Posts Tagged ‘Kim Wildner’

How to Get Published: Publisher or Self Publish

October 26, 2008


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:


The story of laboring on Journey into Motherhood

October 26, 2008

… Continued

God please make it stop! I don’t want to write or publish a book! Can’t someone else do it?

I was a woman obsessed. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It sucked because I didn’t want to do it.

Ok, how hard can it really be to write a book? – I reasoned with myself.  If I write a book like Chicken Soup for the Soul – a book with stories that others wrote – I won’t have to be a great writer.  I can probably publish this book in 3 months.

It will be a massive bestseller. It will sell to a big publisher for $4.1 million dollars. I’ll bump “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” off the bestseller list. Then I’ll write a series of these books and change birth forever. (I have a someone large imagination)

I had to get birth stories.

I had had hundreds of couples in my years as an independent childbirth professional. I started emailing past clients for stories. Most were very slow at writing a story. I had to get more stories fast.

I posted on newsgroups for new moms, I bought advertising in the electronic newsletters for Mothering and Midwifery Today. I asked all my friends and family to pass the word too.

At first, I told everyone that I wanted Beautiful Birth stories. I figured that would be the title of the book. I didn’t realize as I expanded beyond my own clients that beautiful birth stories meant something very different to most people.

My whole purpose of finding stories was to find ones that would reduce the fear of birth. I also wanted to find hospital births, birth center births, and home births. I wanted to find as many childbirth methods as possible. I didn’t want a book only on hypnosis for childbirth birth stories. I felt that many women who hadn’t taken those courses wouldn’t be able to relate to the bigger message and picture. I wanted stories that every pregnant woman would be able to connect with.

What I received was a lot of horror birth stories. Most of them made me sob. They were stories so full of fear, massive interventions, distress, emergencies, etc. I was so distressed that I called my friend Kim Wildner. She assured me that I’d find more positive stories out there and that I wasn’t losing my mind. After reading so many negative stories, I was wondering if the stories were positive and I just had a convoluted way of looking at the world of birth. Certainly, most of the stories that I was reading weren’t ones that would inspire me to want to get pregnant or give birth.

Did these women purposely send me horror birth stories? No, I don’t believe so. I believe that they thought the stories were great, beautiful, etc. They had never heard positive stories so how would they know that their birth was so tragic it would break someone’s heart? How would they even know that their was a different way? They couldn’t possibly.

They didn’t know how they were affecting other friends, family and strangers by telling their stories. They all thought that they were preparing them for birth. Well, little did they know that they were helping to create more pain and complications then are necessary for birth. I’ve actually met people who won’t have kids of their own because they are so afraid of birth!

I wish I had known that I was going to write about this process. Had I known, I would have kept better notes about the process.

To Be Continued …