Sunday, December 19, 2010

Self-Publishing with Author and Agent Marsha Casper Cook

A lot of writers have toyed with the idea of self-publishing. However, how do you know if it is the right choice for you or your book? Well I’ve asked my friend and World of Ink Guest Marsha Casper Cook to share her thoughts on self-publishing. She has self-published her children’s books, but she is also an agent and knows how hard it can be to break through the red tape to be traditional published.

By: Marsha Casper Cook
Over the years many people have asked me why I self – published my books. Actually, that wasn’t exactly what I had planned. However, over the years and after many rejections I decided that it was time to start my writing career with or without a publisher behind me.

When my books are being read, the reader isn’t as interested in the publisher as they are in the author. They really don’t care who publishes the book, they are reading the story. If they like what they have read, I have done my job. With all the talk about self-publishing, the one thing that is hardly ever talked about is the reader. If the reader is happy, I am happy. Therefore, when you’re sitting at your computer wondering if what you are doing makes any sense at all try to remember, give your reader a good story and they will come back for more.

After many years of self-publishing, I have never been sorry. There are times when I send a letter or two out to publishers thinking that it’s time for the traditional publishers to take a look at my work and my accomplishments, but is appears that nothing has changed. Publishers are rejecting writers without reading their work. Sometimes I can tell the manuscript has never been touched by anyone. At this point in my career, it doesn’t bother me. I am very happy my books are on the market and doing well.  

As an agent, it is still almost impossible to get new writers published. One of the discussions I have with new clients is about self-publishing and usually their answer is no that self – publishing is not for them. I say yes, self-publishing is for you if you want a career in writing. Start will not be sorry. Some say yes others say no. The clients that have said yes have never been sorry.      

About Marsha Casper Cook:
Marsha Casper Cook is the author of six published books and 11 feature-length screenplays, a literary agent with 15 years of experience and the host of a radio talk show about the business of writing and entertainment, “A Good Story is a Good  Story,” on the Red River Radio network.

Her published works include “Love Changes,” a romantic novel about a family in crisis, and “Sala, More Than a Survivor,” a non-fiction biography about surviving the Holocaust. She has also written three books for young children, including the short stories “Snack Attack” and “The Magical Leaping Lizard Potion” and the poetry collection “The Busy Bus.” She has just completed the fourth book in her children’s series. Marsha has also published a book version of her romantic-comedy screenplay, “It’s Never Too Late.”
Marsha’s other screenplays range from romantic comedies to crime thrillers to family dramas. Movie studios optioned her scripts “Grand Central Station” and “Romancing Gracie”, and the latter was named a finalist at the ASA, Houston and Chicago Film Festivals.
Wanting to help new writers reach their goals, Marsha founded the literary agency Marcus Bryan & Associates in 1996, and achieved signatory status from the Writers Guild of America (WGA) within two years. In that capacity, she has represented more than 100 screenwriters and authors, and has also optioned books to movie production companies. Marsha has spoken about her work and the craft of writing to a wide range of audiences including bookstores, schools, museums and local cable and will continue to speak to the media. 

Publisher Website:

You can learn more about Marsha Casper Cook and her World of Ink Tour at

Marsha Casper Cook’s next stop on her World of Ink Tour is December 20th at Blog Talk Radio-RFK: Stories for Children with hosts VS Grenier, D.M. Cunningham and Tiffany Strelitz Haber. They will be chatting with author, agent and host of "A Good Story Is A Good Story" Marsha Casper Cook and about her books, “Snack Attack,” "The Magical Leaping Lizard Potion," "The Busy Bus," and what it has been like doing the World of Ink Author/Book Virtual Tour. Marsha will also be sharing agent and self-publishing tips; along with the trials and tribulations of the writer’s life.


Celery Tree said...

I love what Marsha says about it being about the reader. There's a pure connection between writer and reader that is somehow lost now that everyone else in the world is getting in the way. Altho I'm not sure how someone is an agent and still encourages self-publishing! That seems like a contradiction in terms. Would love to do an interview with Marsha, or at least quote her extensively! on the new Celery Tree blog.

Virginia S Grenier said...

You can contact Marsha at her website or me at mine and I can forward your request. Marsha feels self-publishing is becoming common because a lot of traditional publishing houses are sticking with the names they know will sell and only taking on very few new talent. With so many writers out there...some will have to turn to self-publishing or smaller presses depending on the type of book. Remember not every book is right for self-publishing, etc.

Celery Tree said...

I'd like to link to this in a future blog post. Hope that's ok.