The following is excerpted from publicity material provided to me with a review copy of 'Rashi's Daughter Book II: Miriam' by Maggie Anton (Plume, an imprint of Penguin). 'Rashi's Daughter Book I: Joheved' is currently available on Amazon with a sales rank of #12,182. The review copy was sent to me due to my association with the e-zine Forbidden Fruit, not my association with the POD People.
Many 'self-published author makes good' stories are a total crock, but this one is rather interesting. I will post the first few paragraphs. If anyone is interested in the rest just let me know and I will type it out for you all.
From Self-Published to Big House Success
When Maggie Anton formed her own company to publish her first novel, she knew that self-published books carried a huge stigma. "I had spent five years writing the first volume of my 'Rashi's Daughters' trilogy and was working with a literary agent, but was frustrated with how long the process took," says Anton. The year 2005 marked the 900th anniversary of Rashi's death, and she wanted her novel to come out in time to take advantage of the interest she hoped this would generate within the Jewish community.
In early 2004 she began to investigate self-publishing, "just in case." She found that if she wanted her novel to be taken seriously by the literary world, it would have to come from a "real" publisher. Since the "real" publishers were dragging their feet, she decided to create her own publishing company instead. Anton says, "I chose the name Banot Press- Hebrew for 'daughters'- rather than the more obvious 'Anton Press,' because I wanted to maintain the illusion of a small California Press rather than a blatant self-publishing effort."
By the summer of 2004 she had a company name, a finished manuscript and an excellent author photo. The one things she didn't have was the expertise to produce a professional-looking book. So, just as she had hired a free-lance editor earlier, she decided to hire a book shepherd, Sharon Goldinger of Peoplespeak. Goldinger helped guide her through the publishing maze, showing her how to choose and work with the interior designer, cover design company, and printer for the first 3000 copies.
And this from Maggie Antone at Amazon: "I sold the series to Plume (a Penguin imprint) for six figures. Rashi's Daughters: Book Two - Miriam will hit the stores this week, and it's already ranked around 1000 on Amazon."
Do you want to hear more?