It was suggested to me recently that people might enjoy seeing a behind the scenes look at Devoted Love Press and what it’s like to own a small indie publishing company. So I decided to share my story with you and keep you updated as we learn and grow and try new things.
First of all let me take you back to the beginning of this journey…
My name is Ruth and in 1999 I started writing a novel. I’d been interested in being a writer since I was a child and at 18 years old I began to develop the plot that would become a novel that’s pretty unique in the marketplace: (W)hole. It took me seven years to craft this story that had me diving deep into my own psyche and laying bare my soul with as much honesty as possible. (To this day there is only one other book dealing with the same issue and it takes it in a very different direction). Once I had it finished, I sent it out to agents and publishers. By that time I had a MA degree in Creative Writing and I knew the drill well. I sent it out over and over for three years. I got some positive comments and it won some awards but no one wanted to publish it.
Not enough of a market, they all said.
I had written my book with its paraplegic hero because there were not enough books in my childhood library with disabled characters. I wanted better representation for those with disabilities and characters that showed nuance instead of cliche. The publishing companies couldn’t care less.
In 2009, I self-published.
This was just before the huge boom in self-publishing. It was only in paperback at first because the Kindle revolution had not quite happened yet.
After a year or so on the market a friend suggested trying the new Kindle thing. So I put it up there too and began to see sales. Not huge numbers, but enough. People were hearing what I had to say. Eventually I found others like me who were looking for books like mine.
I was getting reasonably successful with (W)hole and then its sequel Breath(e) and a couple collections of short stories with the same theme of physically disabled heroes. But I’m just one author. My goal from the beginning was to get a good presence for these kinds of books and I couldn’t do that all by myself.
So then I started thinking about taking the techniques I was using to sell my book as an ebook and getting other people’s books up as well.
In the summer of 2012 I filed for an LLC and started my company: Dev Love Press.
The filing part was easy, but the sense of responsibility was scary. Could I really do justice to the books that people entrusted to my care? Could I build a successful company when my background was entirely in writing and not in business or marketing?
Those are questions I’m still working on two years later.
We’ve launched seven books (WOW!) from three different authors (including myself) in those two years and we’ve gotten some good press for them. But now I want to expand beyond the techniques of a self-publishing and start utilizing traditional methods to get book sales.
In future posts I’m going to share with you what I’ve been doing so far and set plans and goals whose results I will share with you also. I hope you’ll continue to follow along, whether it’s because you’re curious about what a small indie publisher looks like on the inside or because you’re thinking about branching out into creating a company of your own!