Challenges facing Black authors who begin the journey to try to find a book publisher have certainly been documented over the years. However, with the continued growth of technology, the once tightly locked doors of the gatekeepers begin to topple, thereby enabling not only opportunities for creative expression but business success. One particular author is jumping on the eBook bandwagon and creating an interesting start-up proposition and heralding the business model as the wave of the future for independent authors.
“I woke up one day and decided to create an electronic bookstore for my titles to be bought and read all over the world. Just like that, DMWBooks.com was born,” explains author/entrepreneur Darlene M. Washington. “There used to be a day where getting published meant numerous submissions to book publishers, with volumes of rejection letters. Now all you have to do is press a couple of computer buttons, and voila, you’re published! Indie publishers (Independent Publishers) are recognized by major book chains such as, Google eBooks, Amazon, Borders and many others. Google eBooks has emerged with over 3 million titles by various industry publishers. Indie publishers are a viable source for readers. The International Digital Publishing Forum, states 3rd qtr. 2010 represented $119.7 million in over all eBook sales.”
Washington describes DMWBooks.com as an extension of herself. “It features titles that I’ve written and a few by my pseudonym. More importantly, it’s interactive, entertaining and within a secure financial environment with purchases via PayPal. All titles are downloadable PDF files. Some books are also in Kindle format,” she adds. The site is currently being promoted through press releases, online advertising, flyers and a weekly electronic column called The Rant Bar.
While Washington says that she approached some publishers, she decided not to go that route believing that independent authors choose to publish themselves because they believe their work to be of interest to the public beyond what feedback may be from a publishing house. And while she admits that there’s a lot to maintaining an online bookstore, given the amount of web maintenance and more, the work is beginning to pay off as she is starting to receive a few thousand hits per month.
Her advice to other authors contemplating a similar route? “A writer can use email marketing to promote themselves and their books, and bookstores can sell downloadable books to catch up with the Kindle device and other electronic reading and audible book devices.”
Looks like the future is now for Black authors.
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