How to Get Published: Publisher or Self Publish


I have so many people ask me how to get publshed that I thought I’d interupt the story to answer a few of those kind of questions.

Did you look for an Agent?

No, I never looked for an agent nor did I look for a publisher. In September 2003, right before I decided that I wanted to write a book, I took a wonderful 3-day course from Dan Poynter in Santa Barbara on How to Publish.

Ok, hold on, why would I take a class like this when I had no intention of publishing a book?

Well, I had two friends who had told me about Dan Poynter, Kim Wildner, who had already publshed her book. I met Kim when I was producing and co-hosting a radio show in San Diego on birth. Pamela Chilton had also mentioned him and his books as great references.

My husband and daughter (who was 2 at the time) were planning on taking a trip to Santa Barbara the very week that Dan was offering a workshop on publishing. Kim pointed that out to me and I thought that the class would help me learn how to promote my CDs. (I had two hypnosis CDs out at the time – one on breastfeeding and one for stress and fear relief).

I took the class and really didn’t think I’d be publshing a book.

I came back from the seminar when this idea unfolded. I think it had been there for a while but it certainly wasn’t crystalized. I do remember working with my co-host Dee Nipper a bit on creating a book but it never really got off the ground. Dee got busy with other things and her ideas and mine differed enough to cause my enthusiasum to wane.

So back to when I decided to write a book:

I had a lot of information from Dan Poynter on finding a publisher versus doing it yourself.

The big disadvantage of going with a publisher is that they don’t usually help you to publicize the book. If they do, it is only for a few weeks to get the books off to the reviewers. They might help send out some other galleys and do a press release but for the most part it is your own responsibility to promote and sell the book.

At the time I did have the money to publish (Although it ended up costing me 5 times more than I thought it would with all the unforseen expenses and lessons). I also loved marketing and promotion so I figured that if I’d keep all the extra income by doing it myself. I was also afraid that if I did go with a publisher, that I’d lose the creative control of the type of stories that they wanted in the book. I kept seeing them forcing stories upon me that mirrored the current state of birth. I also thought that the whole process of finding an agent and working through the publisher’s timeline would take too long. After all, I was determined to be finished in 3 months. This couldn’t be too hard, right?

I started White Heart Publishing back in late 2003. I know I came up with other names but they were already taken. White Heart conveyed that the book was coming from my heart in a way that would help humanity. It felt pure.

I dove into every book I could possibly find about publishing, marketing, etc. Good thing I taught myself speed-reading a few years earlier. I also got onto several publishing newsgroups and joined Publishers Marketing Association. I devoured all information that I could get on this subject.

To be continued:


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