Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Self-publishing coaching site discusses personal memoirs, and guest posting on blogs
I found a good site on self-publishing that is well to pass on. It is called “Just Publishing Advice”.
I’ll point out two particular links right now.
One is a discussion of the difficulties in selling self-published non-fiction, particularly memoirs, which are to be distinguished from factual biographies usually written by a contributing author. (Yes, “biography” was a specific genre in eleventh grade English class when we did “literature”.)
The latter part of this article is pretty frank and I certainly agree with the “who cares?” part of this. (That was a meme at a book author’s conference in Denton, TX back in January 1988 that I still remember well.)
In my case, with the first “Do Ask Do Tell” book, there was a controversial issue (gays in the military, and my connection to it, and particularly the novelty of the issue just a few years after the peak of the AIDS crisis) that attracted attention and did result in reasonable sales in the first eighteen months or so (with three speaking engagements in the Twin Cities area, at campuses and at a Unitarian church). The third book, with the eldercare and workplace chapters, seems more personal, and the “gay rights” chapter may seem stale now because gay marriage has since become the law of the land and is no longer controversial as it might have been.
I also want to point out their discussion on “The right and wrong way to guest post”. When Ramsay Taplin had Blogtyrant (until June 2018), he was big on recommending guest posts. Rick Sincere (a libertarian video and podcast host in Charlottesville Virginia, who used to be associated with Gays and Lesbians for Individual Liberty, GLIL, back in the 1990s in Washington DC) often offers guest posts on his blog. But they take a lot of time.
I do accept guest posts on two of my Wordpress blogs. Many submissions to me seem to serve tribal interests and are one-sided, but I try to encourage contributions where some sort of moral or ethical principle can be extracted. For example, I did publish a guest post about the border wall between Israel and the West Bank merely to reinforce the idea that border security by itself is not inherently the result of racism.