I’ve been getting more heavily involved with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators lately. Last year, I was honored to be named Wisconsin’s (and the nation’s) first Indie/Self-Publishing Coordinator. In that role, I put on free programming that helped members better understand publishing for themselves.
That role will now go to someone else as, I’m so honored to say, I’ll be joining Wisconsin’s leadership team as their assistant regional advisor. That means I’ll be helping the regional advisors who set up and oversee all state and regional programming. It’s a great responsibility, one I take seriously. As for the I/SP position, with the wealth of talent we have here, I’m sure the work will go to supremely able hands.
If you write or illustrate kids’ books, you really ought to look into this organization. SCBWI is the premier international professional association for authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults. You want professional development? You come here.
I’d like to thank SCBWI for all it provides: education, professional development, networking, mentoring, community, and support. It’s made all the difference for me in this wild and wacky adventure of kid lit.
Long time no talk, but I have a really great reason. I’ve been busy with beta readers and final edits, and I’m thrilled to announce that Cupid, the god of love, is returning in GOD AWFUL REBEL, the third and final book in the God Awful series of books! YAAAAAAYYYY!
Aaaaaand, here you have it! The cover reveal!
Sssssseriously ominoussss, don’t you think?
Here’s its beautiful jacket blurb:
I am so thrilled to have finished this series, which was a big endeavor and personal goal. To have the series end so neatly and with such a satisfying ending, well, it brings a smile to my face just thinking about it. And I really want to thank all you readers who’ve joined my book world and had such great things to say about it.
GOD AWFUL REBEL releases in March, but you can pre-order it here: http://www.threepointspublishing.com/product/god-awful-rebel-by-silvia-acevedo-hardcover/
And in honor of its release, the first two books in the series have a special price. It’s a great deal, so check it out, too: http://www.threepointspublishing.com/product/god-awful-loser-and-god-awful-thief-bundle/
My launch party for GOD AWFUL REBEL is scheduled for late March 2019. I’ll have the exact date soon and will let you know in another announcement. I hope to see many of you there! Until then, set your sights for a fun read at the end of March. Thanks, everyone!
As SCBWI-WI’s Indie/Self-Publishing Coordinator, I get asked (a lot), “What’s the difference between indie and self-publishing? Aren’t they interchangeable?”
The short answer is no, they are not interchangeable. The long answer is much more fluid as the publishing industry changes due to the pangs of financial and structural upheaval.
Once upon a time, indie publishing used to meant traditional publishing through a small, independent publisher, that is, not one of the Big Five houses. The small press would, like another other traditional publishers, pay an author for rights to publish their work while assuming the financial risk of publication. Today, that form of publishing, regardless of the size of the publisher, is almost universally called traditional publishing. Very few people still use the term indie publishing this way.
So what does the term indie publishing mean today? It’s now a catch-all term for the vast array of publishing options that are not traditional publishing.
Indie publishing can indeed include self-publishing, particularly for those authors who have created their own publishing houses for current and future projects. But indie publishing also encompass the wide array of options between traditional publishing and self-publishing.
An example of indie publishing is “hybrid publishing,” also called “author-assisted publishing.” Hybrid publishers often look like a traditional publishing house with a formal submission process, editorial staff, and curated lists. However, hybrid publishers do not provide the payroll. They rely on creators paying for some or all of the services involved in publishing the work in exchange for higher royalties.
SCBWI strongly advises authors to research publishers. While some hybrid publishers are well regarded, others are really predatory operations masquerading as traditional publishers. To complicate matters and add to the confusion, even some well-respected traditional publishers have created hybrid-publishing imprints through which they’ve been brokering deals for years. And recent reports indicate that literary agents are getting in on indie publishing, too. The lines blur more each day.
Self-publishing is much easier to distinguish. It is the model in which the author maintains total creative control by taking all financial risks. Self-publishers often get creative to accomplish all this. They may create a crowd-funding campaign to garner reader support and fund the production of their works (like I did for my first book). They might create their own publishing company for current and future projects (again, like I did). They may harness the power of an established publishing platform or partner with a printer to manufacture the books themselves (I chose offset printing through a manufacturer.). They might work out distribution deals (agai- oh, never mind) and schedule book tours. No matter the means to their end, self-publishers publish the work themselves and may or may not pay others with specialized skills to help them along the way so that the final product is not attached to a publisher other than themselves.
With the myriad of options out there, I can’t help but feel that we’re experiencing a golden age of publishing, one in which creators are empowered as never before to get their work out into the world and into the hands of an entertainment-loving public.
