The Memoir Midwife: Nine Steps to Self-Publishing Your Book is finally out! It hits bookshelves on November 15, 2014, and I must say it's been a long haul. For such an unintimidating book, it took forever to breathe life into this little gem. The Memoir Midwife is a step-by-step tutorial that systematically and chronologically walks you through the process of self-publishing your book. Equipped with a handy checklist at the end of each chapter, along with helpful time- and money-saving tips, this comprehensive book packs a wealth of self-publishing information into just a few pages. That's because self-publishing really isn't all that difficult, as long as someone points you in the right direction.
Although I am a writer and author by education and trade, I did not set out to become a self-publishing consultant (a.k.a. a Memoir Midwife).
Self-Publishing by Accident
In 2011 I self-published my book Confessions of a Band Geek Mom. It was the first book I self-published on my own. As a result of my marketing efforts, I was all over the media nationwide that summer, doing promotion AND talking about self-publishing -- mainly that I was surprised by how easy it was. I even joked about how my ignorance ended up being an advantage because I didn't have any preconceived experiences to chip away at my confidence.
Someone from the University of Utah heard me talk about this on the radio. Thinking self-publishng would be a great topic to add to their curriculum, this person called me up, and asked if I’d be interested in teaching a self-publishing course as part of the university’s Lifelong Learning (their continuing education program). I said “Sure,” but then that meant I had to get organized.
Getting Serious about Self-Publishing
I realized self-publishing entailed several repetitive steps, regardless the topic of the book. So I developed a curriculum that systematically went through each of those steps. Quite by accident (and really to get things straight in my own head) I ended up taking a complicated process and breaking it down into digestible, bite-sized pieces.
My University of Utah course is a night class across multiple weeks, and every time I finished teaching it, at least one student would ask if I had a book that summarized the self-publishing steps I had just presented. I admitted I did not—mainly because self-publishing technology is a moving target and I didn’t want to have to continually update my book.
But then, for the people who couldn’t commit to a weekly night class, I independently created a one-day workshop (usually held on a Saturday) called “How to Self-publish Your Book.” (I know—catchy title, right?) And I decided in this case, a textbook would be helpful. So I sat down and wrote brief overviews of each self-publishing step. And after several iterations that initial effort has since evolved into The Memoir Midwife: Nine Steps to Self-Publishing Your Book.
Think of The Memoir Midwife as the self-publishing version of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. It’s meant to give you an idea of what you’re in for and provide the confidence you need to push forward.
The Memoir Midwife: Nine Steps to Self-Publishing Your Book is available as of November 15, 2014, in select bookstores and on Amazon.com. You can also receive a free copy by signing up for one of Stacy's self-publishing workshops.