It takes a village!

I'm crawling around the web this morning doing research on publishers.
I came across this story about Philip Beard, the author of Dear Zoe.
I think y'all might like it.
Here's the link: Philip Beard


Gina Black said...

Thanks so much. That was lovely. Brought tears to my eyes.

AzGhostWriter said...

I haven’t read the book, but this story is what I call “believing in yourself” and perseverance. Although it does help to write a (well-written) good story also, the challenge many writers face is working through rejection and continue to push ahead. Success in any venture often requires the same dedication and self-sacrifices.

Good for him!

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Good for him, is right! He not only believed in himself, but was willing to learn EVERY phase of publishing and spend a huge amount of money in the process.

He says towards the bottom, "In the process of preparing Dear Zoe to go to press, I came to know every player in the chain of production, promotion and distribution."

Now that's tanacity! I wish him a life time of success.

harridan said...


While his personal story about the path to publishing is enlightening and heartening ... I just read the excerpt from the book.


I am soooooo glad he went back to the original vision for the book. I just ordered it, and I'm not one to throw money about wildly.

Richard said...

Pity he made the "amateur huckster mistake" of giving away a free chapter.

Mizrepresent said...

I love these kind of success stories....it just goes to show you..you have to believe, even when everyone else doesn't!

Crisi said...

That was a great inspirational story. I've been thinking about self-publishing my book, because I do want to have control and access to every part of the process. I have my own ideas and plans on where my book is going and what the cover needs to look like. I know, probably silly of me, but this story gave me some hope.

I noticed that his agent still worked with him through this all. Was that simply due to loyalty, or would she have gotten proceeds from his book? Do agents take on people who are self-publishing?

Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

Philip gave a fabulous interview on my radio show...an inspiring man, and a profound book.


Philip said...

Hello everyone. Jordan shot me an e-mail to let me know @ this thread. Thanks for the props, and, yes, I stuck with my agent our of loyalty. The exclusive period on DEAR ZOE had long since lapsed, plus I technically placed it myself. But Jane is a wonderful agent and worked very hard on both of my manuscripts. I knew I wanted to be with her for the long haul, so she was my first call after Viking called me. It turned out to be a great decision because she pushed me very hard to show Viking my new novel last spring, before DEAR ZOE even came out. Lots of good prepub buzz was happening at the time -- BookSense pick, Borders Original Voices pick, etc. -- and I had visions of bestseller lists. I wanted to wait for that success and then show them the MS. Jane said - "You never know, Philip. Let's strike while things are going well." She negotiated and nice advance and then, for whatever reason, DEAR ZOE just didn't get reviewed anywhere -- none of the major papers, despite a 12 city national tour. Sales have been "nice" for a first novel, but nothing that would justify the advance Jane got for me.

Best of luck to all of you, and I hope you'll help spread the word about DEAR ZOE.


P.S. - One piece of recent good news: Booklist (the American Library Association's bi-monthly review pub) just listed DEAR ZOE as one of the Top 10 First Novels of 2005.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Well Philip I wish you all the best. You've got the drive and determination that it takes to be a writer. God Bless you!

the chocolatier said...

I have a warm bubbly feeling in my stomach, and I don't think it's the vodka ... that story sounds beautiful, Phillip, you're lovely, the website is gorgeous and that's exactly the kind of self-promotion all authors should be doing. I just trekked to Ottakers and ordered 3 copies.

Amie Stuart said...

I remember reading that! Very inspirational!

Sal said...

Liked this. Posted a link to it in misc.writing.