got big. A woman I knew (nameless) overheard me talking to my friends about the food I was preparing for Katie. She commented that she wouldn’t spend so much money on mutt puppies from a dog I got from a pound. I was taken aback. I took a deep breath and replied that maybe so, but they were my mutt puppies and they were going to get the best start I could give them.
Well, it was the middle of Dec, a cold and rainy night. I got off late, the kids on my school bus were in high spirits with Christmas Vacation due in two days. My husband said to meet him at our favorite Mexican Restaurant. So during our lovely dinner, I asked if the dogs when out before he came. He said, yes, all but Katie. That seemed odd to me but I was in the middle of some great cheese enchiladas.
So when we got home, Abbott and Jessie met us at the door. No Katie. I found her in the middle of our king-sized bed on the comforter. She had one baby already, and was delivering a second one. For a ten month old pup, she was doing beautifully. Then after about fifteen minutes, something else appeared, a dark lump. Honestly , I couldn’t tell if it was afterbirth, a piece of poop, or another pup. I poked at it with my finger and it squeeked. So, it was indeed a puppy, a tiny little brown puppy, perfect in every way.
David came in and looked, seeing the two little spotted pups, asked “only two? Well, they are spotted after all.”
I had to laugh and point at little brownie. “Well, most of them.”
“Where did he come from?”
I pointed at Katie, who was dutifully cleaning her three sons. “There’s the culprit. When in jail, a girls gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.” She looked at me suspiciously. Yes, I had saved her, but she’d only known us for a month and a half.
“Why are they all brown?”
And that was a good question. For a black and white mama, and ostensibly a black and white papa, the spotted pups were white with brown spots and browny was, well, totally brown. But I had no answers.
We moved the little family into the small bedroom where her bed was set up. I set up a little heater for them setting it at 80 degrees. Little Katie looked up at me, and smiled.