The Page a Day Writers Group

A Daunting Thought

Posted on: August 20, 2010

A couple of weeks ago I attended the 1st. Annual Atlanta Black Book Expo (ABBE) which featured many up-and-coming literary professionals from poets to playwrights.  I roamed around the space talking and listening to authors describe their labor of love and what inspired them to write.  Some just always wanted to become an author, while others wrote to heal something going on within – like the guy I met who wrote his book serving time in prison.  He said writing his story over those years is what helped him make it through and in the process, he turned his life around. At any rate, even with the heart felt stories and conversations, after stopping at about five tables, a daunting thought occurred to me – everyone selling their books at this event, was self-published.  I realize that people self-publish for various reasons, but the main reason some authors self-publish is because they can’t get a mainstream publisher to purchase their work.  Hence, my daunting thought.  Will I resort to self-publishing if my manuscripts aren’t picked up by one of the big publishers?                                                         

Don’t misunderstand, there’s nothing wrong with self-publishing, actually the thought of keep all the profits for myself really appeals to me, but the thought of doing every aspect of getting the book ready for the public doesn’t.  I’m talking about everything from writing the story, rewriting, editing, designing a great cover for the book, and don’t even get me started on marketing and selling the book!  Mind you, I do understand that even if you’re picked up by a mainstream publisher, you still have massive work ahead of you…but knowing that still doesn’t seem as intimidating as having to do every aspect of the book publishing myself. 

Okay, so getting back to the expo.  Something that one of my critique partners pointed out as we made our way through the aisles at the expo, is that this type of venue is usually where new authors display their work and unfortunately, not many sells are made at these types of events.  After she said that I glanced around and realize that during the time we were there, it wasn’t well attended (which wasn’t a surprise since it was the first one), but if everyone was like me, they went in with a set amount of money that they would spend.  That meant that though their might’ve been a hundred great books for sale, chances are, some authors went back home with the same number of books they carried to the event.

Right now I’m thinking that I would love to have more of my writing work published, but I’m not feeling the self-publishing thing…unless…maybe…if it’s publishing an e-book.  But what I really need to think about is my real reason for writing novels.  I think at this point, it can’t be solely to make money or to become a best selling author, but more about sharing an entertaining and maybe even inspirational story with others.

Sharon C. Cooper


2 Responses to "A Daunting Thought"

Some books have gotten published by traditional houses as a result of selling a few thousand self-published books. That sounds like an awfully hard road, though.


My thoughts exactly!

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Who are we?

The Page a Day Writers Group is a diverse collection of wonderful writers based in San Diego, CA. We've been meeting monthly since 2004. Our primary function is in-depth writing critique, marketing and brainstorming, but there's usually some wine, chocolate and ribaldry involved too. We write fantasy, humor, literary fiction, nonfiction, romance, thrillers and YA. Join us on our journeys to publication and the wonderland beyond!


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