Earlier this year I made a decision that has taken over my time and energy. I wake up thinking about it. I work on it most days, and I go to sleep thinking about it. ‘It’ is my decision to self-publish.
My book is about dementia. It follows my mother’s experience of dementia, but it’s more than a memoir. It draws on other people’s stories, and is as much about dementia as my mother or our family. I’ve tried to understand and explore the experience of dementia, as far as that is possible.
I did try to get the book published and received a lot of very positive and encouraging feedback, especially about the writing. In the end it wasn’t commercial enough for a traditional publisher. However, I realised that ‘no’ from a publisher does not necessarily mean the book is no good. A publisher will only take on a book that they are sure will be a commercial success, and that’s not easy in a very small market like New Zealand. A self-publisher, however, might be able to afford more modest aims and a more hands-on, personal approach to marketing. I decided to back myself by self-publishing. Let’s see whether it was a good decision.