Book Deal Part 3

I’m excited to have Claudine Wolk guest posting to share some info on self-publishing today. A link to her site is toward the end. Here is her advice on this excellent book topic.

Self-publishing is a great way to publish your work or as a springboard to get a book deal with a traditional publisher. As you know from Stef’s pervious blog, publishing is no easy business. There is no rhyme or reason as to why one book gets picked and another book does not. Often the determination is based on who you know versus the quality of the book. That is why self-publishing has begun to grow in popularity over the last 15 years and continues to grow. An author has control over the project from soup to nuts and makes all the decisions, from book size, book cover and interior design, to the marketing strategy. The author also has the burden of total cost. (I am describing here traditional self-publishing as opposed to on-demand publishing or subsidy publishing – totally different animals)

The most important question to ask yourself if you are serious about self-publishing is how much passion you have for your material. As a self-publisher, you will be the author, the publisher, and the marketing person all rolled into one. You have to believe in your material and be willing to live it, eat it and dream it for a good solid year. If you truly believe in your message and your ability to spread that message, you will have no problem doing the tasks that are required to get your books self-published.

To get started, I suggest you read the self-publishers bible “Dan Poynter’s Self-publishing Manual.” Do not do a thing until you have read this book. It is easy to read and gives a great overview of every aspect of self-publishing so that you know what you are in for. Sharing self-publishing information is a big business as well, but I promise you, most of what you need to know will come from this book. The next thing you need to do is write the book! Just sit down and write it. Once you have a product and know what the demands will be in order to get the book published, you can make a decision to go forward with your project.

I began my journey in self-publishing in April 2007. I had tried traditional publishing with a proposal and finished manuscript for an entire year before that. I was passionate about my book and truly felt that the book filled a need in the world. I decided to self-publish. By joining forces with (ie paying) some very talented marketing and book production folks (Brian Taylor, Pneuma Books.com and Sharon Castlen, Integrated Book Marketing), I had the book that I wanted. I pitched to a few distributers, got a contract, and by April 2008 my book – It Gets Easier! and Other Lies We Tell New Mothers was in bookstores, for sale on my website http://www.help4newmoms.com/ and on amazon.com and borders.com. With an author platform beginning to be built, I started contacting literary agents, who started to opening their doors to me. I secured a book deal with a traditional publisher who plans to re-release my book in the Spring 2009.

I am living proof that self-publishing can lead the way to a traditional publishing contract. If you think self-publishing is for you remember the three things I mentioned – a finished manuscript, good self-publishing how-to info, and most of all – passion! With these three elements, you’ll be on your way to being a published author!

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on September 9, 2008 8:29 pmUncategorized12 comments  


  1. How to Party with an Infant said,

    ooh–you’re a famous drinker. I’ve read Sippy Cups are not for Chardonnay. Loved it and am glad I found this blog because according to your Blogger profile we have the exact same interests.
    Linking to you now…

    | September 9, 2008 @ 8:54 pm

  2. Immoral Matriarch said,

    Hmm..doesn’t seem like HTPWAI read the post…

    I’m so glad you’ve found success, and that all your hard work paid off. And I love the graphic for your book cover!

    | September 9, 2008 @ 11:00 pm

  3. Kyddryn said,

    So – is the stigma associated with self-publishing a myth? And if not, how did you overcome it? I’ve read so many agents blogs and websites that scoff at self-publishing, I’m a bit leery of it.

    You’ve made it worth looking into, at least for the children’s stories that I’d like illustrated by my own artist. Whole other can of worms…ugh…

    Shade and Sweetwater,
    K (who is quite thankful for the info!!)

    | September 10, 2008 @ 12:27 am

  4. Wicked Step Mom said,

    I am glad that you were successful and that you took the time to share with all of us how you did it. I am probably going to go the self-publishing route and I am glad to know that it does work, if your heart is in it.

    | September 10, 2008 @ 1:08 am

  5. Andria and Co. said,

    Thanks for the info- I had never actually considered the self-publishing route.
    I think, my fear is that my editing would not be up to par. Which would be one of the main factors in holding me back from going this route.

    Sigh. Why can’t there be a reality show pitching ideas for new books? Most interesting plot wins. Hey, they have reality shows for everything else, why not a book contract?!

    | September 10, 2008 @ 4:02 am

  6. Undomestic Diva said,

    Thanks for this information. Very insightful. This helped me better understand self-publishing and what it takes to do so. THANKS!!

    | September 10, 2008 @ 2:55 pm

  7. Rhea said,

    I think passion is probably one of the most key ingredients. The desire to push and really market yourself has to be HUGE, because I would think it would take a lot of work.

    | September 10, 2008 @ 4:56 pm

  8. Eileen said,

    The challenge I’ve heard from other self pubbed people is difficulty in getting distribution. Many traditional book stores will not stock self pubbed books.

    | September 10, 2008 @ 7:39 pm

  9. Krista said,

    How fun! I had no idea the history behind this book! I bought it back in May on line and started reading it just last week! I am so glad Claudine believed so much in her work and the value of her book to self-publish. What an example of being passionate and living a dream (of course with a lot of hard work!)

    | September 10, 2008 @ 8:07 pm

  10. Davina said,

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I am a writer with a finished book, that has taken five years to write, called “Renegade Mamas”. I’ve had my heart blasted by rejects-and am considering self publishing in 12 mos-if I don’t have a deal.

    I like your blog alot-lots of grits and humor. I am ordering your book today a’la carte Amazon. As far as the nasty review you shared-bull ox. Everyone has an opinion and some people are just cruel.

    | September 14, 2008 @ 4:27 pm

  11. April said,

    great info, thanks 🙂

    | September 17, 2008 @ 7:23 pm

  12. eda said,


    | December 22, 2008 @ 7:56 am

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