Some days when I publish I wonder if I am just publishing into the void. I felt this a little bit more when I went into a book store. Let me give you a little background. I curate a site on New Zealand Authors. Once a month I look online for newly released books by Kiwi authors and create a news letter. So I know most of the books being published by Kiwis. When I was young I met Sherryl Jordan. She is amazing and her books hit the spot for my teenage self. She was as big as Tamora Pierce in my life at that time. So I look out for her new books even now when I'm older so I didn't just miss her new releases. In this book store - a really nice book store that is difficult to get in to and only available for traditionally published books - is two of her new books. I still can't find the other one online. I can only find one.
This is an author with awards, I've met her and I know that she still writes her books out by hand first. And that she has overuse syndrome so that process is extremely painful for her. Her books should be screamed from the top of the mountain as the achievement they are. Instead they are now being published by a small publishing house, the covers are definitely 'meh' instead of 'wow'. This publisher can do good books and they can do good covers. Lani Wendt Young has some really cool covers. Same genre, same age group. I think though that Lani did a better deal because when I look on Amazon her books are published by someone else - herself. Makes me wonder if she also organised her own covers.
In my job of looking up Kiwi authors I notice how many traditionally published authors don't have an author page, no website or facebook page. I'm not talking about anything fancy, I'm talking about a basic static site that leads people to a sales page. An Amazon page so people who like your books can make sure they have bought them all.
I helped my mother publish her books. I showed her how to claim her author central account, set up a goodreads author page and a simple website. She sends me content for blogs and I add a picture and shoot it off into the world. So I know how simple it would be for a publisher to make sure their authors are accessing what is available out there.
Even if authors did this they are competing against authors that have news letters, giveaways, sneak peeks and active social media. Not to mention advertising and news letter swaps. So even though I feel like I send out my book babies and feel like the mother of Moses, I know there are people who entrust their book baby to someone else and it seems like they shot putted the kid out into the world.
I've added links to the books by the authors I've mentioned. I love their books and I think they are awesome so I'm truly sad how they have been treated. It makes me feel a little better about my own books. I might not be in bricks and mortar stores like these two books are. I definitely won't be anywhere near their ability as they are both award winning authors - not like one award, I mean a lot awards - but I can be proud of what I send out into the world. Assured that I have given it a fighting chance.