You can read more articles on indie and self-publishing in The Publishing Pen.
I am super excited that my husband’s and my “Ink Drawing Techniques DVD & Art Book” Kickstarter is LIVE! It’s already 77% funded in just 7 hours. If you or someone you know loves ink drawing, then this DVD and art book is for you.
Please visit the following link to pledge/pre-order.
Some background: my hubby, Jeff Miracola, is a professional illustrator who also teaches hundreds of other artists through his popular YouTube channel and in-person art retreats. I’m videographer of the series and either the disembodied voice or the on-camera partner who asks questions.
Please consider pledging and share this post with your friends.
The question I get asked most as SCBWI-WI’s Indie/Self-Publishing Coordinator is “Is self-publishing right for me?”
I usually take a deep breath and ready myself for a long conversation because those asking are generally at the beginning of their publishing journey and are hoping for a quick overview of self-publishing. Really, though, self-publishing is a nuanced and personal decision, so let’s back up.
Ask yourself these three questions:
1) Are you done writing your story? If so, huzzah and congrats. Move on to Question 2. If not, that’s where you need to start. Finish your manuscript. Make it the best it can be. And then consider Question 2.
2) What is your goal with self-publishing? The answer to this question will oftentimes answer the question about whether self-publishing is right for you and which method is the best choice.
If you want to publish, say, a family memoir, and give out less than, say, 25 books at a family reunion, then, yes, self-publishing is right for you. A traditional publisher would clearly not want such a small and limited project.
If your goal is to have your work placed in bookstores across the country, having expended little to no energy in creating the physical book or promoting it to market, then no, self-publishing is not right for you. Although some self-published works do land a national deal eventually, there was a lot of work logged before reaching that success.
If your goal was to be traditionally published, but your manuscript hasn’t been picked up by an agent/editor/publisher, and you’ve decided you are the best person to ensure your story sees the light of day, then yes, you are a good candidate to self-publish.
These are just examples, though. Only you can decide what’s best for you.
And notice that I did not mention money (earnings). What one author considers good compensation for a year or more writing a book is peanuts in the mind of another author. And, anyway, being traditionally published doesn’t guarantee you good pay on your writing any more than being self-published does. Too many variables. So let’s consider Question 3.
3) How willing are you to learn new things? Develop new skills? Get out there to promote your work? OR how willing are you to pay someone else to do that which you can’t or aren’t willing to do?
Understand something. There’s an awful lot of self in self-publishing. And it is a long-term project. You are choosing to do the work of a traditional publisher to get your creation out into the world. You will (alone or with semi/professional help): write the manuscript, edit it, choose your publishing platform or printer, format the text and inside art, design a cover image, submit all to a printing platform, check print-runs, submit advanced copies to reviewers, finalize distribution methods for book suppliers, promote your book, and become a millionaire (Results may vary.). There is a lot to do even within this very basic list. Some publishing platforms make the process relatively easy. Other platforms require more work. Either way, to go into self-publishing with blinders on about the work involved is to be dishonest with yourself.
If, after reading these questions, you think self-publishing isn’t for you, don’t give up on your dreams. Keep writing. Keep submitting to agents and editors. Keep learning what you can about the publishing business, and keep up with news about self-publishing. The process of self-publishing gets easier every year, it seems, and more and more people are doing it. What one person can do, so can another. Your journey is your own no matter your path.
If you’ve read these questions and decided the idea of self-publishing excites you and strikes you as a fun, mind-expanding challenge, why not go for it? You can read more articles on indie and self-publishing in The Publishing Pen.
There is so much good to be said about getting together with other creative people. Other creative types “get” you. They support your efforts, share your work in the world, and are all around great fun.
Today I have the privilege of hanging out and writing with my good friend and fellow critique partner Valerie Biel at her home in the countryside. We may move our writing at some point from the porch extension to the cornfield. Or lakeside. Either way, we can thoroughly enjoy each others’ company even while taking breaks to type away. It’s awesome.
Another retreat I’m looking forward to is the SCBWI-Michigan-Indiana Writers & Illustrators Retreat in October. I’m presenting on world building, but I’m also excited about it because the format allows hours for afternoon writing. The mornings are for learning/sharing, while the afternoons are for more creating. How great is that? Registration just opened up today, August 1st, so get on it if you love the idea of creative comaraderie.
Thanks for letting me crash your place, Val! Happy writing, everyone! 🙂