Big news: my third indy published book will be out in a few months. It is called WORDS OF LIFE: POEMS AND ESSAYS, edited and prepared by DLD Books.
I am excited and have marketing plans ready, yet, part of my mind is already moving onto the next book, a fictional account of a family like mine, effected by trauma like mine. Yet it is not my story. It is developing into a story that encompasses more than my own life experiences and it is my goal to publish it by 2021. Will this be my breakout novel? Probably not, I am just not going to jump to the top of the slush piles unless I am very lucky. Will it be well written? Yes. Like my other books, it will have a great cover, be edited with detail and care, and touch the other folks who read it. I think this is far better than being famous. As of now, though, it may not be in the local library in print.
Why do I say this? The struggle to be issued a Library of Congress Catalog number for the new book has turned into a barrier for more than one reason. I lost out on this for my first two books due to my being a new indy writer and assuming a LOC catalog number was part of the process with the book editing and preparation services. I assumed wrong and cannot go back to correct this error; the Library of Congress does not allow a book to be cataloged after it is in print, the number must be requested before release and along with the ISBN or one loses the chance. As the preparation for my new book progressed, I found out that since I am not a writer being represented by a traditional publishing house and because Kindle Direct Publishing acquired Create Space and no longer offers LOC catalog registration, I have to somehow manage to request it on my own.
The Library of Congress does not offer a clear path to this process and it is also not accessible to blind authors. Finally, the LOC also has a disclaimer that it can reject indy books without an explanation.
Talk about bursting my bubble; my dream as a child was to be able to go into a public library and know my book was there and assigned a Dewey Decimal. Now, my dream is still on hold, I am being informed indy authors can be rejected. Whatever happened to this Country affording the average person the chance to attain their dreams? Is the LOC so clandestine and elitist? Is the system overwhelmed with the indy market?
Personally, I think all three questions are accurate and this is troubling. My books can stand up to the assumed critic, for sure. I believe my books are solid, readable, grammatically correct and understandable books. I sure hope the LOC finds a way to ease open the door because right now it’s looking like I need a publishing house pedigree before I can enter a traditional library to request a copy of my book. What is even more unclear is the recorded books offered by the LOC for persons with disabilities will not send the recorded book over to the print book for regular print book catalog. One’s recorded book may not have the print book available for request. If the National Library Service for the Physically Handicapped (NLS)takes the time and effort to actually read and record the book, why can’t issuing a catalog number for the print edition also be done?
Indy authors like me may be thinking as I am, that the system is failing the average, tax-paying folks who have worthwhile contributions. And, this, folks, is what burns. It is a form of discrimination because it is upholding standards that are no longer applicable and exclude worthwhile contributions. The publishing world has shifted to try to meet the needs of the world’s readers and indy authors are more and more popular and gaining fame and fortune. One would think the LOC could establish an indy book registration process or a reciprocal recorded book/print book catalog process. Please, if someone reading this can actually get this post into the hands of someone who can make a difference for me and the other writers who are in similar circumstances, leave a comment.