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Self-Published Author Interview Series – Beverly Barna

I hope all of you had a great holiday! Today for our self-published interview series, we talk to Beverly Barna, author of “Infertility Sucks! Keeping it all together when sperm and egg stubbornly remain apart,” and “The Daughter of Dreams.”

Tell us about your self-published books.

I have two self-published books: Infertility Sucks! Keeping it all together when sperm and egg stubbornly remain apart and The Daughter of Dreams

Both are widely available online and at select bookstores. “Infertility Sucks!” has been around longer and has turned up in retail sites around the world.

Why did you decide to self-publish?

The short answer in both cases is that I was ready and going through conventional channels felt like it would take too long. In the case of “Infertility Sucks!,” I was on a mission to change the way people thought about and talked about infertility. I wanted to be a trailblazer and shake things up and just wasn't finding an agent or publisher who "got it." So I gave myself a deadline, shopped the self-publishing market and went for it.

In the case of “The Daughter of Dreams,” I found a nearby small self-publishing house who had an illustrator, David White, whose work knocked me out. His style was exactly what I had in mind for my story, so off we went.

Again, in both cases, I felt that the market had room for the message and approach I wanted to present to the world.

What was your biggest challenge to overcome in self-publishing your book and why?

I would have to say the biggest challenge has been marketing, and increasingly, getting through the all the noise and clutter in today's media. It's a totally different world of communication. On the one hand, the technology puts everything at everyone's fingertips. On the other hand, it's harder than ever to get heard. It can also be hard to find the time to do all the things I'd like to do and to do it well.

What has been the best part about self-publishing your book and why?

The best part for both has been seeing the books, holding the books, reading the books. For “Infertility Sucks!,” I have achieved a lot of what I set out to do. The public perception of infertility and the dialogue about it has changed completely. The book, along with National Infertility Survival Day ™, which I founded, have contributed to that. I still get great feedback on the book, and it has outsold books that were published through traditional channels. So there!

For “The Daughter of Dreams,” which I wrote for my daughter, whom my husband and I adopted in China in 2001, the best part is the pride she takes in the book, herself, and her mom. I also -- and this will sound corny, but it's true -- feel very strongly that this book will change the way people think about adoption. It's a children's book, but it's also a book that adults can appreciate as literature. It's a book about adoption, but the story is universal. It's a writer's book, but it's also a work of art, thanks to gorgeous illustrations.

What advice do you have for other writers who are self-publishing their book?

Own the process. It was long ago impressed upon me how important it is to present clean, correct and highly professional writing to gain credibility. Since self-published authors may face prejudice regarding their legitimacy, it's crucial that we not feed that perception by presenting our work and ourselves as anything less than competent at a minimum. Edit copy; insist on perfection to the extent it's attainable; and make them eat your words -- and be glad they did.

Once published, force yourself outside of your comfort zone to promote your work and yourself as an author. Every time one pushes the parameters, something is learned and therefore gained. Have fun. Be proud. As I tell myself at least once a week: There is not much joy in being celebrated posthumously.

Thanks for your tips Beverly. Your books sound very interesting.

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