This has been a very exciting year for me as at the beginning of the year I published my MG fantasy novel, Truth Teller, as an e-book. It’s the first book I’ve ever published and it has been many years in the making. To heighten my excitement, my story has just been published in paperback also. My first thought was to tell the whole world that I had become a published author. What better way to do that than contact my local newspaper that runs stories on local people’s success stories. I have seen them print articles on local authors before.
I wrote a letter explaining about my exciting news and eagerly waited for a reply. None came. That’s strange, I thought. Maybe I made a mistake and sent it to the wrong person. I spoke to some friends that suggested I wrote a press release. What a great idea! Give them a real story they can use in the newspaper. I set about writing my story on how I grew up in the town, and about my local school and how my English teacher would be proud of me as well as be very surprised. It was, after all, a real life success story in my eyes. This time, I made sure I sent it to the right person. I waited for a reply, more confident. None came.
I am a local. I have lived in this town for forty-five years, worked at the local church as a volunteer working with local children, as well as at the schools. My family lobbied to get a zebra crossing that is now outside the local junior school. I have had three children here and three grandchildren. I consider myself as part of this community. Why weren’t they interested in my story? A local success story?
This wasn’t the end of it. When my book came out in print, my wife was so proud of me, she decided to write to a different local newspaper. They had a large ad saying, Advertise your Celebration Announcements Free of Charge. So she did, adding a picture of me (the one above) posing with my book. The ad was never printed.
Is there some kind of conspiracy against me? Or is there a conspiracy against self-published authors? I know there is a stigma for self-published authors in the publishing industry. I never claim to be right about all things, but the only reason I can possibly come up with is that my local newspapers are publishers and they have an attitude towards self-published authors. Maybe they would have been willing to run my story if I had been published by a mainstream publisher? What other reason would they have to completely ignore me and not even reply to my letters?
Is this a worldwide thing, or just a stuck-up snobby English thing? I would love to hear any other self-published authors’ experiences.