Indie Authors Crossing Publishing ModelsBy Mercy Pilkington
A little more than a year ago, it was standard practice for an indie author to keep his self-published sales figures to himself if he was trying to break into traditional publishing. Agents and publishing houses simply didn’t want to hear about self-published works. Now, with the wider acceptance of self-publishing and digital publishing and the larger numbers of writers who are successfully forgoing the traditional publishing model all together, some authors are actually finding that their indie success is leading to invitations from traditional publishers.
Author Gabe Berman, who maintains blogs at both GabeBerman.com and OMGabe.com, first published his bestselling inspirational title, Live Like a Fruit Fly, through CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing. The book’s Amazon sales page was seen by a former acquisitions editor for HCI, which led to the title being picked up by a traditional publisher and endorsed by Alan Combs and Deepak Chopra.
“I wrote Live Like A Fruit Fly,” explained Berman to GoodEReader, “and I thought that writing for the Miami Herald for eight years would get me in the door with a publisher. I queried around ten agents, and no one would even open the letter. I then sent queries to more agents and eventually got form rejections. I was completely rejected by every publisher I sent it to…if I knew then what I knew now, I wouldn’t have even queried agents.”
Realizing that his was a very specific niche book in the genre of self-help or spirituality, Berman explored his self-publishing options and eventually settled on CreateSpace in order to take advantage of the simple transition to ebook.
“CreateSpace is remarkable, they were so helpful on the phone when I needed help. And when I started getting some traffic, I didn’t write it for the money or the fame, I wrote it so people could read it.”
As more authors find success in self-publishing—either by remaining an indie author and taking charge of their writing careers, or by being found by a larger publishing house—the attitude towards self-published books is evolving. Authors like Berman and Theresa Ragan, who was interviewed by GoodEReader about her indie-to-traditional transition at last week’s BookExpo America publishing event, are helping to shift the perceptions about how a book comes to be.
Berman has already begun work on the sequel to Live Like A Fruit Fly and is making it available serialized on his blog. To order Berman’s title, find it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other ebook retailers.
Mercy Pilkington is a young-adult author and a teacher in a correctional facility. She does not have a single textbook in her classroom. With the top-of-the-line technology at her disposal and the low reading ability of many of her students, there’s no need for standard paper texts. Instead she relies on e-readers, iPads, desktop PCs, Polycom video conferencing equipment for virtual field trips, live streaming for science demonstrations, and text-to-speech read-aloud software to teach English and science. Within the next ten years, public school classrooms across the country are going to look a lot more like Mercy’s classroom because the educational possibilities with these kinds of technologies are limitless. Have a question? Send an email to email@example.com