Prior to retiring to write full-time, I ran, along with my business partner, Carol Broadbent, a marketing agency in Silicon Valley that focused exclusively on positioning and launching startups (, if you’re keeping score at home). We launched over 50 of them, with varying degrees of success. We even were successful enough to write a book about it: The Ultimate Startup Guide. What people who either read the book or were our clients remember our core positioning statement, that the essence of Marketing comes down to two questions: So what? and Who cares?

I give that self-aggrandizing opening because it has bearing on this blog and those about the different routes to publishing that I’ve either experienced directly or researched. So here goes:

It’s been a long-time goal to be able to say:  “I’m a published author.” Now, with two books out in the market—one done the traditional way, the second by what’s called ‘hybrid publishing’, I can make that statement.

You, as a discerning reader, should say:  “So what?” (What’s that got to do with me?) and “Who cares?” Hopefully, the answer to those two salient questions are:  “I learned a lot about do’s and don’t’s of publishing that I’d like to share” and “You” (if you’re considering getting published).

The startup-marketing guide was traditionally published. We came up with an outline, shopped it around, gained an agent, found a publishing house, and then, post-publication, hired a PR firm and made the rounds of radio shows, author interviews, etc.

My novel, Left for Alive, didn’t find either an agent or traditional publisher (some feedback from the pros:  ‘too dark’ for a first-time author—save this one for your second book). Also, I don’t think too many agents or houses are interested in a first-time author in his/her sixties. Anyway, after giving the traditional route a year of sending out queries and revising in light of feedback, I went what I thought was the ‘self-publishing’ route but was instead what is now termed ‘hybrid’ publishing.

My third work, a suspense novel based in Auschwitz, is going to be self-published. But true self-publication, not the hybrid novel above. I’ve got a great team to help with the different stages, all of which I’ll share in this blog. So come back next time and we’ll start the ball rolling with analysis of the traditional publishing route, to be followed in subsequent weeks with hybrid and self-publishing lessons learned.