How a Book Came To Be Published......When Renee Gatz, a career marketing communications professional in the financial services industry, completed the manuscript of her first book “Wise Words & Witty Expressions” she found herself in need of some education about how about to get her book published.
Since she was completely outside of her experience, she reached out to her fellow Association of Women in Communications (AWC) members for help directing her toward the next steps of getting published. By using AWC’s national database, Gatz was able to contact AWC members and received more than 200 e-mail responses from across the nation. Women Gatz had never met before provided the benefit of their publishing experience, offered contact information of those they felt could help her, and outlined the differences between self-publishing and working with a traditional publishing company. Others provided marketing ideas and offered to help promote the book in their local publications. Some responses did not include suggestions, but simply their congratulations and encouragement. The support Gatz received was so inspiring to her that it helped her remain motivated to get her book published.
Ultimately, thanks to all the information she was provided, Gatz elected to work with a start-up publishing company right in her own North Jersey AWC chapter. She met with Donna Thompson and Brenda Hendrickson, owners and partners of Woodpecker Press and members of AWC, to discuss the unique hybrid of self-publishing services they offer. The AWC networking, however, did not end there.
Woodpecker Press also was able to direct Gatz to some valuable local resources that were instrumental in the development and marketing of her book. The art designer, Hit Designs, provided a book cover design that has resulted in a tremendous amount of positive feedback. Gatz was directed to a local media company, Samson Media that helped her design and set up her blog site and provided some great marketing ideas. Additionally, Samson Media referred Gatz to the photographer used for the book, Sigen Photography, and fellow Northern New Jersey AWC Chapter member Holly Kaplansky of Minuteman Press developed the marketing materials used to promote the book.
What Gatz learned from this experience was that networking was integral to getting her first book published. By reaching out to those in her network, she was able to draw on their collective knowledge and take the information that was offered to her and draw a conclusion about how to proceed in a way that met with her personal goals. Once the decision about how to proceed was determined, she was able to again network with her new found resources to find and build all the components required to successfully bring her book to the public.
Even now that her book is published, she remains in contact with all members of her network, new and old, to learn different techniques to market her book and how marketing a self-published book differs from marketing a book that is produced by a traditional publishing house. She has also been able to benefit from her many years of marketing experience in the financial services industry by applying those skills and experience in the marketing of her book.
Gatz states, “It is amazing what can be accomplished with the benefit of the collective knowledge of your network. By working with various members of your network not only do you find the information, education and resources you need, you also find the moral support and encouragement required to bring your dream to fruition.” Gatz is truly grateful for all the support and help she received throughout the creation of her book. She knows that each person she came into contact with helped her to get one step closer to becoming a published author. She looks forward to the day when she can be the one to help a new author.