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Author Helps Son with Self-Published Books and Publishing Company

Today, we talk to self-published author, David Beshears. As the author of several books, he has some great information to share.

Tell us about your self-published book and where it is available.

I’ve published a number of titles, but the one that sent me down the self-publishing path is called “Climb the Mountain”. It’s the story of my son and our struggle to overcome severe traumatic brain injury following an IED blast in Afghanistan. It’s a very personal, very intimate story.

All my books are available at Greybeard Publishing (, and I’ve recently begun placing them on the jexbo site as well. In addition to “Climb the Mountain,” there’s science fiction, fantasy, epics and novellas, how-to and cookbooks, and even some really great games.

Why did you self-publish your book?

Our son was severely hurt in Afghanistan, suffering extensive physical injuries and severe traumatic brain injury. Over the next several years, as we sought treatment for him, we found that what he needed was scattered all over the northwest, was difficult to find and access, and in many cases, was simply too far away.

I resolved to design and develop a non-profit facility that would bring everything together in one location that would serve the needs of people with disabilities and their families.

How would I finance such a thing? Greybeard Publishing was born. All proceeds from all titles, including my own production costs, go into the fund for the community center, which I hope to have up and running in 2011.

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

I found two major challenges to self-publishing: editing and marketing.

Editing your own writing can only take you so far, whether it be finding typos or realizing that a paragraph doesn’t work. Your mind’s eye sees what it expects to see and it’s very difficult to be objective about a scene. You’ll always be too close.

As for marketing, that is such a specialized field, and even if you know what you’re doing, it really takes time and money, so they say. And you know, I really am pretty good at a number of things, but marketing ain’t one of ‘em.

How did you overcome that challenge?

Finding friends and family to read your book isn’t the best way to edit it. You’re likely to get complements, and maybe “you spelled buffalo wrong on page 222”. However, I wasn’t in a position to hire an editor in-house or send my manuscripts out. I was fortunate in that I am acquainted with someone who is both a voracious reader, has a critical eye, and was willing to let me know what worked and what didn’t.

The marketing challenge is still one that I’m working on. I’ve taken it on as a second job, and I’m approaching from a number of angles. I’ve established a marketing department within my one-person company, and this department develops marketing campaigns. I’ve also taken several classes, online and at a local community college.

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

Be organized, be structured, and be professional in all that you do.

If you’re self-publishing, you’re not just a writer anymore. You’re a publisher. As a publisher, your company has a number of tasks and you’re responsible for all of them. Make the time, set the time and do the time. Keep each activity separate. If you’re not good at one of those jobs, either get good at it or farm it out.

That being said, don’t forget to keep writing. If you’re self-publishing, then by definition you’re publishing your own stuff. That means the writing is what got you into this mess to begin with. Don’t lose sight of that. The work of being a publisher will want to take all your time, so set aside writing time and don’t let anything else get in the way of it.

Thanks for your great insights David!

For more information about self-publishing, please contact me here or at Thanks!