It goes without saying that publishing a book is an expensive and time consuming process. When I initially researched the traditional publishing route, I immediately determined that the possibility of successfully going through those channels would be very slim. Most of them hedge their bets on guaranteed best sellers and pay handsome advances to their well-known pool of authors. I don’t have time to chase lottery-like dreams, and I’m not obsessed with big-named author type sales either (ex. J.K. Rowling, I’m not gonna lie; it would be nice though!). Plus, it could take well over a year before the book would be available on the shelves or electronically. In short, I needed more sense of urgency and flexibility than what the traditional publishers could offer.
Next, I looked into hiring a literary agent. The downside (and a deal breaker for me) was that there was no guarantee your book would be a priority when they’re shopping a small hoard of books to would-be publishers. The royalty schemes were too much to bear in my opinion. Plus, there wasn’t a guaranteed time table, so I’d be at the mercy of whether or not my agent would genuinely care enough about my book to advocate on my behalf.
With a small budget and family to consider, I reluctantly decided that I had to push this book through more affordable and reliable channels. Of course, the other side of that coin requires me to put my marketing savvy to the test (minored in Marketing at EMU). That means more time dedicated to that effort to avoid having stagnant book sales (not doing this for my health…well kind of) and outreach.
I also considered fundraisers such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo, but couldn’t bring myself ask friends for money for this endeavor. It may not make sense to some, but it felt too selfish to do it this way. I also want to be able to take pride in saying, “I did this.” There are some things, such as starting the Urban Light Initiative, which I will not be able to accomplish alone, so using “we” doesn’t have the same negative undertone. Throughout the BCMM chapters, I acknowledge several people who helped me make something of myself, but this effort required that I stand on my own two feet. With all of that in mind, my current plan and timeframe looks something like this:
BookTango: e-book release to all major e-book distributors - September 1st-8th. Unfortunately, I can’t nail down a date since I’m at the mercy of the e-book retailers and how fast they can review BCMM and push it to market.
Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX): Audiobook release expected mid-October. I’m self-narrating since no one can tell the story quite like I can. Plus, it results in a 25% royalty increase since I do not have to share with a professional narrator.
Dog Ear Publishing: Pending results from e-book sales, the hardcover and paperback versions should be available for order Late March-Early April. Pre order will be available online through all major book distributors. I will have to work hard to get the large retailers to order books to place on shelves. That process could mean that it wouldn’t be on shelves until the summer.
I also have to find out how to get this book in libraries across the country, press release, submits for review, etc. There’s obviously a huge learning curve that I will have to continue overcoming. It took 10 long months and countless late nights to complete this project, so I have no intention of giving in now. No doubt, this will require persistence, and I’ll probably deal with my fair share of frustration along the way. However, until I see BCMM on retail shelves, I’m going to enjoy this ride for what it is – another learning opportunity.