Lloyd Francis during our conversation.
Lloyd Francis during our conversation.

The road to publication has many paths and Lloyd Francis had them all open to him for his debut novel From Rum to Roots.

But he chose to self-publish and he’s all the happier for it.

I had the pleasure talking with Lloyd recently. We talked about his road to publication and why did he decide to go the self-published route instead of others.  For him, it was a matter of culture. Publishers are about the bottom line, not about the writing or what the book was about. He wanted control of it and wasn’t willing to let it go.

So he invested in himself.  He took the time to read, write, and find an editor who specialized in story development (Not all editors are the same!). That has made all the difference, he said. His book reached number 3 on the African American Historical Fiction list on Amazon.

“Having a superior product works,” he said. “If you haven’ taken the time to take a ruthless eye to it, I think that you’re doing yourself a disservice. Each person who picks up your book is giving you an opportunity. “ (Click to tweet this idea.)

In the video below he gives us his three stages of self-producing a book.

There’s more to producing a book than writing, there’s an entire process.  He compares that process to it to having a baby.

1.) The creative stage 

This is the fun stage where it’s fun to create and explore.

2.) The gestation phase

That’s the carrying of the embryo — your manuscript. This is the revision phase where your piece grows into the book it needs to become.

3.) Then it’s the actual birth

Publication. Francis said this will require all of your attention.  You have to nurture it, feed it, watch it grow. This is a full time job.

His biggest piece of advice though: authors need to become their own publishers.  Learn how to pitch, why publishing functions the way it does, and the thought process of a publisher.  This has helped him become the best advocate for his book.

Learn more about him and what he learned in the video below.  Follow him on twitter @lgfrancis