Lynne Cantwell grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan. She worked as a broadcast journalist for many years; she has written for CNN, the late lamented Mutual/NBC Radio News, and a bunch of radio and TV news outlets you have probably never heard of, including a defunct wire service called Zapnews. But she began as a fantasy writer (in the second grade), and is back at it today. She currently lives near Washington, DC. Learn more about Lynne at her blog and at her Amazon author page.
Sometimes when you’re cruising the intertubes, something jumps out at you that makes you want to spit out your coffee. For me, it was a gem of advice in a Q&A on Quora.
The query, edited for length, was: “What do traditional publishers provide that self-publishing doesn’t?” The question drew the typical answers: a cover from a professional cover designer (which indies can also buy), great editing (ditto), marketing assistance (a little harder, but doable – and midlist authors at traditional houses often have to find help, too), and placement of your book at brick-and-mortar stores (okay, I’ll give them that one – although it’s not impossible for indies).
But it was this throwaway line at the end of one comment that caused my spit-take: “Don’t forget to do a POD print edition, even if its layout is pure template-driven and it’s not up to pro standards in production values. Ebooks with print editions sell better than ebooks without.”
I’ve published more than twenty works of fiction over the past seven or eight years, but none of them has given me so much pause – so much stick your fingers in your ears and go LALALALA – as publishing the book I’ve been working on for at least ten years: a memoir of my relationship with my mother and my brother.
Don’t hurt me, but I find it pretty easy to dash off 50,000 words of a rough draft of a novel in a month’s time (I’ve won NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo multiple times), polish it, and stick it up on KDP. I also don’t have a problem writing nonfiction – as long as it’s happening to someone else.