How San Diego Authors Respond To Changing World Of Book Publishing
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July 22, 2015 1:08 p.m.
How San Diego Authors Respond To Changing World Of Book Publishing
Susan McBeth, president, Adventures By the Book
Marivi Soliven, author, "The Mango Bride"
This is KPBS midday edition, I am Maureen Cavanaugh.
300 San Diegan's have their books published last year. Most writers do not end of the final chapter. The growing number of writers for self-publishing, the entire business of marketing and promotion falls into their laps. San Diego woman working with authors and arranging book events for years has come up with a series of informational workshops to teach writers how to take an entrepreneurial approach to their careers.
Joining me is Susan, she is president of the interest by the book -- Susan McBeth, president, Adventures By the Book also Marivi Soliven, author, "The Mango Bride".
Give us an idea how the world of publishing has changed.
I think the traditional model most people are familiar with is what we call the house publishing. Typically how that works is another would submit work to an editor or agent and they would sell it to the publishing houses, the publisher would publish it and help promote it. Those days are long gone for most authors. What has changed now are 70 opportunities for changed authors via the because publishing. There's more a small publishing options. Crossers publishing, e-books, etc.
There are -- they are tasked with promoting their own books. That became more of an issue because publishing as well. Authors have found that a challenge a lot of authors are now seeking to self publish because they're doing the work anyway.
You work doing author events, explain the types of business concerns of publishing companies would routinely handle their clients. With a handle tour's?
If you are an author they put money behind, they're going to send you on a book tour. I compare it to being adventure capitalist. They are looking for the next great book will make them a lot of money. What they have done in the past is change because now they are onto the the biggest next thing in three months. After three months of they say we are dining we need to move on.
Why has that changed?
Why have the big publishers changed?
I think a lot of it has to do with budget. That's a real challenge for them. Resources are limited. They have a lot of staff publicist who come right out of college. They use it as a stepping stone job. There's not a lot of money in it. Other those readers are book sales than there used to be. That were they are struggling?
There just as many readers and booklovers as ever.'s are so many options, it may be getting water down a little bit so they are not publishing the mass books, it's been watered down with e-books and self published books.
In the US, you got an agent and a deal with Penguin publishing your book. How to better look out?
Penguin was a wonderful publisher. I very quickly realized they didn't have the budget to support me. They didn't know me from any other previously published work.
We would have conversations like to have a budget for bookmarks or my author poster and they will say will get back to you and then say no. What ended up happening was I did a do-it-yourself book tour routes in copies of my book with a authors discount difference across the country and say what you read this and if you like it, I will come and you can go pray for me. They did. I took out a credit card for the miles and went on miles.
All this time, did you continue our relationship with Penguin? You call them, did they call you back?
Yes. Especially my editor. Anytime at a question for her she replied immediately. My literary agent was also very responsive. He time I had a question, she always responded with edited a or pick up the phone. She was incredibly helpful.
You had to do a lot of things by yourself X
You heard about authors being dropped by big publishing houses.
Not necessarily dropped. I'm not sure what you're referring to.
Those authors who used to make a living writing and had a relationship with the big houses and then they don't get any calls anymore. If I may have shorter amount of time to get their books to click and they are left in limbo.
Authors will publish and maybe a weeks down the line they find their publishing houses are not returning their calls. I think eventually that happened to Mary after a three-month period of time. You have the benefit of the house publisher but after three months you're done, you have to do all your marketing and event planning on your own.
What you find that authors need to know about that aspect of the business?
We hope most writers know how to write. What do they need to know to become writers.
If they want to make a lot of money, they need to change their profession. They'll never make a lot of money. There are authors who do that. For the majority that's not the case. Many do it as a labor of love. What I would say is you need to be your own advocate. That's why we started our foundation. I wanted to work with authors to teach them like the old Chinese proverb, teaching a man to fish beaten for a lifetime. I encourage others to be your biggest supporter and entrepreneur. You can keep yourself and your book relevant. That's exactly what Mary has done.
Based on the responses to my book, we had to deal with the mystic violence, readers wrote to me and resonated with the butt. I have been taking workshops, I realized this is an opportunity, this may be a sign of the universe that I should do more. At a nonprofit that supports indicated victims of domestic violence. I pitched the idea to Susan. I said what if we did a fundraiser that raised awareness about domestic violence and we did in the month of October. Things just fell into place. The former American ambassador to the Philippines had read my book and he liked it. He happened to be living in Arizona at the time so we flew him in. We got a beneficiary and we ended up raising over $10,000.
Not only do you have to have the basic skills that any as its owner has, you're promoting your business, you also have to be created in willing to seize opportunities that come around. The world of publishing has changed dramatically the model for author events has not. I wanted to change that. I liked doing what everybody is is not doing. I said you could custom create events and this is the approach I take with my business because I feel there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to others. Some to create an bookstores, others do not.
Some to better with a casual setting, there are many more opportunities. I think that's a others in need to know. They can be flexible and creative but they don't have to listen to the publisher saying this is what you have to do, you keep your book relevant, you keep -- create the ideas.
And promoting your book and yourself as a writer. I was advised by my editor to set up a Twitter account. They get a lot of traffic and Facebook. I've been able to do book clubs in the Long Island in New York and the Philippines. It's important to find and use your online presence as a way for generating or activity. That's how people find me..
Summertime is still the time for the big walk was her looks. I'm wondering how those developed now. How do big bucks get their start in this with the shrinking world of publishing.
If I knew the answer to that, I would be a wealthy woman. There something to look forward to. I look for my personal philosophy is that books connect people and communities. Book said to well people that connect well with people.
The most talked about but this summer is go set the watchmen. I think the reason for that is so many people connected with to kill a Mockingbird. They wanted to think they could be the hero like Atticus Finch in his time. They connected with that I wanted the good guy to win. When the book came out, they were hoping that was going to be the case. That's why so many people were looking forward to it. If you look at any big book, I'll let you cannot see, they all have different elements of the same thing holds true that there's a connection to humans and communities. I think that's what will ensure their success or at least help their chances.
How have your book sales been going? Since you have taken the course and learn some lessons about how to better yourself.
I find I said yes to many more things. From Susan, I've if you see an opportunity and someone is not necessary soliciting you, you should go for. It's not -- it is self motion but it's also inviting them into your world and seeing if they would like to read your story. I've taken Susan's idea of making my book more relevant by just getting back to the community. Now since we have had two of these fundraisers for domestic violence survivors, word has been getting out. People who haven't even read the book will rights be in say we know somebody who might need help can you put us in touch with other people. And making it possible them to connect with the services they need.
When is the next workshop?
We have an event in San Diego. I'm starting a new series called author talks. It's having pizza and wine and talking to the author. They can chat with her, but she has learned along the way.
That me tell everyone I've been speaking with Susan McBeth, president, Adventures By the Book. Also Marivi Soliven, author, "The Mango Bride" thank you very much.