Case Study: How a Self-Published Author and Blogger Negotiated a Six-Figure Traditional Book Deal

Case Study: How a Self-Published Author and Blogger Negotiated a Six-Figure Traditional Book Deal

Reader Comments (26)

  1. I agree, blogging is a great communication tool to launch a project. I think it’s been great for me in building a community of other bloggers and being able to put value first in my marketing…which has been fun.

  2. Great interview. As a self-published author I love interviews like these. I love them because it gives me hope. I’ve also published a book about overcoming fear. I was in a cult as a kid and dealt with harsh after effects. The frictional book is “A Train Called Forgiveness.” Like Torre DeRoche, I know my writing is good, worthy of both a traditional publishing deal and movie rights. My second book “At the Crossing of Justice and Mercy” is even more captivating than the first. I’m working on a third book. Your readers can learn more at

    I love this interview because it shows the writing industry is changing. Self-publishing is becoming a more acceptable way of getting into the business. Great stories are being discovered. I have not yet had the fortune of Torre, but I’m slowly building my blog and gaining more exposure. Torre makes some great points about social media, too. Thanks for this post.

    • That’s what really struck me about this story, Dan – I like what it says about the recent changes in the publishing industry. Inspiring, indeed!

  3. I like his reply.. “knowing your purpose”. As a product creator, I use my blog to give away different marketing tactics I use that I “could” easily sell. If my visitors get value, they become customers and eventually “clients”.. Nice interview..

    • Hi Ben. I wrote and designed the trailer myself. I found the cute whistling music track on a stock music website for the bargain price of $20. I was so pleased when I found that song—the music really captures the tone of the whole story. It was animated by my sister, a filmmaker. You can find her here:

  4. OMG, it’s like you are speaking directly about me. I started my blog because I was told “you must have a platform” in order to sell a book. But in the last year my blog has completely distracted me from my book and the blog has morphed into something other than my original ‘purpose’ of selling my book. So, now I am pulled in too many directions and no longer on a clear focused path to write my book and sell it. UGH.
    Thank you for the a ha lightbulb moment, and reminding me to let my intuition guide my way.

    • Hi Lori. I feel for you! Trying to multitask blogging with book writing is extremely difficult. In order to write a good book, you have to go deeply inwards and give the majority of your creative energy to that one story. Unless you’re an exceptional multitasker, blogging will divide that energy and compromise your book. Blogging can also be bad for self-esteem (“Why isn’t anyone commenting/Tweeting/Facebook liking this? Oh no! I must be a terrible writer! Maybe I should change my writing style?” Etc, etc.)

      If you’re struggling, my advice is to stop blogging until your book is done, or blog only once a month. You can always build a platform later. I didn’t start my blog until after my book was complete, and then I went 100% on the blog/platform building.

      You can build a following on Twitter instead, as engaging on Twitter is low commitment and probably won’t compromise your book writing. Then, once you’re ready to start blogging aggressively, you can tap that audience.

  5. Thanks so much for the insight! It is so easy to be distracted by the goal that sometimes I forget the journey. Looking forward to rediscovering myself!

  6. But… throwing darts in the dark can be so fun. You never know who or what you will hit. 😉 Great tips here. Torre is a smart girl and I never thought for a second that she wouldn’t be a huge success. I love the advice about knowing your purpose. It’s easy to get caught up in building an audience and forget the whole reason you started a blog in the first place.

    • I agree. Throwing darts randomly is a lot of fun! In some ways, that is how I landed my deals—through random dart throwing.

      But if you want to hit something good, you should at least aim them in the general direction of a predetermined target, otherwise you might find you’re throwing them into a crowd of angry Hells Angels.

      Thanks for your lovely words. x

  7. There’ll never be enough success stories like Torre’s. Doesn’t every guy who meets their special lady one night in a bar think it’s the beginning of something important?

