Three Oak Park writers met with fellow book-lovers at the Oak Park Public Library on Sunday, April 17 to discuss their experiences with self-publishing and how it has helped each of them in their careers.
“What can be better than gather together and talk about books?” Jeremy Falcon said to begin the event.
Elizabeth Diskin, Indya Mcgrone and Jeremy Falcon shared their own experiences with self-publishing and tips for successful marketing. Interested visitors received a lot of information they did not expect to hear.
The easy part is writing a book, but the hard way is marketing—the three self-publishers concluded. “Be ready to invest in yourself,” Diskin said. “Hire professionals who will help you design a cover. Be ready to pay for a promotion.”
Diskin has already published two novels:The Green Line (2014) and Broken Grace (2015). She said she had to invest in herself and so pay for her novels’ promotion, experienced editor, agent and advertisements on a variety of websites. “It’s about building awareness,” she said. Beginners should plan all steps in advance: hire professionals, work on eBook format to increase the number of readers, promote free downloads on Amazon and get reviews on kirkusreviews.com. “Set the launch day. Set the press release,” she suggested to the audience by explaining that it makes a person work harder and stay consistent.
“Write every day. If you don’t do it every day, you will never be done,” Falcon said about the writing process. “If you don’t write every day, you are not a writer anymore.”
Falcon has been publishing novels and scholarly books for thirty years. The Book of Wisdom is his first self-published novel in a planned series titled The Harmony of the Spheres. He emphasized that publishing a book is not a good business to become rich. “The United States publishes 6,000 books a day,” he said. “Be patient. It takes time before you will have your readers.”
To promote your book, you should use your community, participate in competitions and visit different groups at libraries. “Social media is the key,” he said about first steps of promoting a book. “Digital media is very important in marketing too.”
Indya Mcgrone has self-published her illustrated children’s book Zoey and Cloey’s Big Fruit-Juice Adventure via Amazon. She introduced herself as a very private person, so writing a children’s book was easy for her. However, she noted that it was challenging for her to write the book and at the same time raise her child.
“The most important is to have a source of inspiration,” she said about the writing process. Mcgrone was inspired by her daughter and did all illustrations on her own. “Promote your book on Twitter, blogs, and different book parties.”
The books’ authors found a lot in common in their writing experience. They all agreed that it is very important to always write down your thoughts. “Save your ideas on a piece of paper, otherwise, you will forget them, and they will never come back to you,” they said. Before starting a book, one should set its audience and its target. Present your works at local libraries and collaborate with them.
Writing a book requires consistency, patience, and time. The beginners need to plan the detailed process in advance and to be ready to spend some money. “You have to have a passion for what you do,” Mcgrone said. “You need to love what you do and feel that your life is worth living.”
The visitors were able to purchase books and get the signatures from authors. Many other poets and writers are expected to visit the Oak Park Public Library. To check the list of next events, click here.