Getting your book noticed
Working with a POD company is no
guarantee of sales. It takes work—marketing
work—to get your book titles noticed, as
three Costco members have discovered.
Kristina Reid turned to Lulu to publish a
small non-fiction book originally written in
Finnish by her mother. In Memoirs (or
Muistelmia in Finnish) Reid’s mother reminisces about her parents and her own childhood in a working-class family in Helsinki.
“Because of the limited appeal and personal nature of this book, I never even considered using a conventional publisher,” Reid
says. However, it cost her nothing to self-pub-lish her “labour of love,” and she is content to
sell a few copies to people she knows in her
hometown of Ennismore, Ontario and by
mentioning it on several Finnish e-mail lists
and on her Facebook page.
Mike Aragona, an IT manager for an
insurance company, turned his passion for
superheroes into two superhero-team parody
books: The Mysterious Minute-Men and The
Mysterious Minute Men: Ready for the Future.
The author, based in Notre-Dame-de-
l’Île-Perrot, Quebec, used Lulu to publish his
first book; however, he is now using LSI. It
takes more work to get a book ready for POD
than it would for a conventional publisher, he
admits, but it costs less to get his books into
broader distribution through online book
retailers. He promotes his books through his
Web site ( www.savageland.com), his involve-
ment in other author-related sites and e-mail
lists, and word of mouth. Although he self-
published his first book two years ago, he
didn’t take marketing his books seriously
until the last few months; he has already sold
more than 200 books.
“I have always been a do-it-yourselfer,” he
says. “Give me the tools and I’ll do anything.
That’s what POD now provides: the tools that
let me do it myself.”
In less than a year, Dundas, Ontario, resident and freelance writer Marvin Ross has
“gone from zero to publisher.” Not only has
he published his own book, Schizophrenia:
Medicine’s Mystery—Society’s Shame, through
LSI, but he has also started up Bridgeross
Communications and has published works
by other authors, including Slide in All
Direction, a mystery novel written by David
Laing Dawson, and The Dysfunctional Father’s
Guide to Pregnancy, Birth and Babies, a satiri-
cal look at fatherhood written by two authors
who only identify themselves as XY. He will be
publishing another mystery by Dawson in
September as well as a lighthearted book on
pets and pet owners.
“With POD, I get total control and can
bring books out faster and earn more per
copy than with conventional publishers,” says
Ross, who had 10 books published by traditional publishers before deciding to do his
Demonstrating that POD books are being
taken seriously, Slide has been nominated for
a Crime Writers of Canada award and
Schizophrenia has been reviewed by several
Ross is a member of the Independent
Book Publishers Association (IBPA) in the
U.S., which provides co-op marketing opportunities, such as getting his books listed in the
IBPA catalogue that is displayed at book trade
shows. In addition, he uses media releases,
mailing lists, his Web site ( www.bridgeross.com)
and book-launch parties to promote his books.
He even holds virtual book launches on
You Tube, complete with author readings. C
Paul Lima ( www.paullima.com) is a freelance
writer and the author of seven books.