That Book in Your Head? Or the Desk Drawer?

My friend and colleague, Karen Hodges Miller, read what’s on my mind — and perhaps on yours. I have a book in my head, started but not finished. When will I get it done? I know of one Princeton-based agent, Marie Galastro, who can help me when I get it finished. Now Karen offers a way for procrastinating, would-be authors to actually get it written.

I invited her to be a guest blogger at Princeton Comment, as below:

If you’ve always wanted to write a book, but somehow just haven’t gotten around to it, I’m planning a seminar that is just for you. Open Door Publications will offer “Unlocking Your Ideas Your Book from Concept to Publication,” at two and a half hour workshop, on Monday, June 21.

I’ve been writing and editing for over 30 years and I’d often helped people to complete book projects. I saw many interesting, well written manuscripts that never got published because it was just too hard for a first time author to find an agent or a publisher. It’s that old Catch 22; publishers only want to look at authors who have already published, but how do you become a published author if no one will read your work?

About four years ago I decided to that it was time for me to take the process one step farther. I opened Open Door Publications, a publishing company that offers “assisted self-publishing” for aspiring authors. Since then we’ve published eight books. I’ve already published two books this year and plan to have two more out before the end of the year.

I’ve learned the questions that writers ask the most and my workshop will answer them. It will focus on:

Identify who your readers are

Organizing your material

Finding the time to write

And publishing and marketing basics.

I promise that the participants will leave with a personal plan for completing their book.

The workshop will be held at the Inn at Glencairn, 3301 Lawrenceville Road in Princeton, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Monday, June 21. The price of $79 ($59 early bird registration before June 13) will include brunch at the Inn and a copy of “Unlocking Your Ideas,” my new book designed to help aspiring authors write the book they’ve always dreamed about.

For more information contact Karen at, or to register go to

Barbara’s extra note: The closest I have come to self-publishing is helping Wayne Cooke with his book “On the Far Side of the Curve: A Stage IV Colon Cancer Survivor’s Journey,” published in December. Now Cooke and his oncologist, Dr. Peter Yi, appear on a panel for National Cancer Survivor’s Day at the Unviersity Medical Center of Princeton on Sunday, June 6, at 9 a.m. The full program runs 8 to 11:45 a.m. Register here.

Everyone I know who has cancer, or knows someone with cancer, has found Cooke’s book exceedingly useful. This is how it should work — to have a powerful idea and get it printed, so the world can use it. When Cooke was doing his book, we didn’t know about Open Door Publications. How good it would have been to work with someone right here in Princeton.

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