African American Author's Expo and Multi-Cultural Book Fair

Independent Book Authors in the Metropolitan Area


What advise can you give a first time author who is looking to self publish their first book and if self publishing is the right path for a first time author?

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For me, with self-publishing it can go both ways. In my experience, with SP, there is a lot of foot work that has to be done by you the author, so you have to be really dedicated in order to put yourself out there and get the exposure you would like received for your title. With traditional publishing, you will get the exposure and not really have to do so much foot work by yourself, but at the same time, I felt as though my face may have been one of many in the TP world and most major TP Companies require you to use a literary agent, so I thought just maybe if I do the 1st one myself then I could work hard on making it known and reputable so that I am recognized should I choose to go with traditional publishing on the next bit. But of course there are different aspects in all of it that we must consider which include time and money, because you definitely need both. BrokenTrust has been a success and I am very satisfied with my decision to self-publish. It actually inspired me to become the publisher so that I can help others voices be heard so they don't have to deal with the struggle of going through LA's and trying company after company that only publish specific genre's. WE welcome it all, making dreams come true, one author to the next. To each, his own, but it has worked wonderfully for me.

Ths question requires an in depth answer but for starters, first time authors should do your research. The self publishing industry is very competitive today. You have to wear many hats, from author to publisher. I self-published all three of my books, one through my own publishing company. Look at the various self-publishing companies and what's included in their publishing package. How much does it cost to self-publish? If you choose to go with a self-publishing company how much money is in your budget? Can you sell enough copies to get your money back? Are you willing to pay for subsidy, print on demand or do everything yourself? If you do everything yourself it is hard work. You have to be sure you're going to get what the company says you're going to get in your publishing package. If they say they will provide you with bookmarks etc., it shouldn't be a template that you have to get the bookmarks printed yourself for example. Ask questions. Decide what options you want from the package and what you can do for yourself. You need to have your book edited, you need a good book cover design, you need to have a marketing plan and you need promote yourself at least six months in advance. Good luck to future authors!

Hard work and dedication. Allow know one to discourage you from your project! Your project/book is your baby and should be showcased to your standards and your standards only.  Being a first time author myself, I went through alot of hate from friends from both men and women. I experienced alot of comments like, "do it this way, maybe you should say it or write it this way."  It went on and on, on how I should present my baby/my work.

I connected with a few experienced author's and allowed them to be my mental board when it came to me making said choices. I have taken on the attitude and understanding that everyone is not going to like my work but it's my expression. We all can agree to disagree on how we present ourselves. Know what you are writing for and accept all that comes your way with a smile bad or good.

As far as the business aspect, you have to do the research Ms. Johnson.  I can't stress how much research you should do. Compare package prices and make sure you get what you are paying for.  At times, it came very stressful for me and I had to step away from it all and get me back.  Pace yourself and review all said materials when it comes to the purchase in making your baby come to life.

As you read in early responses from Ms. Shyne, and Ms. Powell it's alot to take in consideration.  However, it is what it is.  Make sure you do the research and make it work for you. If it don't make sense then ask someone, and work at your own paste.  As I learn I will share more.


Good Luck!


P.S.  Keep smiling knowing that you're not in this alone (smile)!




Donte W. Ford

I've self-published and have helped many writers to self-publish their works. Self-publishing is a great avenue to get your book in print and enjoy higher royalties. There are important steps you must take to avoid turning your book into a total disaster. Be sure to choose an effective title, book cover and book description. Proofreading and editing are also important. Include an author photo and bio, and make sure you have an aggressive marketing strategy in place. Your hard work creating your book will be wasted if you don't take the time to promote your work. -- Happy writing!

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