Beyond Myself Book Cover by Author Anita Katherine DennisThe Trend in Publishing is Self Publishing                 

The trend in publishing is self publishing and again, I looked for a Christian company. I found Westbow, which is affiliated with Thomas Nelson/Zondervan, a large Christian publisher. I was told that some Westbow self-published books are adopted by the parent company. My ultimate goal was to have my book legitimized by being taken over by this publishing company.

The Marketing Package

I signed up for the full program at considerable expense and received encouragement along the way from Westbow and others who read my manuscript – especially when the Kirkus review – the gold standard of book reviews –  was positive. I signed up for the whole package – the book trailer, the website, and the media campaign. I was grateful I took all of those photos and movies of the masked being in Liberia over the years during our trips there. I gave it my all since marketing is the next step on my author journey. The question to be answered was, “Would getting the word out there make my book a success?”

self publishingMy Publicity Campaign Nets some Bites

My publicity campaign netted some bites – radio and podcast interviews, articles in magazines and newspapers. When speaking over the phone for talk shows, I looked at my wall portrait of Christ to steady my nerves, reminding myself the Lord was with me. An author friend accompanied me to St. Petersburg for a chat with the MC on a local Christian TV show. One radio interview was a huge, embarrassing mistake as someone next to him on the show kept making snide remarks as I was talking. Turned out the station was X-rated. Uugh!! That month, with a podcast talk scheduled, the host wanted to do it on skype. I had tripped on a car stop and smashed my face. I was a nervous wreck thinking my bruised face, black-eye, and scarred lip would be shown to thousands of people. It turned out he only wanted skype so he could talk to me face-to-face.                                                                

Redoing my Website

Westbow created my website, anitakdennis.com,  but I wasn’t satisfied with it. The next step was polishing it.  From my media campaign and from personal comments from friends, I had reviews of my book. A local web designer couple professionally redid it, which included a photo gallery. Equally featured was the book Ben and I wrote together – Slaves to Racism: An Unbroken Chain from America to Liberia. Included as well was The Gbandes: A People of the Liberian Hinterland, the book Ben wrote about his mother’s people. In conjunction with this, came speaking engagements and I was pretty nervous about that….