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Reinventing Publishing: PW Talks with Claire Cook

30 September 2014

From PW’s Book Life:

Claire Cook, bestselling author of Must Love Dogs, recently made the transition from traditional publishing to self-publishing, choosing to leave her big-five house and agent.

. . . .

Out of all the hats you wear as an indie author, which do you find suit you best, and which takes you out of your comfort zone?

I enjoy all the hats, though I have to admit that wearing them all at once can sometimes get a bit unwieldy. I love writing. I love speaking to groups. I have awesome readers and interacting with them is pure joy. I’m fascinated by the publishing world, and I have always tried to soak up every bit of knowledge I could along the way. I have an entrepreneurial spirit. So I’m crazy busy, but also fully engaged and never bored.

. . . .

What has been the most rewarding part so far of going indie?

I had a wonderful run in traditional publishing for many years, and I’m forever grateful for that. But when things started getting bumpy, no matter how hard I worked, it felt like I couldn’t get close enough to my own career to get it moving again in the right direction. It was such a frustrating situation, and in the end I felt that I had two choices: whine or move on. So taking control of my own career has been rewarding. I’m learning so much, and if I make a mistake, I have the power to fix it. And I’ve never felt closer to my readers, which is the most rewarding part of all.

What has been the most surprising?

That the stigma of [self-]publishing is gone. My readers aren’t the least bit interested in who is publishing my work. They just want to read it. I’ve re-released five of my backlist books and published two new books via Marshbury Beach Books, which I named after the fictional town in my beachy novels. I’m getting plenty of media and blog coverage and speaking invitations for my newest release, Never Too Late, so I don’t think self-publishing has closed those doors either.

Link to the rest at Book Life and thanks to Alison for the tip.

Here’s a link to Claire Cook’s books


16 Comments to “Reinventing Publishing: PW Talks with Claire Cook”

  1. That the stigma of [self-]publishing is gone.

    The scariest words to the shrinking 5.

    • Self-publishing never had any stigma to readers. Only to bookstores. People no longer buy most of their books from bookstores.

      • I’ve encountered a lot of readers who think self-published = crap. There is a stigma. But it doesn’t matter. For as many readers as refuse to touch a self-published book there are, apparently, far more who will.

        • I think a lot of such readers don’t really figure out what is self-pubbed and what is not. They see a really crappy book and they assume it’s self-pubbed. Often they are correct. Simultaneously, some of the books they love are self-pubbed and they are none-the-wiser.

      • While that’s nice, it’s just not true. Back in the day (meaning 5 years ago), plenty of people thought self-published books were crap. Many of them thought that without even having read one.

  2. My readers aren’t the least bit interested in who is publishing my work.”
    Exactly right. Love her books and the price is right. It’s the publishers who lose.

  3. Soooooo… we’re finally starting to see more authors with a recognizable brand switching over to indie. Nice.

    I doubt we’ll ever see any of the HUGE authors (Preston-level hugeness, or what Lee Child called “significant,” thus labeling all the rest of writerdom “insignificant”) make the switch, because their bread’s buttered too thickly for them to want to leave. But the Exodus is only going to increase from here on out.

    • Well, until their publishers go out of business, anyway. Based on what Lee Child said a few days ago, he’ll just find a new career to excell at. Or maybe sit and enjoy his money. No idea about Preston and the others…

  4. Lovely! She sounds so settled and content and drama-free. She’s just loving writing and connecting to her readers.


    I just love a story with a happy ending.

  5. You go, Claire! Congratulations on your new publishing career and life.

  6. I met Claire Cook about two to three years ago when she came to speak to my writing group. I thought she was a very smart woman. Most of the people in my group wanted to know about traditional publishing and she started talking about all the benefits of self-publishing. She said she was making a significant chunk of her income from self-publishing at that point and that she had books that were ‘just for her’ that were self-published. I think the people in my group were kind of baffled because they didn’t take self-publishing all that seriously, but I loved that she was so open about her experiences. She was also very open about the fact that while she worked hard on her books, she also had a substantial amount of just pure dumb luck and as a result of that luck, she’s had it easier than many writers have had it. Again, smart woman.

  7. A Publishers’ Weekly article about a writer’s great experience as an indie?

    Paint me friendly and call me Hugh Howey, but it’s like we’re all going to get along after all. Looking forward to it!

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