Yesterday I highlighted some wonderful moments of my Gaithersburg Book Festival weekend. Today I wanted to use my experience to highlight traditional versus self-publishing.
Years ago, there was a definite, and too often deserved, bias against self-published books. Traditional books had the benefit of professional editing, designer book covers, distribution, and marketing.
Fast forward to today. Marketing dollars are only spent on proven authors, and more specifically, the Stephen Kings of the book world. All authors can be on Amazon and other online retailers and professional editing and designer book covers are available to both.
Case in point on marketing... my booth was right next to Kathryn Johnson's, award-winning author of over 40 novels, and traditionally published. I met Kathryn Johnson when she came to my Damascus, Maryland book club to discuss The Gentleman Poet (which I gave 4.5 stars here).
A lovely lady, but there she was right next to me, a self-published author. We sold a similar amount of books, and she had several showcased compared to my one. She was delightful and very neighborly.
Then, I turned around. Right behind me was... my book, Depression Cookies! I almost fainted. A local bookseller, Novel Places, agreed to carry my book and they chose to bring it to the book festival to highlight a local author. Imagine my delight and surprise.
I was standing talking to the owner, and thanking him for bringing my book (he even sold one!), when Eleanor Brown walked up to thank him for carrying her book, Weird Sisters, a traditionally published New York Times Bestseller.
I've been eyeing this book for months (she had me at the title!), so I bought it. She signed it and took this picture with me. She even asked for my business card after we talked about books for awhile.
Not for one moment did I feel less of an author with either of these lovely women. Or at the fair. People asked about my book and my journey, but not who my publisher was.
An absolutely amazing experience. I'm honored to be an author, and a self-published one at that.
Do you think the divide between self-published and traditionally published authors is narrowing?