Authors - Think Outside the Box

Updated: Jul 15

As a not so new author it’s easy to become complacent and feel that since you’ve published a book or two that you don’t need to know anything else about the publishing world. On the contrary, this is when it really starts to get interesting. Once you’ve got a good sense of the nuts and bolts then you have the time to explore some of the more interesting aspects of publishing.

So, for this week’s blog I would like to share some of the novel discoveries that I have made along the way - avenues that I am interested in exploring more fully. Some are icing on the cake options while others present a more innovative way of approaching some of the mundane tasks that come with writing and publishing.




Here are my three ‘think outside of the box’ discoveries for this week.


Critique Circle. A very important aspect of publishing is revising and editing your manuscript. If you have chosen to go with a traditional publisher then this support is built into your contract. However, self published authors often resort to editing their books themselves or you may be lucky enough to have a friend who can help you with this. This is where organisations, such as Critique Circle, come in handy. Critique Circle is just one example of a community of writers, from different backgrounds and experiences, who can assist with revision and editing. Each organisation will have its own terms so you have to do your due diligence and see if it’s for you, but it’s a useful type of collaboration to consider, especially if you’re on a tight budget.

Library Distribution. Most self-published authors don’t give any thought to marketing their books to libraries. I know I didn’t until recently. As with school visits, libraries are great spaces for author visits and book distribution. Libraries have to purchase books for their collections. And of course the more popular a title is, the more copies that are purchased. There are programs that will pay a fee every time a book is checked out online. It's also a great marketing tool. If parents enjoy a book they are more likely to check out the other texts of a favourite author.

Many self-publishing platforms will facilitate distribution to libraries. Do your research carefully in this regard and consider using more than one platform for greater reach.

Book Competitions and Awards. There are a wide variety of competitions and awards. Many of you may have bought children's books and seen an emblem on the cover, such as the John Newberry Award or the Caldecott Medal. How do you qualify? Submit your book for consideration. There is usually a cost to enter and you would have to send them a copy of your book. It really is that simple. Not all programs will consider self published authors, but it’s definitely worth considering.

What are the benefits of receiving an award? It's a seal of quality from a respected organization, which in turn will hopefully increase sales. Awards also make it easier for authors to have their books considered for school reading lists. Schools want books that have been accredited not by just word of mouth, but legitimate organizations that assess books on a regular basis.

Let me know if you try any of these suggestions and your takeaways.



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