Published author Iris Waichler, MSW, explains how a writing or publishing co-operative affects a writer’s platform – and describes the writing, publishing, and book marketing process.
First, Waichler offers a writing tip from A Book is Born: 24 Authors Tell All (which she contributed to).
“Don’t be afraid to contact people you feel may be out of reach to help with your book, project, and or cause,” says Waichler. “Speak to them honestly and from your heart.”
She explains that she wrote a fan letter to Katharine Hepburn, who wrote back. And, she asked Dr. Christiane Northrup, MD, to endorse her book (Riding the Infertility Roller Coaster) – and Northrup did!
So, fellow scribes, don’t be afraid to ask that editor to publish your article, the famous doctor to endorse your book, or a fellow blogger to add you to his or her blogroll. Taking risks is the only way to be successful as a writer.
Click on the book cover for more info about A Book is Born, which was published by Waichler’s writing co-operative. And, read on for Iris Waichler’s description of how a publishing co-operative works…
How a Writing or Publishing Co-Operative Works
LPK: What exactly is a publishing co-operative?
IW: The Wyatt-MacKenzie Writer’s Co-operative is comprised of 24 stay at home moms who had dreams of becoming published authors. Our founding mother, publisher Nancy Cleary, gave us guidance in terms of book marketing, branding, and building a writing platform. We gave each other emotional support and resource information because together we have a wide variety of knowledge, contacts, experience and skill sets. We also help promote each other’s books.
LPK: When and how did you become involved?
IW: I learned about Wyatt-MacKenzie when I was reading an article in Brainchild Magazine, about Ms. Cleary and Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing. She had spent several years working for a publishing company in New York. The article quoted her as saying there were many stay at home moms who were talented writers who were not given publishing opportunities from the larger publishing houses. I wrote her the next day, pitched my book, and she asked for a copy of my manuscript. She liked it and offered me a membership in the publishing co-operative.
LPK: Does your publishing co-operative meet regularly?
IW: The members in Wyatt-MacKenzie are spread out all over the country. One of us lives in Germany. It’s not possible to meet regularly, so we communicate via telephone conference calls and through emails.
LPK: What benefits have you received?
IW: The benefits of this publishing co-operative are numerous. Ms. Cleary has lots of expertise at branding, book marketing, building a writer’s platform. She helped me get on Amazon, linked me with a book distributor, get an illustrator, and put together a website. The team helped my book become a reality.
Also, my wonderful colleagues helped answer questions I had about a multitude of issues like book marketing, putting together a press release and sell sheet. We also cheer each other on when something good happens like great publicity or a book award or successful author events. We cheer each other up if things don’t go well and offer valuable advice about how to tackle writing, marketing, and book challenges.
LPK: What are the drawbacks to belonging to a publishing co-operative?
IW: There were out of pocket costs associated with this model that I wouldn’t have had with a major publishing house. There was a fee to become a member of the writing co-operative. Also, I had to pay for services such as an illustrator and advanced review copies of my book.
I wasn’t sure how it was going to be working with writers I didn’t know – different personalities spread out across the globe! Our only motivator was our common publishing dream. But my publishing co-operative peers were surprisingly supportive and invested in the writing and publishing process.
For more info about this publishing co-operative, Waichler says, “You can read about our road to publishing in A Book is Born, created by Nancy Cleary, with my co-op authors and me. Or, go to the publising co-operative’s website at Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing, Inc. You can also learn more and see Ms. Cleary, me, and other co-operative members tell their stories on You Tube.”
Iris Waichler, MSW, LCSW, is the author of Riding the Infertility Roller Coaster: A Guide to Educate and Inspire.