Local author Pines to lead special workshop on self-publishing



Author Deb Pines has “been there, done that” — and published her own book.

Pines said she has been through the wringer with the “process” of publishing, including “getting an agent, losing an agent, almost selling a book, not selling books, giving up and taking it back up again.”

This process led Pines to self-publish her first book, In the Shadow of Death: A Chautauqua Murder Mystery. Pines hopes to use her experience to guide people through the process of self-publishing. She will be teaching a special one-day workshop with the Chautauqua Writers’ Center on the topic today.

Pines wrote her book in 1997, but said she could never get it published. She decided to put it aside, leaving it as “just a stack of papers” at her in-laws’ house in Chautauqua.

Pines’ niece came across the manuscript, read it, and told Pines that she liked it better than anything she had written recently.

This led Pines to take her book’s fate into her own hands. She self-published In the Shadow of Death, and she said she has now sold almost 1,000 copies.

“It’s been a tremendous amount of fun,” Pines said.

Pines said that, since her self-publishing success, she has had many people — “friends, family, Chautauqua neighbors” — ask her how she did it. Pines said that the idea for her workshop grew out of those interactions.

She hopes to cover all the bases of self-publishing with her students, including providing publishing contacts, understanding the financial aspect of publishing, and giving advice on how to do the process completely on their own. Pines wants to use her personal experience to inform her students as well.

“I can tell them some of the pitfalls I faced, and they can learn from my mistakes,” Pines said.

Pines added that she thinks that she can guarantee that her workshop will give students all the tools they need to self-publish a book.

“If they have a dream, if this is an item on their bucket list, ‘I want to have a book published’ — just two hours in my workshop, and I am sure that they will walk away with the know-how and inspiration to fulfill that dream,” Pines said.