Friday, October 14, 2011

On being a book publisher

Apparently I've been waiting to be a book publisher all my life. Self-publishing has liberated me as a writer -- I can now tackle all those unfinished projects with renewed enthusiasm -- but it has also opened the door to a new creative activity that so far at least I'm enjoying.

It was fun to look for the images for the cover of The Grand Mirage (and big thanks again to Pedernales Publishing for putting them together in such a brilliant fashion), to write the product description and back cover, to decide on distribution, and now to undertake the marketing through social networking, book party, blogging.

It is in itself a creative process. I was involved earlier this year in setting up and launching a personal finance publication for the iPad. That, too, involved a lot of creativity and working with real pros in getting cover designs, layout, stories and putting the whole package together. Unfortunately, the unproven business model proved unsustainable and the publication quickly folded. But this creative phase was great.

The next project for my self-publishing imprint, Barnaby Woods Books, is to reissue my financial thriller, Gold. I've asked the original publisher, Dutton, for a letter of reversion of rights (the book has been out of print quite a while) and that evidently will take some time, but in the meantime I already like thinking about the new cover, the foreword to the second edition, the product description.

I'm sure self-publishing will have its own set of frustrations, as the weeks go by and sales fail to reach any sort of volume. But right now it's fun to have a good-looking book available in print and e-book for those hardy readers to find.

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