In my interview responses today, I’ll be talking about my experience choosing to self-publish in addition to continuing to work with traditional publishers.
Build Your Author Platform is a $39.99 value! I’ll give one copy free to one winner!
About Christina Katz
Christina Katz, The Writer Mama, is the author of three books from Writer’s Digest: The Writer’s Workout, Get Known Before the Book Deal, and Writer Mama. Her writing career tips and parenting advice appear regularly in national, regional, and online publications. A “gentle taskmaster” over the past decade to hundreds of writers, Christina’s students go from unpublished to published, build professional writing career skills, and increase their creative confidence over time.
Christina holds an MFA in creative writing from Columbia College Chicago and a BA in English from Dartmouth College. A popular speaker on creative career growth, Christina keynotes for writing conferences, literary events, MFA writing programs, and libraries. She lives just across the Willamette River from Wilsonville, Oregon in an old farmhouse with her husband, Jason, her daughter, Samantha, and far too many pets.
Learn more about upcoming classes and training groups with Christina this fall. Scholarships will be available for each session of Writing & Publishing the Short Stuff. The application period is one month prior to the start date of each class right here in this blog.
[Please note: my mailing address is still the same as always: Christina Katz, PO Box 1354, Wilsonville, Oregon 97070]
About Build Your Author Platform
An Eight-chapter Companion Workbook to use in conjunction with Get Known Before The Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths To Grow An Author Platform by Christina Katz from Writer’s Digest Books. Available everywhere books are sold. Learn more here.
LEARN THE KEYS TO:
- Uncovering your strengths
- Finding your niche
- Making you and your work visible
- Promoting your work authentically
- Connecting with readers
- Creating a lasting, profitable platform
- Understanding your unique platform dynamic
THIS WORKBOOK CONTAINS:
- Lessons that summarize key platform strategies
- Field trips to explore what others are doing
- Brainstorming exercises to help you consider your options
- Key considerations that will save you time and money
- Reading assignments
- Writing assignments
Finish the workbook in eight weeks, eight days, or eight hours! It’s up to you.
The workbook is meant to be printed and worked on by hand. You can print it and clip it together or print it on three-hole punch paper and put it in a notebook. (It’s about 50 pages and won’t take a lot of ink.)
The Very Short Interview
When did you know for sure that you would self-publish and that self-publishing would be a major energy focus in your life?
I first knew I would self-publish after my first book Writer Mama came out, once I wanted to write about about the journey to publication and the project was not long enough and did not have a large enough audience to justify a traditional book on the topic. Despite these issues, I still found myself wanting to tackle the project. So I did, but as an e-book instead of a traditional book. That e-book was Author Mama.
In five years, you won’t be able to find an author who is not traditionally published and self-published. I’m a little bit ahead of the curve because my work with writers lends itself to crowd-sourcing and the type of reader interaction that leads to self-published projects. I suppose, since I’m a platform development expert, this has also helped me trust that I could jump into the self-publishing waters without disappointing or confusing my readership. Indeed, I now not only self-publish, I also teach self-publishing, mostly to writers who are not yet traditionally published as a way of working their way up to a traditional book deal eventually, if that is still appealing to them by the time they writer their way there.
Who has always been behind your self-publishing and who helped pull you up the ladder of self-publishing success?
Ironically nobody was ever stopping me from self-publishing although I think I had internalized a lot of the stigma that used to come with self-publishing. So instead of answering this question in a straightforward manner, I would say, before I could self-publish I was the one who had to get out of the way. As I recall, it took me a full year, to stop dragging my feet and self-publish Author Mama, simply because I wasn’t aware that I was being held back by the stigma. Once I realized that’s what was holding me back, I got over it. But it was not easy. My husband Jason was an early editor for Author Mama. He kept telling me how bad it was until I’d worked on it hard enough so that I could share the Beta version. Even with Beta readers, I still employed a proofreader because it was very important to me that “self-published” would not mean lower quality than my traditionally published works. Now I am championing my students to create their own high-quality self-published works.
My second “self-published” project is Build Your Author Platform. BYAP is an e-workbook, rather than strictly an e-book. An e-book is like a book, only in digital form. And an e-workbook is like a workbook, only in digital form. What’s also different about Build Your Author Platform, besides the fact that it’s an interactive e-workbook, is that it was professionally edited. Writer’s Digest published it first and then I got the rights back after they sold it for four months. We had worked this out in advance in the contract, and it’s a stronger e-workbook for it. I am still working on a new cover design for the e-workbook, though, which is why you don’t see a cover in this post.
What is the most frequent comment you hear about your e-books from readers? Tell us a little story about the response to your self-published work.
Well, because my two e-projects are so different, I’ve gotten fairly different responses. Author Mama is somewhat instructional but it’s mostly inspirational. The message is: you can write a traditionally published book if you set yourself up for success, and here’s how to do that.
Build Your Author Platform asks the reader to get to work. You can’t merely read it. I mean, you can. But that’s not what it’s designed for. It’s designed to bring the writer from where they are platform-wise to where they would like to be. Naturally this takes some research, some soul-searching, and some serious effort. You don’t get from where you are not to where you’d like to be by being a spectator or having “conversations.” You get their by digging deep and putting the best of what you have too offer into action.
The most exciting aspect of Build Your Author Platform, for me, was that it was the first time I really got an opportunity to delve into “Platform Dynamic,” which is a term I coined. I had a lot to say about it once I got writing and I’m really happy with the way that portion of the e-workbook turned out. I think that chapter alone makes the product worth the cover price…which, by the way, is discounted for the month of May by ten dollars to $29.99. The price will go back up on June 1st.
And Now, Your Turn
Now it’s your turn. You remember how this works right?
I ask you a question. You answer in the comments for your chance to win a book each day.
Please just respond once, even if you make a typo.
Answer in the comments in 50-200 words (no less and no more to qualify to win one of today’s books). Please read the complete rules at least once!
Thanks for participating in the Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway! I hope to see you here every day this month. Bring your friends!
Have you thought about self-publishing? Will you? Why or why not? If yes, what do you think you will self-publish first? If you’ve already self-published, will you do it again? Why or why not? Tell us what you have learned about self-publishing.
Ready, set, comment!