Happy Thanksgiving Eve, everyone! This is Darlene Franklin (Darlene’s website) from Hillcrest Nursing Home.
Two years ago, I dipped my toe into the realm of self-publishing/working with a small press after Love Inspired closed the Heartsong Presents book club line.
Before long I was writing more than ever as a hybrid author. I’ve written an equal number of original novellas for my traditional publisher and my small press. I’m busy, but I wouldn’t change it now if I could. Here are my reasons, as writer and self-promoter, for enjoying the combination.
- The only limit is myself. My small press editor has one basic rule for her new authors: write well and publish often. She contracts for collections, but publishes almost anything else. So far, I’ve done historical romance, mysteries, and devotionals. I have nine deadlines lined up for 2017. How is this related to marketing? The more I write, the more money I make.
- I can publish when I choose. I’m no longer tied to a seven-month post-writing delay before publication. I may wait for collections, but my individual titles go up as soon as they’re written.
- I have more control of marketing. Which is also a negative. I have full control of marketing. It’s me and no one else. My point is, I can’t blame my publisher for promoting their A-list authors and ignoring me. If no one hears about my latest title, I can only blame myself. I can pay for advertising. I’m more motivated than ever to get ten, fifty, reviews, and more.
- In our collections, we do more cross promotion. Whenever one of my books goes into a collection, we double, triple, our promotion and more. Some authors are geniuses at doing this. Hitch your train to their star when you have a chance.
- Traditional publishing keeps me in major bookstores and my name in front of the trade. Health problems keep me from actively pursuing traditional, longer books. But I love the balance between traditional and small-press. Between devotionals, reprints and new books, I averaged one traditional book a month this year. Many of them were sold nationwide, at everything from independent Christian booksellers to box stores. Even without Heartsong, my publisher keeps me busy—and they’re happy to continue working with me.
When Heartsong closed, I wondered how I could continue writing. Now I’m busier than ever, and at last learning how to better promote my books. I get to share some of those lessons learned with you.
Happy Thanksgiving! May God lead you in new and exciting paths this next year.
Best-selling author Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. She lives in Oklahoma, near her son and his family. She is an active member of Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Christian Authors Network. She has written over forty books and more than 250 devotionals.