What does it mean exactly to be a, ‘Local Author?’ That’s kind of interesting concept, the distinction made between being an author and a local author. I’ve written for national, and international journals, and I’ve written for local newspapers and journals, and I had not thought about this distinction before now. I love ‘local authors.’ The label seems to follow those that cannot help but write, they are writers and once that realization has been made it’s not possible to live without writing, and yet ‘local’ authors, the label, the distinction, seems to follow those that may, or may not have accepted the process of self-publication, but despite the leap to commercial stardom may actually prefer it.
Having self-published, myself, I understand the appeal, until I have to market my book, and myself. Not only is the act of marketing exceptionally complicated, but in the social media world, the process is daunting as well, and exhausting, and never-ending, and…, and…, and…
I worked at an independently owned bookstore in Santa Fe, and there was a very large focus on ‘local authors,’ we would carry anyone who wanted to be represented, and display their book under consignment. It was fascinating being a part of that, on the backend, especially in Santa Fe, New Mexico with the hundreds of different artists and writers roaming around; in a city like Santa Fe, the home of George R. R. Martin, Cormac McCarthy, Amistad Maupin, Michael McGarrity and others, the distinction of author and ‘local’ author never actually occurred to me.
There’s a local author here in Boerne, Texas his name is David Martin Anderson, and his a very prolific writer, one of his books The Last Good Horse was a finalist for the Faulkner-Wisdom Award, and yet he is very much a ‘local’ author. I have reviewed books for journals and almost every week I get requests on LinkedIn from authors wanting me to review their independently written, and published books, not to mention the requests at Communitea Books. And because I have been a self-published author as well the desire to stand with-, and to help them succeed by however means they perceive success to be made, is exciting and encouraging for me.
‘Local’ author Elena Mikalsen messaged me earlier and inspired an idea, that I hope can ‘take off,’ providing some marketing and sales for different authors as well as Communitea Books. My intention has always been to develop a community oriented bookstore, and I wonder how I can expand that idea via the writing community through my bookstore’s website? If you’re a local author, and you’re reading this, and you’re curious about what might develop from this idea than I beseech you! Send me a message!
The self-publishing dilemma has created a world of art unlike anything that we’ve ever known, or seen. It’s complicated, there are so many wonderful works floating around in the ether that have gone-, or will continue to go unnoticed. I know of a number of well-known, established authors who detest self-publishing. “The mass production of crap,” they might-, and some have said. The process is, of course, bittersweet because the means to publish anything definitely highlights the crap, in the same way that the good might be lost, but, at the very least, I happen to think that this “Mass production of crap” can only challenge us to be better, which, as far as I’m concerned, is the greatest struggle, and acknowledgment of life.
I have read, and reviewed so many amazing books that have been self-published, or released by very small publications that are considerably better than books I’ve written released by Random House, Simon&Schuster, Harper Collins, etc., so it seems to me that because these books are so well-written, by authors that have something to say, having a platform for authors to market their books is not only opportunistic, it’s essential for maintain the industry. Because, let’s face it, ‘local’ authors are the industry. Unless we want to forego print altogether and submit ourselves entirely to the digital world, which, me, for one, I can’t ever imagine allowing that to happen.
I’m asking all ‘local’ authors, and I don’t just mean local to Boerne, Texas or the Texas Hill Country. If you are a writer looking for a platform to market your book in any part of the country, or world contact me. And we’ll, together, find better ways to make that happen, on my website, and in whatever new opportunities arise. I want Communitea Books to develop as organically, and collectively as is possible.
I am a freelance author, writer, critic, artist, and entrepreneur living in the Heart of the Texas Hill Country.