BootsBooks is the culmination of experiences during the last 10 years since the launch of Taketakerau: The Millennium Tree (self-published with Steele Roberts Aotearoa Ltd).
Self-publishing is rich with adventure and although emotionally rewarding, it can be costly, especially when New Zealand’s small market requires relatively small print-runs. Often there’s only crumbs left for the author. Not many books become a banquet. That is why my writing is a hobby – albeit a very gratifying one, especially when little upturned faces radiant with joy, tell you how much they love your book. Or a respected industry stalwart predicts “this will melt hearts”.
I thoroughly enjoy everything it takes to form, write, edit and produce my own work, and the realities of self-marketing afterwards are just as enjoyable.
But sometimes the responsibilities can be a little demanding: – tracking every copy that’s sold or given away, accounting and invoicing, setting up a website, marketing and talking to strangers, advertising and cold-calling bookshops in distant towns, filling orders, packaging and posting anything from one book to 20, consigning heavy cartons of bulk books to the distributor or stockist. It means keeping local stores supplied with signed copies. If book sales go so well that stocks get low, it can then be scary to decide if – or when – to arrange a reprint, and how large it should be.
I’ve entered competitions, spoken on radio, featured in newspapers, and written for magazines. For ten years, I’ve visited schools, talked to community groups, promoted our Eastern Bay of Plenty locality, run a public Facebook page for Taketakerau: The Millennium Tree – and generally broadened my experiences, horizons, and confidence.
And after all that, if my work then fails miserably out in the public realm, at least I’ve had heaps of fun along the way! So, kick off your boots, grab a book – and read, think, smile and dream…