I love it when people get all enthusiastic about self-publishing.
Tina Boscha can tell a story on paper, but last week I heard her speak about her decision to self-publish, and I have to say, she’s equally entertaining in person.
Boscha is the author of River to the Sea, a very fine book about a young girl in the Netherlands during WWII. The book is based on her mother’s story, and Boscha started it when she was a graduate student in creative writing. She expected that she would follow a traditional publishing path, selling her manuscript to a publisher who would print, market and distribute it, and for a while it seemed as if that would happen: She won the Leslie Bradshaw Fellowship from Oregon Literary Arts, was nominated for a Pushcart prize, and has published numerous short stories. She found an agent, but after several years during which her book was praised, though ultimately rejected, by a number of publishers, and her agent suggested she put it aside. Instead, Boscha decided publish it herself.
Initially, she says, she harbored a great deal of disdain for self-publishing. But the thought of putting the book she spent ten years on in a drawer was not tenable, and she’s now an enthusiastic convert and spokesperson for self-publishing.
She cited higher royalties – for an ebook greater than $2.99 an author receives 70 percent of the price – and greater control over timing, cover and price as two big advantages. Interesting, if my math is right, she’s sold about an equal number of paperback and ebooks.On the downside, she admits that the learning curve was steep, but that she’s tech-oriented and a little obsessive. The results show in the book, which is beautiful.
And so is the story. She heard from people in the business that the book was “quiet”. I don’t think so. Though at times I wanted to shake the self-absorbed teen at the center, her trials kept me up late reading. Lucky for us, Boscha was tenacious enough to get this book into readers’ hands.