If you go to Carrie Rollwagen and ask her how you can self-publish your book, you probably won’t like her first piece of advice: “Don’t!”

This might surprise you considering Rollwagen’s own self-publishing experience was such a success. In 2014 Rollwagen published The Localist, which explores her quest to only buy local for one year and her experience as an independent bookstore owner. (Rollwagen formerly owned Church Street Coffee & Books in Mountain Brook.) Through a Kickstarter campaign she raised over $8,000 to publish the book and fund a book tour, and she sold enough books to turn a profit.

Because of this success and her experience as a bookstore owner, Rollwagen is constantly asked questions about self-publishing. She’s asked for advice so often that she recently launched a new podcast designed to answer the questions many aspiring authors have. She calls the podcast “Everybody Hates Self-Publishing,” and it helps explain why Rollwagen might discourage you from self-publishing in the first place.

“I had a great experience self-publishing, but I understood that I was pretty much committing to setting up an entire business,” Rollwagen says. “I had to work on my budgets, marketing plan and cost/benefit analysis just as much as I did to open Church Street Coffee & Books. If that sounds appealing and exciting, self-publishing is probably a decent choice. If it sounds overwhelming, I’d go a different direction.”

I had a chat with Rollwagen recently about her new podcast, self-publishing, and her future projects. You can read my interview with her in my “Write Like a Girl” column for the August 2017 issue of B-Metro magazine

If you’re interested in starting a podcast of your own, join me as I interview Rollwagen and veteran podcaster Carla Jean Whitley on why writers and bloggers should start podcast and how to do so. This live, free virtual training is set for Tuesday, August 29 at 6:30 p.m. CT. Learn more and register here.

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