Author Feature

Back From the South: A Couples Transitions From Segregation to Integration

The following are the words of  Teressa V Staten Ph.D., Archway Publishing author of “Back From the South: A Couples Transitions From Segregation to Integration.” Learn more about Teressa from her website and Facebook page. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

Continuing the Legacy

For several years after my husband passed, I considered finishing a draft of a book that he had begun about the life of my son. Of course, I procrastinated for many years. However, one of my Back From the South: A Couples Transitions From Segregation to Integrationclose friends suggested an idea that began my self-publishing journey. She was the one friend who always planned our interesting trips. This time she suggested we come together and write. Each of us came up with a broad writing goal. I decided to write a memoir about my husband who had been one of the first African Americans to integrate the Marine Corps, and the Huntsville, Alabama Police Department.

Focusing on Writing

We started a writing club in the fall of 2014. My home was the meeting place. We would each write toward our individual goals over a day and then share what each had written gathering reactions and feedback from each other. Over the course of a year, we did this about three times. Between our meetings, we were to continue writing, but that did happen…most of the time. The book began to take shape and decided to focus on not only my late husband’s life but also about my growing up and that of our son who took his own life.

I decided to get serious after feedback from the group of friends was very positive so. I joined the Atlanta Book Club Association where I began to interact with a few members and received information about steps to take toward getting your book published. After registering, I attended the Atlanta Book Festival over the Memorial Weekend in 2015. I submitted my query letter to three publisher’s teams and I received positive feedback. These were face-to-face one on one meetings that lasted 15 minutes.

My Publishing Journey

One publishing company requested that I send them the first chapters as the issues proposed in my book related to areas of special interest to her company. I ended Back From the South: A Couples Transitions From Segregation to Integrationup sending them the chapters and an improved query letter. After about six weeks the agent emailed me to arrange a conference call with two others in her company.

The team went over a few minor changes and indicated that once I sent them a revised version, I would receive a contingency contract. I was on cloud nine. At the close of the phone conversation, one of the individuals added I should redraft the three chapters only in my voice. Mind you this was one of two teams who had complimented me on the way I had written in my husband’s voice. I listened and indicated that I would respond within two weeks as I had other obligations.

I did think about the request and discussed it with two of my writing team members. Both thought the style of the book was unique and that I should proceed as I had begun using my husband’s voice until after we got married. I informed the editor of my decision by email without room for further discussion. I also sent out query letters to three additional publishers and got some feedback. However, their requests did not fit with the direction my book was going.

Finding Archway

I knew I was going to finish the book regardless and learned about self-publishing through the Atlanta Book Club. I began to research self-publishers and went as far as having conversations and review of their options. After receiving a special offer from Archway Publishing and since it was associated with Simon and Schuster, I decided to work with them. I was assigned to a concierge who was probably young enough to be a grandchild. She was very patient and responded quickly to any concerns that I had. Others in the organization were most helpful and open to allow me to be satisfied with my book. The development team was excellent especially with my cover, which I changed several times.

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share a guest blog post, please visit our Blog Guidelines Page.

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Author Feature

Judy Barnes on Self-Publishing “Two Girls from Nazareth”

The following are the words of Judy Barnes, Archway Publishing author of “Two Girls From Nazareth.” Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

How My Story Became a Masterpiece

NazarethMy name is Judy Barnes and I’ve always been interested in writing. I have read the Bible many times, but there always seemed to be something missing. How did Mary (the mother of Jesus) become the woman who would give birth to Christ’s Child? While pondering the problem, I started writing about two girls who grew up in Nazareth. Consequently, Two Girls From Nazareth was born. Continue reading

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Author Feature

The Secrets of My Life: Vintner, Prisoner, Soldier, Spy by Peter Sichel

From time to time, Archway Publishing turns over its blog to its authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Peter M. F. Sichel, author of “The Secrets of My Life: Vintner, Prisoner, Soldier, Spy.” Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

I have recently self-published with Archway, my memoirs “THE SECRETS OF MY LIFE, Vintner, SKU-000638649Prisoner, Soldier, Spy.” It is my memoir of a long life. I was born as a German Jew in 1922 in Germany, where my family had lived at least since the 17th century. We were successful wine merchants, as well as exporters and importers of wine, with branches in Bordeaux, London and New York. I watched the takeover of the Nazis, and the eventual flight of my parents, while I was already in school in England. We all moved to Bordeaux, where the French interned us as enemy aliens at the beginning of WWII. We finally escaped France in 1941 and moved to New York. I spent 17 years in American Intelligence, first with the OSS and then with the CIA, the last few years as a senior official. I resigned in 1960 and joined the family wine business, making BLUE NUN one of the first big international brands of wine. I wrote my memoirs initially for my children, but realized that the story of my life might be interesting to a larger audience. My life reads like a Bildungsroman.

