While Dan Smetanka is taking some Phoenix authors to Counterpoint another Phoenix writer is turning to self publishing. With a push from pop-psychologist Phil McGraw, The Last Day of My Life author Jim Moret founded Incognito Books to keep the book, originally released in January, alive. The media savvy writer—chief correspondent for Inside Edition, a frequent guest host on Larry King Live, and a contributor to CNN—understands better than most the importance of taking advantage of a big break and that is why he chose to publish the book to have copies ready for the July 9 airing of a Dr. Phil show he taped right before Phoenix closed.
“My book is about facing challenges. I thought what good is it, if I can’t face this,” said Moret, adding, “this book was a simmer, kind of a slow build. I didn’t want to wait. I knew I had a product that was written, edited, and done.” To keep the momentum growing for the inspirational memoir, which was out of stock and had 4,000 copies on back order after two printings for a total of 15,000 copies, Moret decided against asking his agent, Mel Berger at William Morrow Endeavor, to try to resell it.
Instead, with the reversion of rights from Phoenix along with the book’s files, Moret hired the warehouse and sales force that previously represented his book, Innovative Logistics and Continental Sales. The biggest change he made, at his mother’s suggestion, was to redesign the cover to show his face and to add a blurb from Dr. Phil: “an important, uplifting book about what is truly important in life.” He also selected much brighter paper for the interior and a more contemporary feel for the Incognito hardcover edition.
“I recognize that there’s a stigma against self-publishing,” said Moret, “but the book had been published.” He’s planning to release e-book editions compatible with all the major players, and is re-releasing a digital audio, since he did the recording for Phoenix himself.
So far, it seems to be working. Moret’s first printing of 5,000 copies arrived last week, and he’s already considering a second printing. The fact that he subbed for Larry King this week and that CNN shows a graphic of the cover when he does news stories hasn’t hurt. After going up to #31 on Amazon immediately after Dr Phil, the book has since settled into the top 300.