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Self publishing success story

Updated on June 5, 2012

Author Mariette Herold

By Leslie A. Panfil

I met Mariette Herold in a children’s book illustration class. She is one of those people who have a light inside of them that you can’t help but be drawn to. We kvetched over everything from the enormous amount of time our spouses spent on the road and our children’s homework load to our mind-numbing jobs and what was for dinner. It wasn’t all endless chatter. We also spent hours hashing out creative ideas and encouraging each other’s dreams. So, as her debut children’s book hits the shelves, I’m eager to share her triumph.

“I really struggled with my decision to self publish,” explained Herold. “Ultimately, I saw so much potential in this character and believed so deeply in the book I had to move forward even if it meant I had to go the self publishing route.”

Once she made up her mind to publish, Herold conducted an exhaustive search looking for the right publishing house. “I ended up choosing Author House,” said Herold. “I literally made a spread sheet of what the various companies had to offer and selected the one that fit my goals the best.”

While Herold gives Author House high marks, it was by no means a lightning fast production. “I thought I would turn my book around in 3-4 months but it turned out to be a 2 year project.” Herold admits that part of the holdup was just life getting in the way. Working, raising two teenage boys and the demands of having a husband who traveled extensively for work left little time and energy for an entrepreneurial project.

“Perhaps the most challenging part for me was working with so many different departments,” explained Herold. “You don’t just turn over your manuscript and they make the magic happen. There is a lot of paperwork. There is the initial contract, manuscript, legal, Illustration and promotion departments all with a fresh face to work with. It can be frustrating at times.”

“One of the most rewarding aspects of self publishing is the control you have over the final product,” said Herold. “From the final manuscript and illustrations to how you choose to promote your book, it is all up to you.”

Bolstering sales is the underlying theme of the book which deals with bullying. “Bullying is such a big problem in our society today, especially when it comes to our children. In my book the hero and heroine teach the two bullies a lesson and like all good fairy tales, there’s a happy ending," said Herold. “As a child I loved reading books with magic and humor and where ultimately the ‘good guys’ triumphed, which is what happens in Luvable Lucinda.”

“Luvable Lucinda begins as a fairy tale with Lucinda and Tarance serving as the princess and prince of Fantasia Forest,” explained Herold. “Soon, however, an unfortunate event turns Lucinda into a witch who can't remember her magic spells and Tarance into a “tarmantula” (half human and half tarantula). Lucinda and Tarance must do 10 good deeds to break the spell of the Dark Witch before they can go home to Fantasia Forest.”

Herold intends for Luvable Lucinda to be a series of 10 books dealing with topics such as: kindness, good manners, social skills and helping others. She is currently writing a young adult fiction novel that takes place in South Africa as well as the second book in the Luvable Lucinda series.

“If you really believe in your story, you shouldn’t let the odds of it being published by a major publishing house stop you”

Mariette Herold


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