What I didn’t know then, and have found out today, is that Julie self-published this book. I would never have guessed. I have read it and it was perfectly proofread, the story flowed as well as I would expect from any memoir, and it has an attention-grabbing title and cover.
For such a long time, self-publishing has been considered the poor relation of ‘traditional’ publishing by large publishing houses. Granted, some self-published books I read in the past would have benefitted from some editorial input and proofreading, but the content was great, and I have been happy to overlook a few spelling and grammatical errors for the pleasure of reading such a good story. The early feedback generated to those authors and the self-publishing world has led to self-published authors upping their game and now many are giving the big publishing-houses a run for their money.
Kathryn followed up that article with a really useful guide to choosing whether to self-publish or not.
I asked Julie if she approached, or considered approaching, a conventional publisher with her book at all before making her decision to self-publish, and I am thankful to Julie for her rapid reply, “Yes I spent a year and a half dealing with a literary agent who approaches the publishers. I came very close to a publishing deal at a few publishing houses. All said how well written the book was, but ultimately that no one cares about narcolepsy. Which was obviously the stereotype I was trying to fight in writing the book. So ultimately, after getting very close many times and dedicating so much time to the traditional publishing process, I had to self-publish.”
What Julie has also shown is that self-publishing is a valid and convenient option for somebody who self-manages a health challenge too, particularly when the subject-matter is something a publisher will probably have no experience of, and considers it such a small niche market. Obviously, a lot of people care.
Julie’s successful efforts have led to her becoming the ‘voice’ of people with narcolepsy. It has propelled her into tireless (perhaps an ironic choice of words for a person with narcolepsy) campaigning for narcolepsy awareness.
- Ever Considered Writing and Self-publishing? (dancingthroughthestorms.com)
- 5 Easy Steps to Start Writing for Fun and Profit (dancingthroughthestorms.com)
- Tuesday Five: Julie Flygare (literaryandlegal.wordpress.com)
- Should I Self-Publish My Book? (literaryandlegal.wordpress.com)
- REM Runner Blog (julieflygare.com)
- Advice For Writers From Literary Agents (writersinthestorm.wordpress.com)
- 18 Literary Agents Who Are Looking for You (joanyedwards.wordpress.com)
- Tasha Harrison on self publishing: ‘I was sick of rejection’ (theguardian.com)
- 11 Frequently Asked Questions About Book Royalties, Advances and Money (writersinthestorm.wordpress.com)
- Children’s Book Blog: Everything you always wanted to know about children’s publishing (but were afraid to ask) (blogs.independent.co.uk)
- Swine flu vaccine can trigger narcolepsy, UK government concedes (the guardian.com)