I’m sitting here paging through one of my favorite children’s books – I read it at least once a week, taking time to closely examine the pictures and laugh aloud at the simple text. It’s a very valuable book, a limited edition, called Kyra and Bobbie: Best Friends. Kyra is my 6-year-old niece, and a few years ago for my birthday my sister Jean (Kyra’s mom, a teacher and children’s book enthusiast) made this book for Kyra and I. We each have one – a print run of 2.
It’s the ultimate in niche publishing, isn’t it? A book with no marketing budget and very minimal production costs that’s guaranteed to reach (and delight!) its small audience – an instant classic destined to be read for years.
When I give talks about independent publishing to groups of would-be authors, I always make sure to say this: if all you want is to get your book or your story out into the world, you can do that yourself. You don’t have to wait for some far-off publisher to read your work, make a judgment about it and turn you down. With all of the print-on-demand technologies – heck, even with a color copier and a binding machine - you can be a publisher. And with the communication possibilities of the Internet and all of its accompanying social media, you can get your story out to its intended audience. Even if that audience is very, very small.
It’s time for a sequel to my Kyra book – her brother Keane was reading it with her and said to his mom: “I want to be in a book with Aunt Bobbie.” Start the presses…