I'm pleased to present an interview with naturopath Dr. Pamela Jeanne. She and I worked together on her just-released book, Healing Matters, and in this interview she opens a window into the self-publishing process.
The main theme of the book is celebrating and honoring the value women bring to healing. My writing addresses the fact that medical historical information both past and current, of the contributions by women on all levels of health care, has been missing and/or undervalued throughout recorded time. Most medical books have been written by men, moreover, there have been important works by women in which full credit was not given and even worse some works were co-opted by male writers.
Where did the idea for the book come from?
My original inspiration came when my first year history professor in medical school failed to present in the course work any woman or her contributions to medical care. I remember becoming quite furious at the end of that school term! He is a really great guy but lacked the consciousness that women have made and still make tremendous contributions in medical care.
How long did you work on it from start to finish?
I’d say about 3 years from actually sitting down to begin the writing process to the actual ‘birth’ of this baby. Many of my ideas, however have been percolating for more than 25 years!
It has come to me that writing is an art form, a process and a tremendous opportunity for growth. My prior belief was that I could not write, but I stayed with my clear intention and was able to attract into this project, all the best people to help me. I call them my angels as each appeared at the right time when I needed extra coaching or help to complete this dream. Charlotte Dixon was one of those angels. (Editorial comment: thank you!)
What was the process of publication for you? Can you speak a bit about self publishing?
Again, as I progressed deeper and deeper into my writing, and could see a shape appearing, the next person would appear. Mostly it was effortless. I was led to a publishing company, through my women’s network, who specialized in helping women authors to self publish. Wyatt-MacKenzie Publisher is owned by Nancy Cleary and I have only praise for her support, responsiveness and clarity. There was no groping around looking for answers in a very complex publishing industry; Nancy led the way to help with a successful self-publishing event. Early on in my book project, I felt I needed to find a publisher, but later decided that self publishing was best for me. I was ready to self promote and did not want a company to own my work and then decide to stop printing if sales were not up to their quota. This is a good route for first time writers.
How will you do future books–the same? Different?
I would do the same for future books because it went so well. Yes, there were a few glitches, but Wyatt-MacKenzie has been very responsive to the problems that came up. This is a service I really appreciate.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Here is what I have learned still continues to teach me: Publishing a book is a tremendous accomplishment. At first whole task seems daunting, but my intention remained firm and clear. I did not waver because of the message I wanted to get out to the world via the book. So if you have something that is burning inside of you, get clear what that is, set your intention, be open for what comes up, then don’t waver from the outcome you’d like to see. Also it helps to have a few cheerleaders on the sidelines. My partner was that for me; she did not waver either!
Thanks so much for your insight into your publishing process, Pamela Jeanne! For more information on Dr. Jeanne and her work, please visit her website.
What about you–have you considered self publishing? Feel free to comment.
Photos courtesy of the author.