Who is the typical author self-publishing with BookBaby?

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How to self-publish your book the right wayDuring a recent BookBaby Twitter Chat, someone asked me, “Who is the typical BookBaby author?” The best way to answer that question is to introduce you to a few of them:

For his children’s book Sam Seagull’s Quite Pooply, self-published author Frank McKenna received inspiration from…well… above.

“I live near the beach and it always seems that right after I wash my car, a seagull will come and poop on it,” he says. “It’s as if they know.  I was inspired to write the book because I thought it could make both grown-ups and kids laugh.  Kids laugh anytime you say “poop” and grown-ups laugh because they can relate to the seagulls sixth sense about when to poop.”

Frank is one of hundreds of children’s book authors who are – pardon the pun – flocking to BookBaby.

Sam Seagull's Quite Pooply“I chose Bookbaby because they made it look so simple and easy, and they did,” said McKenna who is working on more books for his 24 nieces and nephews. “It was a daunting task to figure out how to print it, but BookBaby really did make it a snap.”

“The best part was opening up the box from BookBaby and seeing my book and feeling it in my hands. It was a real sense of accomplishment and I could not wait to show it to people. Creating a book is about sharing and this was a great way to do that.”

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BookBaby author Curt Mekemson graduated from UC Berkeley in 1965 and was one of thousands of volunteers who joined the Peace Corps. His book, The Bush Devil Ate Sam, is about his experiences in Liberia. “The experience was a pivotal event in my life, as it is, I believe, for the majority of Peace Corps volunteers,” said Mekemson. “I wanted to share the challenges, successes, and often humorous aspects of living and working intensely in another culture. Hopefully, the book will provide a better understanding of what is happening in West Africa for people who read it.”

The Bush Devil Ate SamProceeds from his book help to support Friends of Liberia, a non-profit organization focused on improving life in the west African nation.

Mekemson decided to self-publish his book after learning of BookBaby at a writer’s conference. “I did my research and discovered BookBaby had an excellent reputation. Writers can expect a fair deal.”

“Most importantly, it appeared that BookBaby would make my job much easier. The work of getting my book ready for ePublishing on various sites ranging from Amazon to Apple, the placing of my book on those sites, the ability to obtain printed copies, and finally the opportunity for print on demand, all came as part of the package. I would have much more time for writing and marketing.”

“I am happy to say that BookBaby has more than lived up to my expectations. I am really impressed with the overall look and quality of the book both in print and digital forms. The cover is an attention grabber. The staff has been has been quick, courteous and helpful in responding to my numerous questions, thankfully!”

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From the mangroves of Liberia to the bright lights of Broadway, BookBaby authors truly span the globe. David Black had written and produced two books with traditional publishers about his experiences in the New York theater scene. For his latest book project, Black’s editor recommended BookBaby. For the actor/producer/director/painter, it was a brand new experience.

As a producer of Broadway shows, I have to collaborate with actors, directors, playwrights, musicians, dancers, scenic designers, and choreographers but at least I get to talk to them when I am doing it,” said Black. “Collaborating with BookBaby on Falling off Broadway, I never saw or talked with my collaborators on the many important decisions. But it felt as if an unseen hand was guiding us. My unseen colleagues were helpful through each stage of the revision process until we were all satisfied with the end result. This was even true for my own drawings in the book, where once again the design team’s efforts exceeded my expectations.”

“I handed in the manuscript for my memoir, Falling off Broadway, to BookBaby on November 20th, 2014, and now — just three months later — people are reading it all over the world!”

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Meanwhile in south Florida, Max Emerson turned to Kickstarter to help fund his self-published, limited edition art book, Hot Sissy – Life Before Flashbulbs.

Hot SissyMale model and Instagram star Emerson wrote a “young adult mem-novel” about life before becoming one of the hottest International male models. Hot Sissy is his recollections about growing up, as he puts it, “a punky misfit millennial stuck in redneck Florida.” The book follows Max from age fifteen to eighteen dealing with contemporary friendship, bullying, sexual identity, violence and drug abuse.

With support that included some of his over a 100,000 followers on Instagram, Emerson was able to raise over $31,000 – more than $20,000 past his initial goal – allowing him to print 500 hard copies of the book and future web video projects.

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So let’s rephrase the question from above, “Who is the typical BookBaby author?” Is it:

  1. A children’s book author inspired by seagull droppings?
  2. A Peace Corp veteran who continues to support the country he first encountered in the 1960s?
  3. An award-winning multi-talented Broadway veteran trying out an alternative to traditional publishing?
  4. An internet sensation using crowdfunding to create art projects?

Obviously the answer is E – all the above and more!

How To Guide for Authors

Steven Spatz
Steven Spatz is a writer, marketer, and the President of BookBaby, the nation’s leading self publishing services company. Spatz’s professional writing career began at age 13, paid by the word to bang out little league baseball game stories on an ancient manual typewriter for southern Oregon weekly newspapers. His journalism career continued after graduation from the University of Oregon at several daily newspapers in Oregon. When his family took over a direct marketing food business, Spatz redirected his writing and design skills into producing catalogs. The Pinnacle Orchards catalog was named "Best Food Catalog," received dozens of other national awards, and the business grew into one of the nation’s largest gourmet fruit gift businesses. After the company was sold, Spatz continued his direct marketing career with Fortune 500 companies including Mattel and Hasbro. He joined AVL Digital in 2004 to lead the direct-to-consumer marketing teams for music industry-leading brands Disc Makers, Oasis, and CD Baby. After serving as Chief Marketing Officer, Spatz was tapped to lead the company’s new publishing division in late 2014. In 2019, the AVL Digital Management team purchased the New Jersey brands, including BookBaby. The company is headquartered in Pennsauken, NJ (just outside Philadelphia, PA) and meets the printed book and eBook needs of thousands of self-publishing authors around the globe. Spatz lives in Glenside, PA with his two children, a demented cat, and some well-used bicycles. Steven loves to hear from authors, editors, and publishers in the BookBaby community with tales of publishing trials and triumphs. To tell him your story, write to steven@bookbaby.com.

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