Welcome new Writers’ Program instructor Angela Bole! Angela is teaching a new course, Self-Publishing, onsite in Westwood (Reg# 373030) this Spring and sat down with us to offer some insight into creative life and her upcoming course.
What’s your favorite book?
This changes… I fall in love with different books all the time! In the past, I would have said Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five or Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge or Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go or Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. Right now, though, I’m completely obsessed with N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy. Each book is a spectacular example of complex world building, and together the three books made Jemisin the only author to win the Hugo Award for Best Novel three consecutive years in a row. Awe inspiring book nerd trivia!
What’s your favorite quote about writing?
So many! But something that comes to mind having just remembered loving L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time as a child – loving the whole Time Quintet Series, actually – is L’Engle saying, “You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.” How perfect! We know reading to be an incredible tool for understanding life in profound and meaningful ways. This is especially true for children who must figure out right from wrong and all the grey in-between during such a short and impressionable time. I’m grateful to have been able to read whatever I wanted as a child. For me, books have often been the best teachers.
What excites you most about teaching for the Writers’ Program?
Self-publishing is in its heyday; this is going to be a great course! As a book publishing professional for over 15 years, I’ve watched self-publishing grow from a collection of hobbyists’ side-projects to a major contributing force within our industry. Need proof? Amazon recently reported KDP authors collectively made upwards of $300 million dollars in 2019. $300 million dollars! I’m excited to help my students understand the ins-and-outs of professional self-publishing so they can step into this fray with the best possible chance of success.
What do you hope your students get from your course?
Amazingly, somewhere between 500,000 and 1 million new books are published every year. Of these, half or more are self-published. I want to help my students self-publish books that have a chance of standing out in this incredibly crowed marketplace. This means teaching them the basic rules of book production, design, marketing, distribution, and sales. Although this course is listed in the Writers’ Program, we won’t be focusing on the craft of writing. Instead, we will focus on the business of professional publishing. My hope is everyone will leave the class better able to tie their creative-minded right brain to their business-minded left brain.
Just some encouragement! If you’re reading this blog post and have ever thought about exploring self-publishing, I hope you’ll sign up for this course. Everyone has a built-in set of skills that will aid them on their journey toward self-publishing. This course was designed to honor those skills while introducing new concepts related to professional self-publishing. If you take this class, regardless of whether you eventually decide to self-publish or not, you’ll leave with a much richer understanding of how books are made, marketed, and sold. In other words, top notch book nerd knowledge!
Thank you to Angela for taking time to share with us. Look for more instructor interviews coming soon!