Are You Self-Publishing for the Right Reasons?

Digging deep and being honest

Sandi Parsons
Inspired Writer

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Image created in Canva

“It’s a lovely story, and I like your writing. The relationship between the protagonist and her grandmother is beautiful, but —” the publisher's voice trailed off.

She sighed and looked me in the eye. “What are you writing now?”
I gave a brief description of a fantasy trilogy I was plotting.

Her eyes lit up. “That I can get past marketing. This,” she tapped my manuscript with her index finger, “not so much. A stand-alone chapter book is a hard sell, especially for a first-time author. I’d like to see your other manuscript when it’s ready. Then Pepsi the Problem Puppy could be your second book.”

It sounded promising, so I kept nutting along with the next manuscript while trying to shop Pepsi the Problem Puppy to publishers. The message that came back was pretty universal. A stand-alone chapter book about a dog by a first-time author was problematic for marketing.

One publisher sent a detailed report through — the basis was that, as a small publisher, they needed a print run of 1,000 copies to make a profit. Pepsi the Problem Puppy would need heavy author involvement to move copies.

I could do heavy author involvement. I had a rough marketing plan, and 1,000 copies…

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Sandi Parsons
Inspired Writer

Sandi Parsons lives & breathes stories as a reader, writer, and storyteller📚 Kidlit specialist, dipping her toes in the big kid’s pool.