Friday, October 23, 2015

THE JOYS OF SELF-PUBLISHING

It's my pleasure to welcome the wonderful and talented Karen Walker to my blog. Karen is a kind woman that always has an encouraging word to share when you need it the most. Please, show her some love. 


Thank you, Murees, for hosting me today.

Two words – control freak. That’s me. I am an extremely organized, detail-oriented person and I want things done the way I want them done. Now, over the years, I’ve mellowed quite a bit in this regard. But, for the most part, I like to feel as if I’m in control, even if I’m not.

Truth be told, I really wanted to be traditionally published. Back in 2009, when I finished writing my memoir, I spent 1 ½ years sending query letters. I wasn’t successful and ended up self-publishing my memoir. This time around, I was more realistic. I still wanted to be traditionally published, but I knew the likelihood of that happening was very small. So I had a plan B in place. I only spent a few months in the query process and then began the self-publishing journey. Yeah, I can have creative control.

The only downside as far as I’m concerned is the money you have to spend to get a professional book. I’m talking paying for editing, copy editing, proofreading, cover design, interior design, photography for author photo. These are things a traditional publisher handles for an author. But after that, unless you are already a best-selling author, you won’t get much marketing support, so you’re on your own, just as if you self-publish. If you are a traditionally published author and I’m incorrect about this, please say so in the comments.

I worked closely with the photographer (Kathleen Mesmer, www.kathleenmesmer.com) and designer (Mark David Gerson, www.markdavidgereson.com) who put my cover together. It was a collaborative creative effort and it was so much fun. I had input as well on font choices, whether to capitalize initial words in first paragraphs of chapters, and other things along those lines. The finished product is something I feel proud of, not just because I wrote it, but because of how it looks. It feels as if it is truly mine.

I am lucky enough to be able to afford to pay for the services I can’t do myself. In addition to the above-mentioned editing, etc., I had to pay to have my book formatted as well. This is something I know many Indie authors do for themselves. That would have made my self-publishing experience less than joyful for me. I’m not a techie person.

I think we are so lucky to be living in a time when a writer can go to a site like Create Space and upload something they’ve spent time and energy on so they can share it with the world. Self-publishing has come a long way even since 2009, when I published my memoir. It’s lost its stigma. There are still some self-pubbed books that are not well written and not professional. But the same can be said for traditionally published books. We, as readers, have to do our homework when we choose what to purchase.

Thanks again, Murees, for having me here today. Here’s the scoop on The Wishing Steps.

Three Women and a Single Story That Unites Them Across the Millennia

“Totally engrossing. A must-read for today’s wise woman!”Rev. Kathleen McKern Verigin, minister/priestess

Brighid, Ashleen and Megan: Bound through time by a curious light, a mysterious voice and a call they dare not ignore. Yet in obeying this strange force, the women must face soul-searing trials that call into question everything they know and believe — about themselves and about the world around them.

“Guaranteed to inspire you to a deeper level of spirituality and a new appreciation for Goddess.”Rev. Clara Z. Alexander



Karen Helene Walker is a widely published essayist and author of the 2009 memoir, Following the Whispers. When she isn’t writing, you will often find Karen performing in nursing homes and retirement communities as part of the Sugartime or Sophisticated Ladies musical groups, traveling with her husband of 20 years, Gary, or relaxing with a good book at their home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Visit the author’s website at www.karenhelenewalker.com



The Wishing Steps is now available in both print and ebook versions at: Amazon.com. You can also purchase it as an ebook on Kobo, I Tunes, and at Barnes and Noble.