The first part of my self-publishing process is done. I have finished the manuscript Writing Fiction: A Hands-On Guide for Teens, done the bit of formatting I needed to do, and sent it off to iUniverse. But that actually wasn’t the first part. Why did I pick self-publishing in the first place?
For this book, I didn’t have to look far for a reason. The reason is the realistic unlikelihood of it ever being published by a non-POD publisher. Aside from whether the book is any good or not, publishers like their non-fiction writers to have a platform, especially for something as risky as a book on a topic that hasn’t been written about before. If a famous kidlit writer sat down and wrote a book for teen writers about writing fiction, its chances of publication would be pretty high. I’m not being whiny—just realistic. I have the POD option if I believe in my product, and I do, so that’s the direction I chose.
Another reason is marketing. I have some ideas about how and to whom I want the book marketed and I’m ready to invest the time and energy in the process. My book isn’t designed for teachers to use in the classroom, though I suppose they could. It’s written writer-to-writer, not teacher to teacher, and I haven’t prepared any black line masters or teachers’ guides for the material.
I believe the book belongs on kids’ desks at home, so they can dip in and out of it as they are working on their stories and novels, and on library shelves in cities and schools. It isn’t anymore than I describe it. It’s an “introduction to the art of fiction writing.” All the answers are not there, but I have a website ready to go where I hope to interact with writers and where I will work with them to help them find solutions to their problems, to congratulate them on their successes and to honour the work they are doing as writers.
I’ve worked with young writers for many years and I admire their creativity, drive and fearlessness. They’re great “writing” company and relentlessly inspiring. I wrote the book for them and I hope to find my own way of reaching them. For me, self-publishing is the right route.