Thank you all very, very much for the overwhelming response to my Down Syndrome Awareness Day post. The responses were so uplifting (They think I'm a good writer with insightful points!) and humbling (Who am I to have touched this many people?). I did get my sought-after tears - I consider a reader tearing up to be the ultimate compliment. I told Matt that I didn't think my post lived up to the hype I gave it, but I actually have gotten the most feedback to this year's email of all three years of awarness-ing it up.
Last week I promised you that a fun post would appear this week. I have good news. It is not a pregnancy, not a permanent job for Matt, and not a house. That leaves...
[I'm adding extra space here so you have time to guess.]
My book! I have decided to self publish it, and it will be available very, very soon.
I was initially very against self publishing, as I thought it overall cheapens literature. (When there are no barriers to entry, dilution is inevitable.) But about a month ago, Matt was telling me about an article that talked about how the publishing world is changing and no one can really predict the ways in which it will all shake out. I couldn't stop thinking about that bits he'd read to me, so one afternoon when Eleanor was napping and Abigail was in preschool, I sat down at the computer to do some more reading. I found this article most helpful for those of you in a similar boat. I learned:
- Some authors are self publishing books, building up a readership, and then going for a traditional book deal.
- It can take at least a year from the time you land a publisher to the time you see your book on the shelves. And it can take years before you land a publisher.
I combined that with bits of knowledge I already had:
- When I was writing my book, I followed the journey of another writer in the Ds community, who had an agent, really struggle to find a publisher who would take on her book. She heard over and over again that the Ds memoir market was tapped out.
- My rejection letters reiterated that same point.
- Submitting your materials to a traditional publisher is very time consuming and expensive. You have to craft a unique cover letter, print out a submission packet (mine was 23 pages), pay for postage for the large packet, pay for postage for the response letter.
By that evening, I found myself reading Amazon's self publishing terms and conditions.
So for the last few weeks, I've been reformatting my files into self publishing-friendly ones, designing a cover, and reviewing a tangible proof copy. The heavy editing work was completed before I started submitting to publishers.
While I don't think I'll be able to call myself a published author, I'm not exactly sure at what point I think one moves from "self published author" to "published author" in this brave, new world. I'm not even sure it's important to figure out at this point.
The week following Easter will contain an official release date, which I promise to specify as we get closer. I have just a wee bit more work to do and I don't want to rush anything. I can, however, give you this little sneak peak...