I recently spoke at a public lecture on Independent Publishing. My talk looked at epublishing, funding and curating your work.
The biggest worry amongst those who have self-published a book or who run small publishing houses (amongst the audience members at least) seemed to be how to get people to hear about/connect with your book.
I discussed various ways to make your books exciting for readers:
- Suggesting an event for a literary festival (not just your city’s book festival, but other festivals too, like over 60s festivals, winter festivals…)
- Organising workshops, readings or theatrical performances of your work (we did a promenade performance, an evening of readings and workshops. We didn’t charge for anything but did receive Arts Council England funding for it)
- Creating a book trailer or short film/documentary about your work (ask around if any of your friends have skills with a camera! We asked Danielle of Elysium Eight to shoot our doc!)
- Blogging about your work
- Writing an article for magazines (make sure you have some great pictures to go with your words and submit both together, we submitted photographs taken by Nick Ingamells, the cover artwork by Jon Everitt and the images of our map by Port&Lemon)
- Chatting on the radio! We did a culture show (prerecorded) and also joined a morning show and just chatted about writing casually
- Collaborating with others in the visual arts to give your work an immediacy online. (There are famous visual/word collaborations in the book world, Jacqueline Wilson and Nick Sharratt, Sir Quentin Blake and Roald Dahl and the music industry is buzzing with collaborations between visual artists and wordsmiths (that’s my excuse for my music video addiction). Whether you’re interested in joining forces with a photographer you love, a painter or a cartoonist, definitely don’t hesitate to send your favourite artist an email and ask if they’d be interested in becoming your collaborator. This will be invaluable for all of the above activities and also just to keep you enthusiastic and excited about your work as they bring a fresh perspective!)
Here is how I put together the shoot for the article for View Magazine:
On an even sillier note, here is a snap I took to illustrate one of my stories in the Portsmouth Fairy Tales anthology (Mr Potato Parts Shop). It was part of a series of images that was projected as a backdrop during the readings. I had no idea if this would detract from the story, but it worked really well. For the sake of buying a couple of toys and spending a few hours doing a photoshoot, it gave a fun, individual visual element to my fairy tale story. The other writers also chose images to go with their story that complemented the words. Definitely worth thinking about if you’re organising a reading!
For more info on the projections go to: http://culturekiddo.blogspot.com/2014/11/story-projections.html
Join the gang and see more about the fairy tale project here: PFT.