By Melissa Mojo
Authors and publishers on Kaua‘i are joining forces to improve the professional quality of their books.
The brand new trade association Kaua‘i Independent Authors and Publishers Association meets on the third Tuesday evening of every month at a private home in Kapahi.
“With the advances in desktop publishing software and the affordability of digital print-on-demand services, locally published books can and should have the same high quality as the books produced by any major mainland publisher,” KIAPA founder Judah Freed said.
A lack of knowledge about publishing industry standards and practices is the main reason too many “self-published” books look amateurish, said Freed, a Kaua‘i-based book coach and publishing consultant offering services at hokuhouse.com.
“KIAPA was founded to build that knowledge base on the island,” he said.
Another issue prompted Freed to start the organization.
“I’ve been hearing too many horror stories about people being charged thousands of dollars by local and national subsidy publishers who deliver badly edited and poorly designed books,” said Freed, adding he wants to help gullible newbie authors to learn how to protect themselves from these “predators.”
Freed said he has the credential to back up these efforts. He has published four books since 1982, two independently, and these won Silver Nautilus Awards for best social change book of 2007 and 2012. He also won an Evvy Award for the best personal growth book of 2007.
Before moving to Kaua‘i in 2010, Freed served as president of the Colorado Authors League, director and trade shows chair of the Colorado Independent Publishers Associations, and director of the Denver Press Club. He is an active member of the Independent Book Publishers Association. Freed founded the 850-member Denver Book Club as well as an online network for fellow alumni of the Quantum Leap author training programs in Philadelphia.
“The topics discussed at KIAPA meeting may vary as widely as the interests of those attending the free meetings,” he said.
Topics include an overview of the publishing process, the principles of great cover and page design, traditional printing versus print-on-demand, ebook and audiobooks production, online and bookstore distribution, alternative sales channels, marketing and promotions ideas, plus common pitfalls like vanity presses and get-rich-quick schemes.
“The issues raised in our monthly meetings are limited only by the needs and imagination of KIAPA members,” he said.
At this point, membership is free and informal. Once they get rolling, Freed said, he expects the only firm criteria will be “an agreement to abide by clear ethical standards.”
Visit kiapa.org or call 822-0545 for more information.