Practical Publisher Perceptions

6319799633_a494d77bf3_m“Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing.” ~ Sylvia Plath

Karen Strauss has worked in book publishing since 1981, when she started at Bantam Books as a senior publicist. She then moved on to The Free Press division of Macmillan (now Simon and Schuster) to become its Director of Trade Marketing.

In 1991 she founded Strauss Consultants, Inc., which was originally conceived to service small publishers who needed representation into the large chain and wholesaler book accounts around the country. With the advent of Print on Demand technology and e-books, Karen now works with self-publishing authors and micropublishers to help them develop a publishing program that gives them a more level playing field with the traditional publishers.

Karen Strauss Image resized

In 2012 she co-launched RockStar Publishing House, a hybrid publishing company, primarily built for entrepreneurs who write books to further their business or share their story. Since then, Karen has launched several branded publishing companies for organizations.

On last week’s Awakening to Awareness Radio Show (podcast here), Karen talks about the lightning speed with which the publishing industry has changed, highlighting the shift from “print-on-demand” to “e-books” being the most significant. She shares advice on why/what people are writing about: 1) a passion of theirs; 2) something they have accomplished or advice they want to share and/or; 3) that great novel they have always had in mind. If you’re going to write, she recommends being disciplined and write something every day.


Karen discusses three ways to publish in today’s market: 1) self-publishing; 2) traditional via big publishing houses and; 3) with a hybrid publisher – particularly one with national and international distribution. And she highlights the broad range of costs to publish, from package options to a la carte to one stop shopping solutions, and why it’s important to have a marketing plan for your book before you publish and subsequently distribute your book. In addition to her company website, her email contact:

13 thoughts on “Practical Publisher Perceptions

  1. Timely for me too! I’m writing every day for this month as well, hoping to get a first draft of my second book done as part of NaNoWriMo. I learned a lot from my first one and will listen to the podcast with interest.

    • I hope what Karen shared on the show will be of value. I’m still working on my first one but have intentionally elevated its completion among highest priority deliverables. Or else I shall self-flog. All the best with #2!

  2. I so appreciate you posting this. I’ve realized over the past few months that writing a book is only a small fraction of what it takes to get it out there. I feel like a little fish in a giant ocean, and this is such a great help!

    • My pleasure, Chelsi. While I am still writing my first, I believe the heavy lifting is in the writing. To have publishers out there who offer a wide variety of services, including editing, is a Godsend in my eyes. I hope you can create time to listen to the podcast with Karen.

      • Just finished listening and the information and dialogue that you both shared was very insightful. She mentioned options I hadn’t considered and ideas that will certainly help! I shared the podcast with a friend who just finished writing a novel (a baby boomer). I’m sure she will find it helpful as well. And I completely agree–writing and the process of publishing is a labor of love!

      • Glad you found our exchange insightful. 🙂 I know Karen personally. Not only does she know ‘her stuff’ she is wonderfully client-oriented and helpful. Here’s to more love in you life (even if it’s a labor)!

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