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CBS author says self-publishing is the way to go

By Chad Feehan
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
November 3, 2023 Edition

George Kennedy took up self-publishing during his retirement years for need of something to do. He wants people to know that they can do it too.

The former federal employee is a lifelong fan of riddles and puzzles, and his two published works reflect just that.

SQZEBOX, his first book, is a collection of puzzles that incorporates riddles into its problem solving. His latest book Odd Like a Sock uses riddles to tell a collection of stories.

Kennedy uses Amazon’s publishing platform Kindle Direct Publishing to print his books, and sells them at flea markets and through local bookstores.

While he recommends going through an established publisher if one has the means – and the luck in landing a deal – he absolutely endorses the method of small, self-financed runs as he has done.

“A person who wants to write a book can have a book in their hands,” he said.

While the responsibility of marketing and distributing a book is entirely on the shoulders of those who self-publish, the ability to order as few copies as necessary is a boon to the self-starting writer.

Kennedy is in it as a hobbyist, not in any enterprising sort of way.

“You’re not going to get rich,” he said. “It’s not the idea of self-publishing to make a lot of money. The idea is to put out a book you have written and hold it in your hands.”

Kennedy’s books are priced affordably. SQZEBOX is under $8, and Odd Like a Sock is under $12.

According to the Kindle Direct Publishing website, books can be published for as little as $2.99 per unit. Color and additional pages increase the costs, but the barriers to entry are relatively low.

Lulu and Ingram Spark are other options for self-publishing in Canada. A few clicks on the Lulu website quotes full-color trade-paperbacks of 150 pages to be just under $10.

Kennedy’s daughter Dianne Grenning has also published her own book called Rosie and the Red Plaid Coat, a children’s book about a true encounter with a moose.
Kennedy said anyone with an idea can put their ideas to paper, and he is willing to help anyone along the way.

“It’s fairly straightforward,” he allowed. “Once you get the first book down, it’s a fair bit easier.”

George Kennedy of Conception Bay South published his first puzzle collection book in 2017, and his most recent one was released earlier this year. He is currently mulling over the idea of a book about Newfoundland themed puzzles. Chad Feehan photo

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