I’m proud to announce the beginnings of a new movement toward achieving credibility and respect for self-publishing authors.
The Red Hen Association of Self-Publishing Authors
We, the members of The Red Hen Association of Self-Publishing Authors, witnessing a decline in publishing opportunities, the rapidly changing habits of the book buying public, and the unwieldiness of the traditional publishing industry, are seizing control of our own destinies and banding together for the purpose of increasing our credibility, respect, and profitability. We are not expecting or demanding that anyone else have as much faith in our work as we do, therefore, we will not shy away from the challenges and costs of self-publishing including production, marketing, and distribution, but:
- We abhor prejudicial rejections. Self-publishers are never too old, too new, too unproven, too innovative, or too risky. We refuse to be disrespected, dismissed, or ignored. Our success or failure is determined by our own efforts, and the marketability of our work.
- We understand that traditional publishers seek manuscripts with high potential mass audience appeal, but we know that reasonable profits can be achieved even in limited markets. Money isn’t necessarily the only goal, sometimes the appreciation and gratitude of our readers is its own reward.
- We may be small individually, but by banding together we will have access to the finest minds in book production, public relations, marketing, etc. The finished work should reflect our highest dreams and aspirations and stand proudly with the best the publishing industry has to offer. We refuse to ever be ashamed of our products because of shoddy, or low quality workmanship.
- We insist that those who are recommended to assist us in our endeavors are trustworthy, competent, of have the highest standards of integrity. We reserve the right to accept or reject a recommendation from the association because we are first and foremost independent business people and will keep our own council.
Like The Little Red Hen in the children’s story:
a) We will prepare the ground by learning all we can about self publishing, marketing, and distribution.
b) We will sow the seed by using every means available to establish credibility for our own work and increase respect for self-publishing.
c) We will water and fertilize by blogging, using press releases, doing book signings, appearing on television and radio, and all manner of self-promotional activity. By our efforts we achieve success and inspire others to do the same.
d) We will thin and weed concentrating our efforts on successful methods and discarding those less productive.
e) We will harvest our crop using proper accounting and other business means to create firm bases of operations.
f) We will employ the miller no matter how competent and capable we are, there are some steps we cannot do by ourselves. We recognize these steps and rather than botch the job, are willing to hire professionals with the talents, knowledge and abilities we need to supplement our efforts.
g) We will make the bread through our individual efforts we will print, publish, and sell our books, choosing the avenues and manner of distribution, and standing behind our work until our audience finds us. We have no respect for the practice of floating new books for only 30 days, then pulling them from the shelves. We will work our titles for as long as we are willing and able.
h) We will eat the bread and happily enjoy a much greater profit on each book sell than we would have earned with just royalties alone.
i) We will save some seed from every crop to plant, and harvest again because we are writers and writers need to be read.
Therefore, The Red Hen Association of Self-Publishing Authors is formed for the purposes of:
- assisting authors/members by offering all or part of the following services as requested: to professionally prepare their works for printing or electronic production, to manage the production process including finding the least expensive methods, to provide marketing assistance from instruction to implementation, to developing business plans, and any other services needed to assist authors to achieve their personal and business goals.
- offering courses and learning opportunities to instruct authors in self-reliance by every means from recommending books, to on-line courses, to personal coaching.
- giving author support, The Red Hen intends to establish quality and professional standards to provide author/members the peace-of-mind of knowing that recommended sources bearing The Red Hen seal have earned the respect and backing of the organization.
- helping members rise to meet high standards for business ethics and quality levels. Only those who are worthy will be given the right to use The Red Hen seal in their marketing efforts.
- furthermore, The Red Hen Association of Self-Publishing Authors will actively represent the collected authors and promote its members in any, and every way possible, from marketing opportunities to the lobbying for fair and equal treatment under the laws. We affirm that self-publishers rights will not be diminished.