Tag Archives: traditional publishing

Our Book Is on Shelves, Just Not in My Neighborhood

My first traditionally published book came out a couple of weeks ago. This is a moment many writers dream about over a lifetime, and a large percentage of them will never see this particular dream come true. I’m counting my blessings, believe me.

We received a decent advance. Some of my friends back in California have picked up their copies. The author, Chef Antonia Lofaso, for whom I’m co-writer, has a television show called Beat the Chefs that launched on GSN last week.So I’ve been more than a little dismayed that I haven’t been able to find The Busy Mom’s Cookbook on the shelves of either of my local Barnes & Noble bookstores. (My local indie bookstores specialize in used books.)

The publisher sent me several copies of the book, and I could order more via Amazon at any time. But I have to confess. I was looking forward to walking into a bookstore and seeing a book with my name on the title page. 

While I know it’s quite possible to have your indie published books on sale in brick and mortar bookstores if you’re willing to do the marketing work, I’m quite satisfied to get make my indie work available online for now. However I thought a major publisher like ours would make this book widely available in a fairly large, food obsessed city like the one I currently call home.

Clearly I still have a lot to learn about this business.

Go write something!

P.S. If you’re surprised to learn you can get indie published books onto bookstores shelves, run, don’t walk, to the blogs of Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith.  Read. Study. Learn.

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Posted by on August 27, 2012 in Career



My First Traditionally Published Book | The Busy Mom’s Cookbook

Here’s a look at the cover.

Sadly, the beautiful woman on the cover isn’t me. It’s Top Chef contestant and Executive Chef Antonia Lofaso. She’s the creator of the recipes, tips, and information. I’m the writer who pulled it all together in the form of a book.

Look for it in stores in Fall of 2012. I promise my name will be on the inside.

Go write something!

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Posted by on June 12, 2012 in Career


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Stumbling Upon My Own Writing Path

When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the face of man; you shall not hear any name; the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

For a long time, I believed that a traditionally published novel or story collection was the endgame. I worked hard to make that happen. I submitted to innumerable journals, participated in writing and critique groups, took formal classes, and constantly sought to elevate my fiction writing, while slowly making connections with agents and others with the power to open the gate.

In the meantime, I kept my passions for food, health, and service separate and apart from my writing. When an opportunity to write about food and publish that writing appeared in my life, I could easily have missed it. My focus was trained so sharply on fiction, I hadn’t left room for this something else that was just as important to me. Had a dear friend not encouraged me to be open-minded, I wouldn’t missed my first traditional publishing opportunity. I’m in the process of writing a cookbook with Top Chef finalist Antonia Lofaso. Penguin will publish it next year. Traditional publishing is happening for me, but not in any way I would’ve anticipated.

Fiction is a harder sell. You have to complete the work before anyone will even look at the idea, and short story collections are considered throwaways by many agents. They’ll take them on, but only if you have a novel to sell as well. Novellas are practically unsaleable, right up there with chapbooks by unknown poets. I have a novel-in-progress, but the characters in my novella demanded their turn on the page, and I gave it to them.

In the past, I might’ve tried to stretch the novella into a full-length novel, because that’s what traditional publishing demands. Instead, I’ll digitally publish it. I’ll also comb through my short stories and pull together a collection to self-publish. I’m skipping the rejection letters from agents and editors, who don’t know what to do with such works. Although many of my writing colleagues still see any form of self-publishing as the kiss of death, I’ll find my readers on Nook, Kindle, and other e-readers, just as I’m finding them for my indie published raw food book.

It’s easy for me to focus on a goal and drive toward it. It’s more difficult to catch the side roads in my peripheral vision and know which ones to take.I may not always choose the best path, but at least the journey is my own.

Go write something.

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Posted by on June 13, 2011 in Career


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