After I was not able to find a publisher, I decided to self-publish. I did quite a bit of research, contacting four publishers who specialized in handling self-published books. I decided to use Archway, because their offerings made more sense to me than the other publishers, enabling me to choose from a menu the type of service I believed I needed. The fact that Archway was owned by a major publishing house also helped me to select them.

Peter SichelMy experience with Archway  has been first class. Their method of operation has one person coordinate all the services as they are needed. At the same time the person offering the service can communicate directly with the author. The handling was efficient, timely and courteous, through the entire process, which included two editorial reviews, which were needed and excellent. It also included design of print face and book cover, and the many small details needed to bring a book to market. Now that it is in the market, I am continuing to avail myself of the promotional and marketing expertise Archway offers and am equally satisfied with the service I now get, again having one goal keeper who coordinates each detail.

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub and Like the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

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Source: Lisa Genova Author Facebook page
Author Feature

“Still Alice”: From Self-Published to Silver Screen

“Still Alice” author Lisa Genova is living a dream. The night before the 87th Academy Awards, she posted a picture on her Facebook page all smiles, standing next to an ebullient Julianne Moore at a party hosted by Sony Entertainment. It’s an unusual setting for a Harvard-educated neuroscientist, to be sure, but perhaps an equally unlikely place to find a self-published author.

Long before Hollywood parties, celebrity meet and greets or a seat at the Academy Awards; Genova queried publishing’s gatekeepers, seeking a publisher for her novel, “Still Alice.” Agents and publishers alike told the unknown author the audience for a book about Alzheimer’s disease was too small. One agent even cautioned Genova that self-publishing her story would “kill her career.”

Despite that warning, Genova took the plunge and the book in 2007.

Fueled by her dedication to researching dementia and other neurological disorders, Genova tirelessly spread the word about her newly self-published work. Her diligence, and a little bit of luck, resulted in hitting the jackpot: a review in one of America’s top newspapers – The Boston Globe.

Beverley Beckham’s expectations for “Still Alice” were meager, but Alice’s story captured her: “It had arrived in the mail a week before; I’d promised to take a look and that’s all I was doing – just looking–but I couldn’t put it down,” Beckham wrote in her May 16, 2008 review for the Globe. Beckham led her piece with a ringing endorsement: “After I read ‘Still Alice’ I wanted to stand up and tell a train full of strangers, ‘You have to get this book.’

Fast forward to early 2009 – shortly after Beckham’s piece – a literary agent took another look and agreed to shop the novel and several publishers expressed interest. Simon & Schuster, owner of Archway Publishing, came to terms with Genova to acquire “Still Alice,” and to rerelease it through its Pocket Books imprint. Upon its 2009 rerelease, the book debuted high on the New York Times Bestseller List, where it would stay for more than 40 weeks.

In the ensuing years, Genova’s released two more bestsellers: “Left Neglected” and “Love Anthony,” becoming to novels about neurological disorders what John Grisham’s become to legal thrillers. The rise of Lisa Genova and “Still Alice” from self-publishing to silver screen feature film is not typical. Luck was part of the winning equation, but Genova did so much more to advance her book.

  • She wrote about a specific topic about which she had vast knowledge and a deep personal passion.
  • Despite warnings that her book’s appeal was too narrow, she developed and filled previously unrealized niche.
  • She believed in her work, ignored negativity, and took the self-publishing plunge rather than letting her manuscript gather dust on the shelf.
  • She was relentless. She networked, she spread the word. She convinced a reviewer from a prestigious outlet to glance at her book.

First and foremost though, Genova wrote an exceptional book; a book that is bringing attention and changing perceptions about a devastating condition.

And anyone who reads it will never, ever forget Alice.

– AWP –

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