The white open-air tents were clustered together underneath a steel grey sky that threatened to dump gallows of water or possibly the once-in-a-while snow as the occupants of those tents shivered in their heavy coats and woolen scarves and questioned what could have lead them to brave the elements in such inclement weather.

It reads like an opening paragraph to a thriller, but the truth is it was just a bunch of writers getting together Saturday for an event in Chiefland, Florida, to promote their books. The event, held at the Farmer’s Flea Market had been pushed forward from last month when a tropical storm moved across the state with high winds and heavy rain. The writers, not wanting to disappoint folks who knew of the event decided to follow through come what may.

Writers, like all artistic people, are into promoting their work even when it is not under the ideal circumstance. As independent writers we are solely responsible for the publication and promotion of our books and most of us tend to work just a tad bit harder and longer than those who have a promotional staff that does the legwork for them.

When I entered the publication field in 2013, I investigated my options before choosing my route to publication. I learned there are the traditional publishing companies who purchase your work if it meets their criteria. They will pay you a flat rate, but in many cases they retain the copyright of your book once you’ve signed their contract. The second avenue to publishing is companies who charge you a fee to publish and print your book. When I took a look at the high cost that can range in the thousands of dollars I decided there had to be a better avenue for me to pursue.

That avenue is what is called ‘Indie’ publishing. It simply means if you are capable of writing a book – editing a book – and designing a cover for your book this is the choice of thousands or perhaps millions of writers today. All of my books are published as independent works and I retain the copyright to each one.

There are many advantages to this type publishing besides ownership of your titles. As your own publisher you can work at the pace that suits you without a company telling you how many books they expect you to write for them. I write one book a year, but should I get a spark of inspiration I am not held to a number of books I can produce in a given time.

This method of publishing suits me and all of those fellow authors who braved the cold on Saturday to set up their tents and display their beautiful books for folks who also said phooey to the chill factor and came out to buy.

If you have dreamed of seeing your name on the cover of a book you’ve written and would like to learn more about self-publishing contact me at edmwalk@windstream.net or come to our weekly writer’s meeting at the Lafayette County Public Library in Mayo on Wednesday at 10 a.m. Our group, Writers INK has eight people in various stages of publication and has helped as many as 15 publish in the last six years. The ages of our group of authors range from their eighties to 11 years old, making it evident that you’re never too young or too old to follow your dream.

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