Thoughts Ahead of the Debut of The Leaving of Things

In a couple of weeks, The Leaving of Things will be available in POD and digital versions on Amazon. I am preparing to go out to blogs, book reviewers and communities of YA and coming-of-age book lovers as well as fans and followers of multicultural and family stories, particularly with a South Asian focus.

As I’ve researched and planned the publishing and promotion of my book, I’ve found a wealth of online resources where writers can publicize and promote their books. It’s really been encouraging to see how quickly and effectively the infrastructure for self-publishers has kicked into gear, especially in the last couple of years.

Sites like World Literary Cafe, Indie Reader, David Gaughran’s Let’s Get Digital blog, and newly launched ventures like Uncovered Books, Writer.ly and Wave Cloud all offer invaluable advice and services. As a debuting independent author, I’m incredibly anxious about making sure I utilize as many resources as my book will benefit from. I don’t want to leave any stone unturned as I try to find and win over readers. Of course, I know I can’t do everything. There will be opportunities missed and undiscovered–and that’s most disappointing. But the good news is that my book will always be live. There is no “going out of print” when you own the rights to you work, so I can always put to use strategies I might learn about a year from now into promoting the book and finding new readers.

This has been an incredible learning curve, a milestone in my career as a writer. Wherever it leads me, it’s been well worth it.

What I do know so far is that CreateSpace has been more than satisfactory. I’ve been pleased by their services and the promptness of their attention to all my questions. They run a tight ship (for the most part), and my investment in them has been well worth it. I have a beautiful looking book, inside and out, to show for it. The only advice I¬†would offer to those considering signing up with CreateSpace (or any self-publishing service) is to be on the ball at all times. Pay attention at every step and offer the most thorough feedback you can all throughout the design process. Then, when you receive your physical proof(s), be inexhaustible in your proofread. I was up to my fourth proof before I felt like my book was in the cleanest possible shape I could get it. CreateSpace, it’s formatters and designers–to be frank–don’t care about your book, beyond the instructions you give them and their professional obligation toward it. For them, it’s just a gig, another cog in that endless wheel of books. So it’s up to you make sure your book is up to your highest possible standard. There are no agents or editors to hold your hand; you are your only (and best) advocate, ultimately. This is your baby, after all.

Good luck!