Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Begging For Bloggers

As a self-published author there is only so much that I can do to get my book out there in the world. I do not have money to put into promotions so I am relying on friends and family but more importantly (since they have a much greater reach) book bloggers. Book bloggers are my people. They obsess over characters the way I do, they digest and dissect plot lines and character motivations and I'm willing to bet they have just as many books piled near their bed waiting to be picked up and read. Sadly my pile keeps growing faster than my reading speed. It feels like a pile of tribbles (Star Trek reference, I apologize).

So the other day I began trying to figure out which bloggers I wanted to approach about reading and reviewing "I Want To Hold Your Hand". I was feeling good, after all I just published a book that I've labored on for nearly four years. Full of optimism I began, but only a few minutes in I came up short. Why, in 2013, are so many bloggers still against reading self-published works? Shouldn't the success of Amanda Hocking and Hugh Howey have changed the landscape for self-published works?

When I self-published my first YA novel in January 2009 I knew how much of a stigma I was walking into but I hoped that I would find people who were willing to open their minds. Then I found Robby.

"There is a common stereotype that comes along with self-published novels, and I will admit that I have always believed it. An author writes a novel and queries a few agents, gets rejected, and just decides to self-publish. They promote and promote and they are almost completely on their own and eventually they just give up.
There is a stereotype that if a novel is self-published, than it isn’t good enough.
I will admit that, foolishly, I also believed this.
I was talking to a few of my friends about this at lunch yesterday and I realized how wrong I was, especially now that I’ve read this book.
Summer At Nineteen is Stephanie Blackburn’s debut novel. It is self-published.
It is also completely brilliant." (Taken from this lovely blog post.)

I still can't get over that review. It makes me happy to read it when I'm feeling down. But moving on. So I thought with the success of Amanda Hocking (since she rules YA) that maybe now would be the right time for me to give self-publishing a go because four years have passed. The attitude regarding self-publishing has to have changed, right? Apparently not.

I understand why bloggers might be hesitant. If anyone can self-publish a book then there's no one filtering the quality from the quantity. I get it. I just hope that in the sea of YA bloggers I will be able to find at least one who will be open-minded enough to give my book (and me) a chance.

In other news, I read last night that STARZ has given the 100% go-ahead for "Outlander". I am so excited that I can barely sit still. To see Jamie and Claire in the flesh! Gah! How am I supposed to do work now?

Happy Reading!
~Stephanie
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