Saturday, 8 June 2013

Chaperones Blog Tour: Guest Post: In Self-Publishing I Trust by Megan Karasch

Hello, Therians!

Welcome to my second stop on the Chaperones Blog Tour brought to you by JKSCommunications.

Today Megan gives us her take on self-publishing. If you missed my REVIEW yesterday, be sure to check it out.


For Andrea Lieberman, life began at 26. Growing up with parents so protective they made a convent seem like a Sandal’s resort, she developed a catalog of phobias so large, even going into a church seemed risky business. Finally, Andrea had had enough; she wanted to live rather than fear dying. Without hesitation, she accepts a photography assignment for a magazine traveling through England and packs up her camera, her pepper spray and every insecurity she accumulated since birth. Excited but petrified to reveal the news to her boyfriend, he intercepts with news of his own – a marriage proposal, leaving the lingering question of their impending nuptials as she travels abroad.

Upon touching down in England, Andrea flops around like a fish out of water. The magazine’s staff – the idiot, the slut, and the mute – offer little comfort outside of a pint of beer until she’s assigned two blokes as travel companions – a tight-arsed copywriter and a drop-dead gorgeous art director with movie star charm. These two men help Andrea push herself beyond her comfort zone while testing the limits of her fortitude and her relationship with her boyfriend. The photographic journey becomes a comedy of errors thanks to unforeseen obstacles at every turn. As Andrea struggles to complete the assignment, she discovers the most revealing picture she develops will be of herself.


Guest Post by Megan Karasch
Author of Tales from My Hard Drive and Chaperones

As an unknown author, the decision to side step the traditional publishing route and take my books out to market on my own was either colossally stupid or equally brave, with reality lying somewhere in the middle. The day I first sent the digital file of my completed manuscript to Createspace (the self-publishing entity I used), questions of doubt overtook my brain: will I be taken seriously as a writer?; will this be the beginning and the end of my writing career?; will any more than seven people buy my book? I treaded in a pool of fear every step of the way. So, why did I do it? Was it worth it?

After I wrote my first book and did the query-go-round with agents, I continued to believe in my story. The feedback I received was positive, even from many of those agents who wouldn’t agree to take the plunge with me, and it led me to believe my inclination to be a published author wasn’t delusional. My friends and colleagues whose opinions I valued as honest and valid, and who I believed wouldn’t find it funny to let me publish a terrible book, supported my efforts. Finally – I repeat for emphasis – I believed in my story; I wanted to share it with more than the ten people who proofed it and I wanted to make a name for myself. If I had waited for agents to dictate my future, I might have been selling my book and applying for my AARP card simultaneously. I told myself that I’d never accomplish anything if I didn’t try to accomplish something; so, I put my book out there.

After some marketing efforts, I received my first published review. The reviewer called it, “a promising debut novel that will have you laughing out loud.” That review alone made the process worthwhile. The happiness I feel reading about what my book means to others is hard to match. I obtained additional reviews, they were all positive. My friends threw a book launch party for me. I bought a booth at a book fair – and even sold some books there. A book club chose to read my book and I stopped by as a guest to do a Q&A with them. People in Malaysia and Egypt have read and recommended my book. With each of these steps I knew that I had made the right decision.

There are, of course, downsides to self-publishing. For instance, I laid out a significant amount of money to publish my book and I currently lack best-seller status. I’ve gotten some negative ratings on the Goodreads website, each of which is a punch to the gut, but can also be encouraging – someone took my book seriously enough to hate it. Also, find me an author who hasn’t received a bad review and we’ll have him/her studied and stuffed. The real cons to self-publishing for me were the difficulties of marketing (especially because I have a full-time job apart from writing). The amount of time, skill, and perseverance it takes to market a book can’t be overstated. There are many reviewers and bloggers who will not review self-published books. Advertising is expensive. People only read tweets from celebrities. And there are still people who think that just because “anyone” can publish a book nowadays, self-published books must be awful (which just simply isn’t the case). So there are obstacles; but they are not larger than the pros of being able to control, or at least steer, your own destiny.

I am proudly self-publishing my second book. I have retained a publicist to help me publicize it this time in recognition of my limitations in that area. I don’t mean to downplay the importance or benefit of having an agent and/or a publishing house as support, just to remind us that we live in a time where success may be possible without it. Therefore, until I’m able to have the backing of an agent, I’ll continue to offer the public the best product I can write and hope that it continues to pay off.


Megan Karasch was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. After college, she worked in a creative capacity assisting with the production of stories for a nationally televised entertainment news program. Following her television stint, she went to law school in Southern California where she earned her J.D. For almost two years, commencing in 2007, while the analytical side of her brain was hard at work in the law, she exercised the creative side writing for a popular Los Angeles lifestyle online magazine, writing music reviews and special interest pieces.

Currently, both halves of her brain remain active while she continues to practice law and has begun what she hopes is a prosperous and rewarding life using the written word to enlighten and enliven. Megan lives in Southern California with her cat, Squeaker, and spends her time reading, socializing with her friends and family and playing drums for a local indie rock band. 

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