peeps: Vicky Kaseorg
After moving to North Carolina and retiring as an occupational therapist, author Vicky Kaseorg focused her energies on doing and teaching art, and homeschooling her three children. Two sons are grown now — the first, an MIT graduate, co-founded and sold Ksplice to Oracle. Her second boy is now a lawyer. Her youngest, a daughter, is a young teen, and very much still under her Mom’s homeschooling tutelage.
Although she’d been writing her whole life, Vicky began working on her first published book, I’m Listening With a Broken Ear, in 2009, when the story of a “homeless, hopeless, vicious” dog’s rescue and rehabilitation inspired her to capture and get the story down. Released in 2011, the book spent several months on Amazon’s top ten dog training bestseller list. And now, two years later, it still consistently ranks as one of the top three highest rated dog training books on Amazon.
How Vicky Got Started Self-Publishing
After first finishing Broken Ear, Vicky spent some time submitting it to agents. Encouragingly, a number of them were interested to see the full manuscript, but eventually most passed. “They didn’t want to go with an unknown writer with no ‘platform,’” Vicky remembers.
One agent wanted to take her on, though, and was ready to sign her… just right before suddenly deciding to leave the business! “That was the last straw,” says Vicky. “I took the plunge and decided to self-publish.”
Right decision. “I was shocked at how easy it was, and even more shocked by the stupendous response to my first book.”
Vicky’s second, God Drives a Tow Truck: An Anthology of True Encounters, in a different genre, has done almost as well as Broken Ear. She also has a number of other, shorter books out, all selling, but “not as spectacularly as the longer works.”
Self-Publishing Tips and Observations
- “Be passionate about what you want to write about. You will be utterly sick of it when you have edited the thousand times that you should, and you will need to really love your subject.”
- “When you think you are ready to submit it, you should put it away for as long as you can stand (at least a month) and then look at it again. You will be more aware of your mistakes.”
“Always have others look it over and help edit. It is very very hard to edit your own work.”
“Build a ‘platform’ — blog, go on the radio, write letters to editors… anything so that you become known and can develop a readership.”
- “Even established authors are loving the ease of self-publishing. I think it is going to explode. Even in the three or so years since I started, I have seen tremendous growth.”
- “The attitude towards self published authors is changing as well. No reputable author would have considered self publishing even ten years ago, but that has definitely changed now.“
Article by Eldon Sarte