- Sep 27, 2005
A word of encouragement for those of us who self-publish:
A couple weeks ago, I took my daughter to a playground and took my laptop along so I could work on a book that had its deadline looming. I didn't get much done before I felt eyes on me, so I turned around and saw another mom peering at my computer.
"Are you writing a book?" she asked. We all know how much we love that question. I told her yes.
"What kind of book is it?"
I told her it was a sweet fantasy romance, because I wanted to read one and was having trouble finding them. Her eyes lit up. We talked a bit about favorites: Tolkien and Lewis for both of us, of course. She asked how many books I'd written. I told her twenty. She nodded and said, "They aren't self-published, are they?"
Ah boy. There it is. I don't mind telling the whole story of why I walked away from the publisher that wanted to work with me, but it's not a comfortable tale to share with new acquaintances. Reluctantly, I said, "Well, yes..."
Before I could finish, she smiled. Smiled! "Oh, that's good! That's really good!" By that point, she was glowing. "I love self-published books, they're always so much more imaginative and genre-bending than the stuff you get from big publishers." And then she had a lot of questions. We talked about the ways the stuff I write doesn't fit in with the most popular trad pub books, the advantages of small presses and self-publishing, and I pointed her toward some places to find books by Realmies too, of course
Needless to say, it was a stark difference from what I'm used to... but it's not the first time I've had a positive response, either. I know we're used to getting the short end of the stick, the people whose faces fall when they find out you're "only" self-published, or the people who turn us away because that's not good enough. But I thought we could all use a reminder that God put people who love us out there, too!