Yesterday I was looking into some course being offered through one of the local colleges. I live in New England so within a 30 minute drive of me, I can think of 10 right off the top of my head, and I know there are more. What got me was the number of classes that were “selling a dream.” How to market yourself using social media, Your own craft business, and my favorite, Publish your book, guaranteed. I can take each of these community education classes for just under $50.00 each, plus fees and materials.
I so I looked further for classes. I found someone else who was teaching a How to Get Published, who listed themselves as an Author and Publisher. They had published a spiral bound 15 page book. I was not impressed.
My daughter’s school started a literary magazine. Over the course of a year the kids learned how to put out a call for submissions. Review the submissions for content. Make the editorial choice of which content went into the book. The difficult process of editing and layout. I was amazed at the seriousness with which the kids considered issues such as font, the negative space on a page, how each piece would look individually as well as in the book as a whole.
The font discussion took an hour. They considered the author’s choice on the submissions, the visual impact of fonts. How legible various fonts were at what type size. How each font would impact the negative space on the pages.
Amazon.com has this neat feature that lets you take a sneak peek into the books they offer for sale. These sneak peeks let me know that a lot of the authors telling you how to self publish need to go back and take a few courses themselves. I do not hide the face that I want to be an author. At the top of my blog there is a tag line “Rennata Tropeano- Artist, writer and designer” that tells the world what I do. I do not mean this to be a slam against self publishing, but rather a warning about those who are more interested in making a buck, than a book.
It is also why prefer to use the term coined by Author Bob Vardeman while in discussion with Author Mike A. Stackpole, Vertically Integrated Publishing. Both of these men are authors with impressive records, both have freely given of their time to discuss their thoughts are views on writing. I have also attended classes by Mike A Stackpole and highly recommend them. This is not say that they are opposed to making a buck, I certainly have sent a few of mine their way, but they are selling content and entertainment, not taking advantage of my dream.