Publishing and selling your writing in the Upper Peninsula

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The last 20 years has seen a rise in the popularity of buying books online, and as a result, brick and mortar book stores have become a rarity. The Upper Peninsula is no exception, and that gives local authors fewer places to sell their work.

"A lot of us have turned to trying to find ways to sell our books online through different online retailers or just trying to promote our books through Facebook or different online resources," said author and Editor Tyler Tichelaar.

Before you can sell your book, you'll have to get it published. The traditional next step is to seek out a publisher for your work.

"Finding the right publisher is very difficult. you need to find one editor who really believes in your work, and when they read your work, whatever comments they have are really designed to help the book be better, rather than simply be critical," said John Smolens, author and former professor.

There are other options for publishing though. Of the hundred members in the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association, many of them choose to self-publish.

"There's a lot of people who self-publish their works because it's that sort of stubborn independence of the Yooper, and the Yooper writer,” said U.P. Poet Laureate and NMU professor, Martin Achatz. “They want to do it themselves, like every Yooper wants to do it themselves."

According to some U.P. authors, promotion of your work is a must, and one of the best ways, is through readings.

"Readings are definitely really important, especially if you're a poet, because as I said, fiction writers and non-fiction writers, they have more of a built in audience,” said Achatz. “Poets have to sort of work at it."

Along with the support of the community, support from fellow writers is key. The Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association gives writers a network of colleagues that are willing to share their knowledge and resources.

"Our mission is to help people produce quality books that are as professional looking as books published by New York publishers and will draw reader's attention," said Tichelaar.

The association will have their 21st annual conference Saturday, June 2, at the Landmark Inn, where speakers will further discuss the process of publishing and selling your work.

While the conference is free to attend for association members, it is open to all those who are interested. To find out how you can book your spot, visit their website.

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