This is part 1 of a two-part guest post series by Mary DeMuth, a gal I first stumbled upon several years ago thanks to her great blog. Mary has a new book out called Not Marked, which was written thanks to two blog posts she wrote that went viral. I love hearing stories about successful self-publishing, and Mary shares how she not only turned two viral blog posts into a print book, but also crowd-funded the project to the sweet tune of $25,000.
There are some great lessons in both of these posts, so I hope you enjoy!
I’m humbled and grateful to be here today to recount my crazy story about how a viral blog post (or two) ended up becoming a book, and ultimately making me $25,000 in crowd-funding.
First, a little background.
Over the last few years I’ve shared my sexual abuse story in a few different venues. Initially I had kept it silent for a decade, then over-shared, then went silent another decade. The healing journey hasn’t been easy, but it has been good. About a year ago, I sensed it was time to be bolder.
I wrote an article called, The Sexy Wife I Cannot Be, which went went crazy, and then followed it up with I’m Sick of Hearing About Your Smoking Hot Wife. The overwhelming response to those two posts prompted me to write a new book, Not Marked: Finding Hope and Healing after Sexual Abuse.
I wrote the book in one week, and then I pitched it to publishers.
The book proved too risky for a publisher to take on, so I decided to crowdfund it. This was a radical decision, but one I couldn’t be more excited that I made. In the end, it turned out to be an amazing success, thanks to lots of social media shares, and tons of interaction all over the web about the campaign.
I’m still stunned that we were able to raise so much (over $25,000) in such a short period of time.
But funding it was only part of the journey.
Once funded, I sent the book to a professional editor (one I’d worked with before on several books), and looked for formatters for the final copy. Prior to starting the crowdfunding campaign, I used 99designs.com to create a cover for the book.
During the crazy rush of Christmas, I finished all the edits, had the book formatted for Nook, Kindle, and the interior print files, and waited for the book to publish.
I cannot believe that now I can hold a copy of Not Marked in my hands, and also offer it to folks who want to read about the healing journey.
Looking back, I know that if I had ignored all the feedback from comments and private emails, this book would not be alive.
If I had taken the publisher’s NO as a death sentence, I wouldn’t be holding it in my hands.
If I had been scared that I wouldn’t earn out the initial $10,000 goal in my crowd-funding campaign, I would never have moved forward.
Ultimately, the journey to print was excruciating, and far longer than I expected — but it was worth it.
So how can you extrapolate from my experience?
Do you have a powerful message you want to share with the world?
Put it out there.
If it resonates, take it further.
In my case, two viral blog posts showed me that a book was needed. So I worked hard, did some radical things (like crowd-funding), and found great success.
Is there something you’ve been waiting to put out in the world that you can share today? Let us know in the comments below!
Mary DeMuth is the author of fifteen books, including her latest, Not Marked. She’s spoken around the country and the world about living an uncaged life. She’s lived in the south of France with her husband and three children and now makes her home in Texas.