I self-published my book. This is what happened.
For years I submitted my short stories by mail and got them back with an impersonal rejection notice. This was before I decided to write flash fiction. This was before the Internet.
By the time I decided to go back to school and to get a degree in writing I was 52 years old. I’d been sending out stories since my early 20s. I ended up as a 53-year-old sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh in my hometown. By this time I had written over three dozen flash fiction stories; but no one would publish them. I knew I was getting better as a writer. The flash fiction stories won me a great fellowship to the Pitt graduate writing program; but still no one would publish my stories. I decided to publish them myself.
Pitt introduced me to computers and the Internet. I found a company called iUniverse that would publish my book for a fee. Everything was done online. I submitted 35 flash fiction stories and one 14,000-word novella. I checked the proofs and I created a cover. I sent the final okay. Then I sent iUniverse a check for $1,000 dollars. What did I get for my money?
The company did a really good job. It was a good looking paperback book. For my money I also got hundreds of business cards and book markers as promotional tools. I even got a couple of posters. The book was 115 pages and sold for $10.95. I got %20 of the price. As far as marketing was concerned, I was on my own. The company send me ten promotional copies of the book. If I could convince anyone to buy the book the person had to contact the company online or by phone and order it. No bookstore would touch it because it was a self-published book. The bookstore could tell it was a self-published book because of the production quality of the book and by its ISBN, a number used to track the book.
The title of the book was, Compresssionism: The Pittsburgh Stories. I did try to promote the book. Two local newspapers gave it favorable reviews and I was interviewed by the local public radio station. I was the guest at several book reading events. Nothing. In the past four years I may have sold 50 copies. When writing is not jusy a passion but also a business there are two parts to writing: writing and marketing.
It’s my opinion that a writer is better off writing for Triond. At least you won’t lose money.