Unlike a lot of other writers who decide to publish their books independently, I came at the decision to publish my own book sideways. I had been writing for years and had work published in newspapers magazines and anthologies. I had also written my first novel, The Old Mermaid’s Tale, which was with an agent who said he loved it. I had recently left the corporate world where I worked in the graphic design departments of several high-tech and energy companies and started my own small design business. One of the first jobs I received was from a local woman who anted me to design a book of poetry for her friend.
Designing and publishing that book was my first experience with publishing and it lead to more. I started my own little publishing business which I called Parlez-Moi Press. I designed several art books for a local arts organization and then a collectors guide to a popular line of clocks. All the while my novel was languishing in the hands of yet another agent who said it was “brilliant” but didn’t seem to be doing much to sell it.
A few years went buy and I was working with a local fisherman here in Gloucester to edit, design and publish his memoir of his life as a lobsterman. In the mean time I got my novel back, the agent said he loved it but it was a hard sell because “a historical novel set on the Great Lakes in the sixties would be a hard sell”. Oh really? So, since I’d designed a number of books for other people and had learned the entire process of publishing – I’d even set up a web site at parlezmoipress.com
– I decided my next client should be me.
Designing the book was quite a lot of fun, but I was well aware I needed to have it thoroughly proofed and edited if I was going to do this for my own book. Fortunately I belonged to a writers group of experienced authors and we decided to proof and edit for one another. It was a good experience and to this day I have only found four typos in my 130,000 word book. In 2006 The Old Mermaid’s Tale
became a reality and I set about the business of marketing it. That’s an on-going challenge.
Since then Parlez-Moi Press and I have gone on to publish four more books including a book of original knitted lace designs (I’m an avid knitter in between times) which in the Top Ten best selling lace knitting books on Amazon for most of 2010. Recently all five of my books became Kindle books also and a second collection of short storieslove, murder, etc. is available for kindle only.
Marketing is always a challenge but I’m learning the ins and outs of Social Media Marketing and every month my sales figures increase. It’s an exciting experience because my books will stay in print as long as I want them to be in print and I have the satisfaction of knowing that their success is up to me. Thanks for reading.
Check out Kathleen Valentine’s books in print on Amazon: