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An Author Talks About His Basketball Novel, And The Advantages Of Self-publishing

In years past, getting a book published was a feat relatively few achieved. Successful authors cautioned those embarking on the journey to be prepared for many rejections before finally receiving the elusive acceptance letter for a manuscript submitted. In today’s digital age, however, authors have more options than ever before.

Frankfort author Michael Embry has found success both from the traditional publishing of eight books and by self-publishing his latest works, a means that is becoming ever more popular. Self-publishing is publication by the author, without the involvement of an established third-party publisher. The author is responsible and in control of the entire process, including design, formats, price, distribution, and marketing.

So far, Embry has found few negatives with self-publishing other than public perception. He finds that some view it as sidetracking the gatekeeper role of the traditional publisher.

“In the end, the public/marketplace determines the success of a book, and not the path taken by the author,” says Embry.

Embry’s self-published young adult novel Shooting Star (Wings ePress, $11.95 paperback, $7.50 ebook, follows high school senior Jesse Christopher through his first season on a school basketball team. Jesse’s frequent moves have prevented him from previously being on a team, but the local coaches soon discover his superstar talent. Despite his lack of roots, Jesse also exhibits model characteristics and a maturity beyond his years.

Embry understands the challenges of a childhood like Jesse’s since he attended 13 schools before graduating. A previous career as a sportswriter helped him to write true-to-life game action descriptions that will undoubtedly hold the young reader’s attention.

Embry says, “Older readers have told me the book reminds them of the wholesome books they read as kids by authors such as Clair Bee, Matt Christopher, and John R. Tunis. I loved their books when I was growing up, so perhaps Shooting Star pays homage to them as well. And some of the athletes I’ve admired through the years have traits similar to what you see in Jesse.”

To aspiring authors, Embry advises, “Write the best book you can. After that, use a designer to produce an attractive cover that will reflect the content of the book and lure readers. And then hire an editor to clean up the text. It’s best to have someone who will be honest and recommend changes to make the book even better (in other words, don’t ask someone to read/edit your manuscript if they are afraid to hurt your feelings). Be as professional as you can be in the process—from start to finish.”

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