Kobo Writing Life Podcast – Episode 015 with Nathaniel Kressen
US KWL Manager Christine Munroe interviews Brooklyn-based author Nathaniel Kressen, who took a truly unique approach to self-publishing his debut novel Concrete Fever and won over local independent booksellers along the way. Tune in to hear about:
- Why Kressen decided to hand-craft hard copies of his novel, and the misadventures he encountered as he mastered the bookbinding process
- What he learned by meeting Jenn Northington from WORD Bookstore, which helped him to become a favorite amongst local indie bookstores
- The essential components of a one-sheet to give bookstores along with hard copies of your book: your contact information, ISBN, retail price, suggested discount (60%), number of copies in the box, number of copies in store that have not yet been sold, payment information, whether you are a local and available for events, image of the cover. Not helpful: a press packet trying to convince stores how great the novel is
- Advice for getting your self-published book into bookstores: create a great product, and be respectful and professional of booksellers’ time and needs
- The scalability problem of binding your own book (and hand-painting each cover, in the case of Concrete Fever) when you also have a 9-to–5 job. Kressen eventually decided to outsource the printing to The Sheridan Press
- Why eBooks haven’t yet played a major role in Kressen’s self-publishing journey — he has been focusing on making the book a “physical art object,” then hand-selling it to independent bookstores
- His writing group, the Greenpoint Writers Group
- How you can support your local bookstore by buying eBooks, through Kobo, and how Kressen is building upon his relationship with bookstores through this partnership
Kressen was featured on a recent KWL-sponsored ABA bookstore event – a panel discussion for self-published authors at Housing Works Bookstore Café – to which he added wonderful input from the indie author perspective.
After the interview, KWL Director Mark Lefebvre reflects back on Nathaniel’s strategy of consulting and working closely with his local bookstore and explains how, in his twenty years of experience as a bookseller, authors like Nathaniel were consistently the ones that he prioritized and wanted to see succeed. Having a bookseller – whose job it is to talk to customers and recommend books – in your corner is worth its weight in gold.