When you call BookBaby for advice about self publishing, you’ll likely find you’re not just talking to a publishing expert – you’re talking to an actual self-published author who has been there, done that.
You’ve seen the now-familiar line on our website and in our emails: People powered publishing.
Kind of a catchy phrase, but it’s more than that. It’s how BookBaby does business, and our customers have noticed. Check out rating sites like Trustpilot and you’ll see scores of reviews that talk about our advice-laden customer service.
It’s not just a point of pride. We think it’s a necessity. In this digital age where anything and everything can happen online, we believe the very best publishing happens when people partner with other people. Or in our case, when authors partner with other authors.
When you call BookBaby for advice, it’s very likely you’ll find you’re not just talking to a publishing expert. You’re talking to an actual self-published author who has been there, done that.
Take, for instance, Laura Wilson, who started working with BookBaby in late 2015. Well, that’s not really accurate. She joined the BookBaby staff in 2015, but she had been part of BookBaby for longer than that – as an author.
“I had just finished writing my first book in late 2012,” says Wilson, who goes by the pen name of Alex Kost. “I found myself on another company’s publishing site first, but it was a boring website and hard to get pricing or even understand the process of self publishing from their online presence. Then I searched ‘self publishing’ and BookBaby.com popped up. Immediately, I knew it was a website and company I could work with. I clicked around, found the pricing, educated myself, and learned how affordable it was.”
Laura’s first book, Heroics, was published by BookBaby in July 2013, and is also the name of her now-completed YA trilogy. “It’s about a group of teen superheroes,” explains Wilson. “I’ve always been a fan of superhero movies. I thought it would be fun to have a series of books about teens who are as good as adult superheroes when it came to heroics, but who are absolutely terrible at day-to-day life. I had a lot of fun with that. The series starts with them as teens, but by third book they’re all adults.”
Late last year, Laura decided to mix business with pleasure and applied for a position at BookBaby. “I saw the ‘self publishing specialist’ opening on the website and went for it,” she said. “I really liked the company – they had served me well.”
Now she’s using her self-publishing experience to dispense sound advice to authors every day, including answering one of the questions we’re asked most frequently: Traditional or Self Publishing?
“I considered looking for agent and queried a few,” said Laura. “The most important thing for me is that I like having control. I prefer to be able to publish exactly what I want to say. What I wrote is what I wanted people to read. I might not have gotten to do that if I had contracted an agent or traditional publisher. I really just wanted to put it out there.”
Laura is just one of a group of BookBaby staffers/authors. In a few months I’ll share the story of one our newest author/publishing experts, Karen Maneely. And then there’s book designer Bob Lazzell, the illustrator of the delightful Mr. Pants children’s book series.
And don’t forget The End – Now What? (Psst. Makes a great Father’s Day gift!)
There’s nothing like gaining the viewpoints of someone who has walked in your shoes, as the saying goes. Now Laura is able to share her real-time experiences one-on-one with authors around the globe.
“Having self published myself really helps,” says Laura. “I have an appreciation for the amount of time everything takes. I’ve been through it all and I can talk to authors about the different steps in the book production process. I get people on the phone asking about things like copyright protection. I can say to them, ‘Yep, I know exactly what you’re talking about because I’ve done it.’ I’ve already dealt with most everything they need to do, so I’m able to explain it in a way that makes sense to other authors.”
So maybe we should change our line to: Author-powered self publishing. It might not roll off the tongue quite so nicely, but it’s one of the best ways I can describe the BookBaby publishing experience.
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