jump to navigation

Topic of the Week: Alternative Avenues in Publishing November 1, 2009

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in grit lit, self-published authors, self-publishing.

BooksAreGreatGiftsAs publishing continues to morph into an uncertain new model, many authors are taking their careers into their own hands through smart choices in self-publishing. Self-publishing is not to be confused with independent or small press publishers, POD printers, nor is it a true form of “indie” publishing. Self-publishing is when an author pays or shares in the costs for the printing, distribution and marketing of his or her book. A self-published author may use one of the established self-publishing houses (also known as vanity or subsidy publishers) or create a publishing corporation of his/her own.

Print on demand (POD) technology, along with the new wave of ebook formats, plus the marketing muscle of the internet, has simplified the self-publishing equation.

Many self-published books suffer from poor content editing, abysmal copy editing and proofreading, bad covers and interior design, and/or egotistical authors who believe their products to be the undiscovered work of this century’s Shakespeare. This may sound harsh, but those in the field–particularly book reviewers–know it’s true. It’s the proliferation of these self-published books that mire the field and leave reviewers and readers with bad impressions of self-publishing.

XFindingtheMoonInSugarLitChat-TheFirstExcellenceWe’re pleased to introduce two authors whose work is a pleasant exception to the negative expectations of self-published books. Each of these books could hold its own against others of like genre produced by any of the big, traditional publishers. They are well written and plotted, their covers are attractive, interior design is easy on the eyes, they are relatively free of typos and publishing style errors, but most of all they carry you along from opening to closing. Most interesting of all, both of these authors never pursued traditional publishing with these manuscripts, opting for self-publishing from the start of their projects.

Gint Aras

Gint Aras

November 4th will feature Gint Aras, author of Finding the Moon in Sugar. Gint chose to go directly to self-publishing as a means to circumvent big publishing and get his work before the eyes of readers in his own time. His novel, Finding the Moon in Sugar, is a gritty tale of post-teenage wanderings, those years in between closing the past and opening the future. Written in a voice raw from toxic love, readers can’t help but side with Andy, the hapless main character, as he stumbles through one adventure after another in the exotic streets of Vilnius, Lithuania.

Gint Aras (Karolis Gintaras Ukauskas) was born in Cicero, Ill. to immigrants displaced by World War II. He attended the University of Illinois in Urbana/Champaign and earned his MFA from Columbia University. To support his writing, he has worked as a hearse driver, fast food guy, hotel houseman, pasta cook, actor and delivery man. He currently teaches English and Humanities at Morton College and lives in Oak Park, Ill.


Donna Carrick

On Friday, November 6, guest host will be Donna Carrick, author of three novels, all of them self-published. Donna’s most recent novel,The First Excellence, follows Fa-ling, a young, adopted Canadian Chinese woman on a journey into the heart of mainland China where she was born. While traveling through Zhuang province with a group of Canadian couples adopting Chinese babies, Fa-ling encounters murder, kidnapping, political intrigue and organ theft.

Donna grew up in Canada’s military and now resides in Southern Ontario with her husband Alex and their three children.  Along with their beloved family pets, the Carricks spend most of their free time in Ontario’s north country.  The First Excellence draws on her experience in adopting a child from China.  Here other two novels are Gold And Fishes and The Noon God.

Follow Donna on Twitter at @Donna Carrick.

Follow Gint Aras on Twitter at @Gint_Aras.



1. lawrenceez - November 2, 2009

Interesting article. I’m looking into various self-publishing options, mostly around some of the online platforms. Ideally, I would like to publish my novels through a mainstream publishing, but a recent unforseen event has taken me back to square one.

2. litchat - November 9, 2009

kawrebceez, the opportunities to publish through traditional channels are available as much today as in the past, but they are not for everyone. I hope you were able to check out the chats this week.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: