After majoring in psychology in college, Helen Laibach realized that her aspirations to be a marriage, child, and family counselor did not suit her temperament–so she began a family and chose a more satisfying career as an executive assistant. An avid reader and talented nature photographer, Laibach lives in Southern California with her husband of twenty years and their youngest daughter. A SOUL LESS BROKEN is her first book; 10% of the profits from the sale of the book will be donated to charities related to violence against women and to brain cancer research and treatment.
You can visit her website at www.helenlaibach.com.
Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Helen. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published? A
Soul Less Broken is actually my debut novel.
When I wrote the initial manuscript 11 years ago, I attempted to get published the traditional way by seeking representation with a literary agent. That proved to be a daunting process and so I put my manuscript on a shelf and it became something that I might pursue again “someday”. Every year my son would ask me, “So Mom, when are you going to publish your book?” Fast forward 10 years to a point where independent publishing has become much easier and much more common and that was the route I decided to take.
Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?
With self publishing the process is fairly quick, provided you have a manuscript that doesn’t require too much editing. I began the process with my independent publisher in April of last year, and the book was released 4 months later.
Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
Because I had waited so long to get it published, and because my son designed the book cover, when I finally held the first printed copy in my hands it was a very emotional moment. Tears were definitely shed (happy ones of course!) and my husband and I toasted with champagne. It really was a wonderful feeling.
Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?
The very first thing, even before the book was available on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.com, was to offer signed copies to anyone who wanted to pre-order from my website. Then I had those copies sent to me from the publisher and I signed and shipped those copies myself.
Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?
I continue to be humbled by the wonderful response A Soul Less Broken has received from readers. My readers make me want to be a better writer and to constantly improve. And of course, I try to learn from the negative reviews to become better as well. As far as resources, I highly recommend Writers Digest.com, which offers a wealth of books and online seminars for authors to help them improve their craft.
Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?
It still surprises me that gaining representation by a literary agent, and subsequently getting published the traditional way, is so challenging. I’m still hoping to accomplish that in the future.
Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?
Honestly, it is the incredible responses I’ve gotten from readers – especially the people who have been deeply moved because they can personally relate to some part of the story. To hear women say that the story inspired them or that they felt empowered means so much.
Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
Never give up – believe in yourself and believe in your story! Oh … And don’t wait as long as I did!
WATCH THE A SOUL LESS BROKEN TRAILER!