Barbara Fleming writes from personal experience with her book, The Backwards Buddhist: My Introduction to Dzogchen. Here she talks about a variety of marketing techniques and why she would choose to only self-publish.
1. Tell me briefly about your book – what is it about and what motivated you to write it?
The beginning of the writing process was a challenge to write a book in a month. The story, of necessity, was autobiographical so that it required no research. Having just completed part one of recreating myself from the ground up by divesting myself of every spiritual thought or preconception I ever had from birth to age 50, it was a logical choice of subject matter. The path I chose was so unlikely for me, it seemed a great example of the improbable becoming true. My premise was I could choose to live in a world created by some perception of how things should be, I could just show up every day ready to embrace whatever arose, or I could experiment with any one of an infinite variety of combinations of the two. Tibetan Buddhism is not the first place most westerners look to find their personal path, but it was mine, so that is what the journey is all about. Finding a path with potential but no map and no fixed destination was my recipe for self-discovery. Setting off on such a quest just because I could, and recording the journey to show the potential, complete with embarrassing pitfalls as well as triumphs, should anyone else want to do so, is the major point of the book.
2. How have your sales been?
Sales have been surprising. My expectations were zero, so selling a few hundred was quite fine and I continue to sell. The most surprising sales were triggered by the inclusion of my title on a college neuro-science course reading list, the subject being the Brain and Meditation, quite a hot topic these days.
3. You have not sought a traditional publisher. Why?
I did not seek a traditional publisher because no one owes me any personal favors.