From Imagination To Publication

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

MY PUBLISHING JOURNEY: Author Christa Yelich-Koth

Have you ever wondered how authors get their start?
How do they get agents?
How do they get published?
Is it luck? Talent? Drive?

This segment is an attempt to satisfy my immense answer the one question I'm dying to ask every author out there: 

How did your book become a book?


Christa Yelich-Koth
Author of 


Do you have an agent?
No. I did, but after 6 months, she took a different job in marketing and had to dismiss all her clients.

How many queries did you send?
Oh boy... probably around 80?

If you don’t have an agent, is it by choice? 
It is by choice now. Mostly because of the responses I received from publishing companies.

If represented, how long did it take to get your agent?
When I did have an agent, the entire process took about 7 months for her to send me a contract.

If you have an agent, can you copy and paste your successful query letter for others to reference?
I met my previous agent at a conference—she had sample pages of my novel, not a query letter.


Are you traditionally published or self-published?

What made you decide to self pub?
I choose to self-publish because many of the people I worked with (both agents and publishing companies), really loved my work, but didn’t want to take it on because it isn’t easily marketed, especially my novels. For example, ILLUSION is labeled Science Fantasy, but the book itself contains conspiracies, psychological traumas, memory loss, and metaphysical experiences. It’s more adult than Young Adult, but is written more broadly, so teenagers would enjoy the book as well. Makes it difficult for an agent/publisher to determine who is the target audience.

Did you do everything yourself (such as cover design, formatting, etc.) or did you hire out?
I do everything myself except I do have others edit and I don’t create the cover, just design it. I hired an illustrator, Conrad Teves, to put together the cover.

Which platform (such as Createspace) do you self-publish through?
I publish through Buzz & Roar Publishing, which is my own (co-founded) company. We printed our first run of books through Bookmobile Printing. We sell books directly through our website or through Amazon in paperback or ebook.

Have you researched or considered getting a hardcover printed of your book? What about audio?
I have researched hardcover. I would only choose that option when I offer both books (ILLUSINO and IDENTITY) as a box set. And those will be limited. I plan to eventually do an audiobook as I have recording equipment. I have not decided if I will do it myself or hire someone else.

What do you like about self-publishing?
I like that I can control my own sales, be responsible for the financials, and create my own cover design. I also like that I can determine my own release date.

What do you dislike about self-publishing?
Marketing is really tough. Also bookstores seem very uninterested if you are self-published or not selling your books through Ingram.

Looking back would you do anything differently?
Probably not. My path may have winded a lot, but I learned so much through the experience. I’m very proud of my company and am looking forward to bringing my own, and other’s books to readers.


What lessons have you learned? Any advice for those about to go down your path?
I learned to befriend other writers. Friends and family are great, but if they aren’t writers, there are just things they won’t understand. I learned that most writers are actually really friendly and are willing to answer your questions. I learned that you HAVE to show people your writing before you think about publishing—self-editing is not enough. And I learned that writing conventions/conference are a wonderful resource and tool to make yourself a better writer and meet others in the writing world.

Christa Yelich-Koth

Publisher: Buzz & Roar Publishing.


  1. Very true! Writers can help other writers in ways others can't, both with advice and support.
    Good luck, Christa.

  2. wonderful interview. each writer does have his/her own path that unfolds, from inspiration to tangible book. i look forward to reading about others' journeys.

  3. Thank you for sharing your journey. I too self published and it was rewarding and challenging. I could almost write a book on the challenges but marketing is by far the biggest one. I too have found that fellow writers are great about helping other writers. Congratulations on your success as a self published author.