Cari Noga’s novel SPARROW MIGRATIONS – indie publishing done right
The number of books published each year is boggling. Last year 200,000 new books were released. And that’s only counting traditional publishers. 400,000 self-published books were launched, too.
We talk about self-published and traditionally published, but I think there’s a third category: Self-published Books Done Right.
There’s really only one fault self-publishing has. It’s too fast and easy. Too fast and easy simply because writers are impatient and rush their books out into the world without ensuring quality.
That’s not the case with author Cari Noga. Cari published Sparrow Migrations, a novel centered about the “Miracle on the Hudson” plane crash. It features a boy named Robby who has autism and becomes obsessed with the birds involved in the accident. Cari does self-publishing right.
Here’s why Cari’s book deserves to be recognized in a class of its own, along with other quality, independently published books.
She hired editors Cari hired two editors to read, revise and copyedit her book. This is the treatment a traditionally published book receives: professional editing and copyediting that boost a book’s quality.
She hired graphic designers Book cover art is a profession of its own. Cari searched out both a fantastic book cover designer and interior book layout designer. The result is incredible.
She checked her facts Part of the story is set in Cari’s home state of Michigan, but part is set in Ithaca, a town Cari’s never visited. She tracked down locals in Ithaca to read an early copy and verify facts. Is there an elevator in the Cornell ornithology building? Does it have an indoor aviary? Good fiction still needs facts.
She sought test readers Besides fact-checkers and editors, Cari recruited readers to help her improve emerging drafts. She brought in the right test readers for her book: book club members, bookstore owners, parents of children with autism, gay couples, published novelists, and more.
Author Cari Noga – photo by Sarah Brown Photography
She consulted experts Do sparrows migrate? What happens to the eggs when a piping plover abandons the nest? Cari shared her manuscript with ornithologists, rangers and other bird experts to make sure her story is biologically accurate.
She joined a writing group That’s where I come in. I’m part of a book writing critique group called the Powerfingers. Together we examined each of Cari’s problem chapters and offered ideas to make them shine.
She revised and revised more The book took a month to write (November NaNoWriMo) and more than two years to revise. She incorporated major plot changes and improvements from all her team of helpers.
She recruited allies Since her book includes a main character with autism, Cari reached out to autism support groups to spread the word about her book. She’s being generous; she’s giving part of the proceeds to autism programs.
She wrote a good story It comes down to this. Cari created a compelling story people will want to read. Already a professional writer, Cari devoted many years to learning all she could about fiction writing and character creation to improve her craft.
Oh, and did I mention? She’s a Starlighting mama. Cari wrote Sparrow Migrations while raising two young children and working a day job. She wrote the novel from 5:00am-6:30am and 9:00-11:00pm (plus naps).
Independently published books need not compromise quality. Writers work alone, but it takes a team to create a quality book.
Read any good self-published books lately? What would you add to this list to create quality?
During April 2013 Cari will donate $1.88 of each book sold to autism causes; 1 in 88 children is now born with autism. You can buy the book and learn more at www.carinoga.com.