Literally Speaking: Rockin’ the Self-Publishing World
It was the end of the summer of 2010, and I bumped into Karen Pokras Toz at a party. “I’ve been looking all over for you!” she said excitedly. “I have big news to tell you! I wrote a book!”
Now Karen, in real life, prepares tax returns, so I had no idea she was secretly dreaming about writing a book (of course everyone is, so I shouldn’t have been deeply surprised). I had two predominant reactions to her announcement, both of which I kept to myself (until now). The first was “Oh, no, here it comes—the usual tedious questions about how to find an agent, how to get published etc.” The second reaction was “You did? You wrote a whole book in a summer? Damn you, how did you do that and why can’t I do that?!”
What I said aloud was "Congratulations! That’s so great! Can I get you another drink?”
Karen never did ask me any pesky questions about publishing. In fact, the next I heard was many months later when I again bumped into her and she informed me that she had a self-published book about to come out.
Karen’s book, called "Nate Rocks the World," came out in June of 2011. Karen did the proper self-publishing author thing: the signings at local stores, the Facebook posts, the Amazon author page… A sequel, "Nate Rocks the Boat," came out in April of this year. The books have appealing colorful covers and lively stories written for a middle-school grade 7- to 12-year-old audience.
Karen’s latest success was just announced this past weekend: she was chosen as a winner of a 2012 Global Ebook Award in the Pre-Teen Literature Fiction category. And it was only when I reached out to her today to congratulate her on the award that I learned the story of what had happened between our encounter that summer day and the publication of Nate.