Sunday, December 28, 2008

DIY 2008 Book Award Winners Announced

Congratulations to susan Madden Lankford, award winning author of Maggots in My Sweet Potatoes. Ms. Lankford has been named winner of the 2008 DIY Book Festival. Ms. Lankford spent two years researching life in prison - visiting with her camera and tape recorder - before creating her depiction of life behind bars.

Much has been written lately about the quality of self-published books. If you own opinion is based on what you've heard or on something you read years ago, you may want to check some recent entries. The DIY web site lists award winning self-published books from 2003 through 2008.

Have you read any self-published books lately? Use the comments link below to tell us about your reading experience.


Lillie Ammann said...

I've read quite a few self-published books—some excellent, many good, and a few awful. As an editor, I specialize in working with self-publishing authors so I'm a big fan of self-publishing. I offer a free self-publishing guide (PDF download) on my Web site. One of the things I emphasize in the guide and to my clients is that self-published books have to be excellent because many people expect self-published books to be bad.

Charlotte Phillips, Co-Author of The Eva Baum Detective Series said...


You're such a tease! Please share your web site address. I'm sure many readers here would love to see your self-pub guide.

Charlotte Phillips

Helen Ginger said...

Thanks for this post, Charlotte. Self-publishing is becoming more and more popular. And I agree with Lillie. Those who self-published have to be diligent about producing a great quality book. All authors do, of course, but self-pubbed authors usually have more of the editing responsibility since they don't have an editor at a publishing house checking for them.

Even authors with a small press or big press are working with freelance editors. I'm getting more and more authors asking me to look over their book before their agent sends it to an editor. The playing field is getting a bit more level.

Charlotte Phillips, Co-Author of The Eva Baum Detective Series said...

Thanks, Ginger, for sharing your experiences from the editing side of the fence.

I'm hearing much the same from new authors who are shocked to learn that many publishing houses expect them to foot the bill for some of the editing. When you factor in the marketing costs now born by the writers it is easy to see why self-pub is becoming a more attractive option.

Some self-publishers use the same distribution methods as the big publishing houses, but do not accept returns. This no-return policy is currently a sticking point for self-published distribution and the reason you don't see many of these books stocked in the brick and mortar stores (although most allow readers to special-order self-pub books). This is not an issue with the on-line stores; they don't make a distinction.