Karin Abarbanel is an entrepreneur, marketing consultant, and an expert on start-up strategies for women. In addition to Birthing the Elephant, Karin is the author of three other how-to guides. She speaks frequently on women’s entrepreneurship and served as spokesperson for Avon’s “Corporation to Cottage” program. Karin has appeared as a guest expert on ABC TV’s “Good Morning America,” CNBC, and WCBS. You can visit her website at www.birthingtheelephant.com.
Welcome to Beyond the Books, Karin. Can you tell us whether you are published for the first time or multi-published? Can you give us the title(s) of your book(s)?
I have published five how-to guides, including:
Birthing the Elephant
The Dollar Bill Knows No Sex
How to Succeed on Your Own
The Woman’s Work Book
What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?
My first book was the Woman’s Work Book, a pioneering career guide that explored job-finding resources for women.
For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?
Actually, I worked as a writer for hire on my first book and so a book packager had already made a deal with the publisher.
How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?
I’ve found that it’s best not to dwell on the rejections. I really work hard to focus on the value of what I’m writing and I just feel that the people rejecting me really don’t “get it” and so if the book isn’t for them, then they aren’t for the book!
When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?
It was published by Praeger, which no longer exists. I worked with a book packager who made the publishing deal before I came on board.
How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
It was a wonderful feeling! I just loved holding the book in my hands and realizing that all my hard work was onw concentrated in one powerful little package. I went out to dinner with my family and my boyfriend, who I later married.
What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?
I didn’t know much about promotion – I was so green I thougjt the publisher would handle this. Whoops!
If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?
I don’t think so. It was very satisfying to be published by an established publisher. I was in my mid-20s at the time, and I was very excited by the idea of having a book out.
Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?
I’ve learned much more about both the writing process and the marketing process as well. I used to wait for my muse to show up and she was often on vacation. I learned the hard way that when you show up, so does your muse! I have also learned much more about marketing and this is vital as an author. I’ve gotten very involved in Internet marketing for “Birthing the Elephant” – and find it to be very empowering. You can do a lot very cost effectively and really benefit from viral marketing.
Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up? What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?
I think I could have worked harder on my proposals. I’ve learned that putting together a really strong proposal makes writing the actual book much easier.
What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?
I have been working on a play and I had a staged readig for it, which was very exciting for me.
If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?
Probably psychology or poetry therapy for children.
Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?
I love being a writer and I think I can pursue these other career ideas as well in some form.
How do you see yourself in ten years?
I see myself writing fiction and plays in a beautiful home by the sea!
Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
If you really have the desire to be published, then stay with it!
Believe that what you have to say is worthy of being read – and find people who believe in your dream to help you. Write on!