AWRW Guest Post: What They Don’t Tell You About Getting Published, by Author Katie O’ Rourke

What They Don’t Tell You About Getting Published Katie O'Rourke

Guest Post by Author Katie O’Rourke 

My debut novel sold over 10,000 ebooks. Then, for reasons that still remain unclear to me, my publisher did nothing to promote my second book. They provided a professional edit and cover and put it on Amazon very, very quietly. It felt as if they’d gone to the trouble of renovating a house, then simply hoped it sold by word of mouth.

Now tself_publish1hat the rights have reverted to me, I have re-released it on my own, getting my feet wet in self-publishing. I’m learning as I go and so far, I’m finding the experience absolutely freeing.

There’s so much you can’t imagine when you sign a contract with a publisher. Many authors have their titles changed and may have little to no input on cover design. You have no control over whether and how the publishers promote your book. And it can take up to a year for the publisher to let you know how sales went.

Here’s the difference with self-publishing: A Long Thaw is my title and I fell in love with the cover image and worked with the designer to get the font and text just right. I wrote the blurb on Amazon that describes the book, clicked the genre categories it belongs in and approached book bloggers who read and review this kind of book. I get instant feedback on sales, which means I know when I’ve hit a slump and need to work a bit harder and I can see which of my promotional efforts actually pay off.

Of course, the other side of that is that there’s no one working on my behalf, no one else to blame if things go pear -shaped. It’s all on me. It’s still early days, but it’s working okay for now.

Katie O’Rourke was born and raised in New England, growing up along the seacoast of New Hampshire. She went to college in Massachusetts and graduated with a degree in gender and sexuality. She lives in Tucson, Arizona where she writes, loves and is happy.

Monsoon Season, her debut novel, was a bestselling e-book. Her second novel, A Long Thaw was released in 2014.

A_LONG_THAW_COMPLETE-200x300A Long Thaw, by Author Katie O’ Rourke

A multi-generational story about the power of secrets and the unbreakable bonds of family.

A Long Thaw is about two female cousins who were close as children and reconnect as adults. Abby and Juliet were born into one big, close, Catholic family. But the divorce of Juliet’s parents fragments this family and sends the girls in very different directions.

Juliet grows up too quickly, on the west coast, forced to be responsible for her younger sisters as well as an alcoholic, single mother. On the east coast, Abby grows up a pampered, sheltered only child. As women, they try to mend the rift and come to terms with the way their shared history connects them in spite of the years apart.

This book has been published traditionally and I’m rereleasing it on my own.

Genre: Women’s Fiction
Pages: 195, (Kindle Edition)

Purchase, here! (Amazon USA)


10 thoughts on “AWRW Guest Post: What They Don’t Tell You About Getting Published, by Author Katie O’ Rourke

  1. Pingback: AWRW Interview of Contemporary Women’s Fiction Author Katie O’Rourke | A Well Read Woman

    • What a great article from Katie O’Rourke – thanks for sharing it April. As as self published author, I can identify with everything Katie said. Every author’s dream is to be published by a mainstream publisher, but from what I have heard, it is not always what it is cracked up to be. I won’t mention any names, but we have an international author, published by Pan McMillan, right here in our town. He has been tagged as Australia’s answer to Wilbur Smith and from what he tells me, he outsells Wilbur overseas, by a considerable margin. They are mates and apparently share notes on sales as Wilbur outsells our guy in Australia. Pan McMillan has published around fifteen of our local author’s novels and yet even in my home town, he is basically unheard of. He invited me to share a book launch with him in 2009 and I was amazed to learn he could barely get enough posters from his publisher to display around the area for advertising.

      We have talked at length about the pros and cons of having a publisher, and from our conversations, I have drawn the conclusion that I don’t want the pressure of meeting deadlines, where a publisher has the right to reject the manuscript and ask the author to rewrite many chapters they have poured their heart and soul into. Then there’s the culling of the bits they don’t want, which the author has no control of. Back in 2007, when I wrote my first children’s story, I had a meeting with a manuscript consultant who advised me to self publish as he said it is the only way to keep control of ones work. I will never forget these words – “you are a very small fish in a huge publishing sea and you have to understand, publishers don’t share our passion for books…it’s all about the dollars for them.”

      Liked by 3 people

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