The Time Is Right To (Self) Publish Your Book

Many writers are using social media tools and finding routes towards making themselves known to readers, eventually gathering an audience and a loyal following for their work. These new pathways often do not involve a traditional publishing house, as authors have turned to independent small publishers, cooperatives, online magazines and journals, blogs, and self-publishing. The Internet has indeed changed everything related to book publishing.

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League of Vermont Writers fall program

The recent League of Vermont Writers fall program, held on October 6th, was a great success! Each of the three keynote speakers -- Sonja Hakala, Ed Vincent, and Bill Schubart, gave excellent and informative presentations. It was clear from the very positive audience response that each presenter delivered vital information.

Ed spoke from his great experience as a publisher of mystery novels, and demonstrated his expertise, with many stories of how his publishing company works. Sonja detailed the various author choices currently available, from traditional publishing, to self-publishing, to ebooks. She outlined the steps to take, and paths to avoid, drawing on her experience and research used to author her book, Your Book, Your Way. Also, she reviewed publishing vocabulary and which companies could help with the various choices.

Bill Schubart also spoke from decades of personal experience that included numbers to make his point. For example, after outlining the steps to publish, he suggested that for an author to develop a book, pricing could run as much as $2,800 to $3,200. This included the necessary costs to pay critical readers, a copy editor, a literary editor, etc. He also mentioned professional ways to approach bookstores, outlined steps preliminary to printing and promoting a book, and covered royalties from traditional publishers.

The program also included genre break out sessions to help members get to know each other while working on writing as creative groups. The group overall agreed the day was very successful.

On October 8th, Vermont Poet Laureate, Chard DeNiord, conducted a workshop sponsored by Sundog Poetry. His command of the history of poetry was inspiring as he responded to questions. In his critiques of attendees’ poems, he gave examples of specific poets’ solutions to similar issues, along with his own suggestions. It is very apparent that he is an outstanding teacher, and after the session, he read from his own poems.