Dealing with retailers and the "vanity press" prejudice
I've just started to market my paperback and have the first inklings of a problem. I'm sure this problem can be overcome, and I wanted your thoughts on how that could be achieved.
The problem relates to bygone days when authors who couldn't get published otherwise would self-publish - this was called "vanity publishing", and lower end mags were filled with adverts for "publishing your book" or whatever, and often it was a scam. Then people would stuff handkerchiefs in their mouths and read the books, which were usually dreadful.
The problem came up like this: A friend of mine was in a shop and it occurred to him to mention my book. The lady owner was apparently aghast at the thought some self-published book in her store, but he got her card for me. Now it's my turn to persuade her that just because it's self-published doesn't mean it's a joke.
Of course, good writing, good proofreading and good cover design will help start the conversation. Also, reviews, which I'm working hard to get. But what do you suggest is a way of expressing that this is an entirely new way of thinking about publishing? How do I address that initial negative reaction, the "vanity publishing" kiss of death?
"From the moment I picked up your book until I put it down I was convulsed with laughter. Next time I intend reading it." —Groucho Marx