Local writer Dymalski pens a book about self-publishing
December 19, 2014
Author Stacy Dymalski, who has written books, screenplays and blogs, says each of her creations are like children.
"Once they get out there in the world, you can nudge them along, but they eventually will take on a life of their own," Dymalski said during an interview with The Park Record. "That means people will judge them and if they’re a success, people will think you’re a wonderful parent. If they fail, they will ask, ‘What were you thinking?’"
That’s why her newest book, "Memoir Midwife: Nine Steps to Self-Publishing Your Book," relates the self-publishing process to pregnancy, thus the title.
The idea for the book stemmed from a class Dymalski teaches as part of Lifelong Learning, the University of Utah’s continuing education program.
"I have a lot of grad students who take the class, because they need to be published before they can graduate," Dymalski said. "I also get a lot of people who have retired and want to publish a memoir or that cookbook they’ve always wanted to write. So it’s become a popular class.
"At the end of the class, which runs for multiple weeks, someone would always ask if I had a book that had all this information in it," she said. "Anyway, it got to the point where it became embarrassing to me that I didn’t have a book about self-publishing. So I finally wrote one."
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While "Memoir Midwife" contains much of the information Dymalski teaches, it isn’t the whole class curriculum.
"The class also goes over marketing and stuff like that, so those things are not in the book," she said. "What the book does cover is how you actually self-publish a book. It tells which websites you can visit and how you do the research. It goes on the notion that the book you want to publish is already written and maybe even had the manuscript rejected by a few publishers."
Dymalski worked for six months on the book.
"This went a lot quicker than it would if I would have sat down and started with just a thought," she said. "Since it’s based on portions of my class, I already had the basic structure.
"It’s short, but packed with a ton of information," Dymalski said. "And just so you know, I’m glad to say that some of the jokes I tell in class made it into the book."
The biggest chore was taking that structure and allowing it to flow.
"I just needed to sit down and write it," Dymalski said. "However, the hardest part of it all was actually writing the press releases about the book and the back-cover summaries."
In keeping with the pregnancy theme, "Memoir Midwife" also includes a post-partum section.
"I call it the post-publishing depression," Dymalski said. "Now, you have to figure out what to do once the thing is out. Sometimes you feel that it was all for nothing."
To help lighten the mood, Dymalski selected and spotlighted a bunch of real-life stories about other authors who were told they would never become writers.
Some of those are the usual suspects including J.K. Rowling and Dr. Seuss (Theodore Giesel).
"There are others who are also surprising like Zane Grey (author of ‘Riders of the Purple Sage)," Dymalski said. "He was actually a dentist and tried for 15 years to get something published. He even had someone at Harper Collins tell him that he would never become a writer."
This tied into the one thing Dymalski wanted to convey — that anyone who believes in their books could get them published.
"Over the years I have had people ask me to read their manuscripts to see if they’re good enough to publish," she said. "I always tell them that I don’t have to read it. If they are passionate about it and do all the right steps, it will find a home.
"It may never become something like Stephen King’s works, but it will find a home," she said. "It all comes down to whether or not the writer will do the work."
"The Memoir Midwife: Nine Steps to Self-Publishing Your Book" is available at Dolly’s Bookstore, Amazon.com and the Kings English Book Store in Salt Lake City. For more information, visit http://www.thememoirmidwife.com.
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