Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Publishing Myth Busters: Why I published my own books...

I have increased my outreach with this newsletter is my pedal-to-the-metal tactic to build and grow my business 3L Publishing ( My commitment is to continue to make not only my dreams a reality, but your dreams come true, too. I've recently been marketing my way through an uphill battle to stay competitive in a business being diluted by self-publishing tools and gimmicks that mislead people into devaluing the publishing profession. As a result, I have to market against cheesy self-publishing gimmicks and K-Mart prices. When I saw on my Music Choice channel that a cheese ball ad was running about selling publishing solutions, I groaned. Now as a professional with years of experience, education and skill I'm supposed to go up against $500 publishing packages that are like putting the creative process on an assembly line and expecting something creative, unique and professionally done.
Just so you know we don't publish publications, papers or documents like a machine produces a widget or a gumball machine dispenses bubble gum. I suppose if you want a gumball for a book or document that's doable, too, just not by 3L Publishing.
So in my ongoing "Publishing Myth Busters" series of articles, I want to continue to present my arguments against the article I read by the never-been-published writer who attacked our services. Now that I've reviewed log-lines and why they're actually necessary and the difference between publishing services vs. tools, I want to touch on background and experience.
One of this writer's criticisms was aimed at the notion that only 3L had published my books and she gave a small nod about my screenplay having aired on Showtime like this was some kind of no-brainer anyone could do. Let's start with why all of my books (not counting my hundreds of magazine articles, white papers, manuals, and documents that were published by others) have been published by my own company.
After 20+ years working for other companies and writing hundreds of articles for magazines such as Comstock's, Sacramento Magazine, Government Technology, Converge and many others, I decided I wanted to write a book. First, I didn't become a self-appointed publisher. I had work my way up at other companies from editor to publisher. Yes, I had also worked in Hollywood and wrote and sold a script that got made into a movie, and another script that got optioned. So, I wasn't coming at the idea of doing my first book green.
I decided to publish my first book Second Bloom independently. Why? Because why not? I actually knew how to do it. I knew what I wanted to say and how to make it look professional. I wanted to keep the lion's share of my royalties, etc. Now if I were an inexperienced writer who didn't already have the publishing chops I might have written a book proposal and shopped the book.
The critical reception received by Second Bloom is what launched 3L Publishing. Other authors asked me to publish their books. So, I ask you this simple question:

Why would I ask another publisher to publish my subsequent books? I'm not talking about vanity press here. I'm talking about basic common sense.
For an inexperienced writer to suggest my credibility was in question because I use my own publishing company to publish my books is really ridiculous. Now perhaps her point would be a little more valid if 3L only published my books, but that's not the case. We've published over 100 books in the last seven years. And while I wish I were that prolific I am not. I didn't write them all, but I surely edited them all.
Have we had books climb the ranks on Amazon? Yes, many times. Chocolate Flowers went to no. #1 on print and Kindle; Fertile Kitchen Cookbook did a sizable showing to eventually age out; A Feast at the Beach did very well on its Amazon ranking in its respective categories where I believe it went to #3; and that's just a small sampling of some of our successes. Yes, books age out and their ranking drop appropriately. Yet the writer also suggested our books hadn't sold well, and went on to say our books didn't win that many awards. Again, not true but I'm not going to get into a listing of the awards. You can see the front page of the 3L site ( that shows the honorable mentions and awards.
I hope this helps clarify and dispel some myths and ideas being spread by someone who really has no idea what she's talking about. I'm a "keep-it-real" person. I'm the first to admit what I don't know. I always joke to be a good editor "know what you don't know and look it up." When it comes to publishing ... well, I know what I know - and that's how to get it done.


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