Saturday, August 11, 2007

The reader who made my day

I'm truly blessed with wonderful readers who don't hesitate to let me know they love my book. I can't express how special that is. Someone called me on the phone a couple of days ago to gush about how much she loves my book, which made my heart swell and my face hurt from smiling so much. This is what makes being an author so worthwhile.

I'm always asked, "So how's the book doing? How are sales?" To which I have no answer. I mean, it's published with a small press that has very, very limited distribution, so no matter how wonderful people think the book is, those unaware of its existence will never get to read it.

Is the book available at Borders and Barnes and Noble? No. Why not? Because my publisher is not a member of their small press program. So why don't I have a book signing at a bookstore? Because bookstores don't understand that just because a distributor shows zero copies in stock, that doesn't mean it's out of print. Desert Guardian is a print-on-demand book so there is no inventory. Try to explain that to a bookseller. Which I do, when I have the chance.

What's really unfortunate is that POD (print on demand) books are misconceived as vanity press books because it's often how vanity presses produce their books. What's misunderstood is that POD is a process, not a category of publisher. Until those in the publishing industry acknowledge the difference, those of us with legitimately published books through legitimate publishers will be considered lesser authors than those who are published with one of the 7 major publishing houses in NY. Terribly frustrating.

But those of us who have read excellent books by authors published by a small press know better. And we hope the readers of our books will spread the word.


Sandra Ferguson said...

Hear, hear!

I did schmooze a bookseller into hosting a book-signing for me. Check back with me after th 25th of this month and I'll let you know how it went.

How exciting that someone called to 'gush' over your book. Someone I know, really quite well, but who has never read my work, bought Harm's Way as soon as it was available through Barnes & Noble. Her take on the writing was way beyond what I would ever have expected. When she quoted actually dialogue back to me -- I was pretty darned excited.

You're right -- it is wonderful.

We may be small (publishing), but our books can still be large.

Karen Duvall said...

That's great, Sandra! Good for you. I live in a small town and it's tough to find a place to have a booksigning, though we do have a Barnes and Noble here. It's the only chain bookstore within 135 miles.

Please let me know how your signing goes! I'm very excited for you. 8^)