Penguin Canada Picks up “My Mother’s Secret”

By Deborah S. Nelson, Author/Publisher Publishing SOLO & VRTG

There is more than one way to skin a cat…or as in this case, more than one way to publish a book. With print on demand and digital publishing it is possible to self-publish without going through normal channels. Sometimes the normal channels are painfully slow, and sometimes even wrong. Take J.L. Witterick’s book, My Mother’s Secret, which has already sold 15,000 self published copies. After being rejected by a few publishers, including Penguin, this book is now being publishing and promoted by Penguin in Canada. See the story in Quill & Quire below:The latest self-publishing success to land at a major house is by a first-time Canadian author. Quill & Quire reports below:

J.L. Witterick’s My Mother’s Secret has sold 15,000 print copies in Canada since being self-published six months ago. The runaway sales – mostly via Amazon and Indigo – caught the attention of Penguin Canada, which rereleased the novel earlier this month (it appeared in the U.S. under the Putnam imprint). The book has also sold in Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, and other territories.

Witterick says she was initially unable to stoke publishers’ interest in the novel, which tells the fictionalized story of a real-life mother and daughter who concealed multiple Jewish families in their home during the Holocaust. “I approached some publishers, but not having much luck, I just decided to self-publish it,” she says.

Penguin Canada editor Adrienne Kerr eventually acquired world rights to the title in a deal arranged without an agent. Kerr says she views the book’s previous retail success as an indication of future sales. For her part, Witterick believes partnering with Penguin will give her the best opportunity to reach a global audience.

“I figured that if my objective is to get this story out, which was always the case from the very beginning, Penguin’s going to do a good job of that,” she says. “I did have success, but it was success in my own country. To get global distribution, I just don’t think I could have managed it myself.” (See more from Quill & Quire)

Many other well-known authors are many times over by traditional publishing houses. For example, did you know that Dr. Seuss’s first book was rejected 27 times? Chicken Soup for the Soul which has sold 143 million copies was turned down by 140 publishers. John Gresham’s A Time to Kill was rejected by 14 publishers and 15 agents before it finally published. Irving Stone’s Lust for Life, which has sold 25 million copies, was reportedly rejected 16 times. Self-publishing using print on demand is a great solution to cut out years it takes to be published through the corporate publishing channels. It also allows for a more quality book in its second printing prior to introducing the book globally.

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TNS-Webadoptimized-09-16-2013

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