    Copyblogger is doing us all right with interviews like this. Now I’ve got another blogger to follow for all the right reasons:

    1. She followed a handsome man who smelled good.

    2. Torre dove into a big adventure and wrote about it.

    3. She asked her dad for advice.

    My feel good search for a better Monday is over right here.


  8. Torre, so much good stuff in this interview. Know your purpose, rely on your own imagination, take the shame out of fear – it all resonates as great encouragement for a young writer. We get beaten down so much from skeptics, and I’m glad to hear you followed your own intuition to prove them wrong. Can’t wait to read more on your blog.

  9. I can relate to the following, “When I first began, I did all my own web development work. This was as enjoyable and productive as attempting my own toilet plumbing. I worked fourteen-hour days, tallying up over eighty hours to make my blog handsome and functional.”

    I’m tired of doing my own web design. Okay, web ‘tweaking,’ I received quotes from a couple of web designers and have to choose one. The sooner the better. This way I can focus on writing, marketing, etc. and leave the web design to someone else. 😉

  10. Nice interview: it resonated with me: I enjoyed reading about the author’s experiences. You are adding value to our lives through such efforts.

    Intuition nudges us in the “right” direction. We seldom take it seriously, but it is there like a lone wolf. A lone wolf perched on top of a hill and who sits silently in the dead heat of the night, but one who waits patiently. Listening to that “inner voice” is what allows us to separate the wheat from the chaff.
    It is in our darkest hours that we must take our intuition seriously, because we suddenly discover that we have nothing to lose and a world to gain.

    Our imagination, on the other hand, can provide us with a vision. We must follow that vision to its logical conclusion and we can work wonders.

    I am reminded of two young lads who started to tweak and tinker with their toys in a garage in Palo Alto. As a result, they created the PC and the rest is history.

    Creatives tend to follow their hunch no matter how outlandish it may seem to conventional society. Through this journey, you also discover your passion. And passion is what lights the fire in your belly, compels you to look forward to a brand, new day, and contribute to society. Cheers.

  11. This is a fascinating case study on so many levels.

    I really hear what you say about your intuition. Sadly I too often don’t listen to mine because I’m a logical person and logic and numbers are SO LOUD when my inner voice is often just a whisper. I also hear what you’re saying about clocking hours on the website only to finally outsource to the pros (I have a pro working on mine just now ;).

    This issue of publishing vs. self-publishing is completely consuming me right now. So many people end up self-publishing because they couldn’t get a contract and from that decision flows all these great opportunities.

    But what if you have a deal? How do you know if you need it? Want it? I have neither the numbers nor the inner voice to guide me on this one. So frustrating 😛

    Anyhoo thanks for sharing your story 🙂 So exciting to see all the amazing things coming your way!

  12. Awesome insights. Good to know Torre’s vision and I agree 100% with her. Today most of the bloggers just doing blogging simply as others are also doing it! But they do not have any clear vision and plan. Moreover the blogging atmosphere is also getting very crowdy by lots of new bloggers around. So I have decided to reduced my activity from it and planned to engage my time in something new.

    • I asked my editor at Penguin whether or not she scouts authors through blogs. She says occasionally she does, but it’s very hard to find blogs that can translate into book-length stories, even if the blog is popular and well-written. What makes a great blog does not necessarily make a great book.

      I thought that was interesting. Putting work out there and hoping to be ‘discovered’ may not lead to anything at all, even if your works is exceptional. It’s like having a really, really great brochure for a nonexistent product.

      So I think that bloggers who are stuck in Limbo Land need to pause what they’re doing to figure out what their story or product could be, otherwise they’ll just pumping endless amounts of fuel into a machine that is going nowhere.

  13. Great interview! I read Love with a Chance of Drowning not that long ago and it was a great book. It was great to hear how you got your book published, Thanks for sharing!

  14. Hi Torre! You have no idea how inspired I am after reading your success story both here at CopyBlogger and on your blog. It’s given me the boost and push I need to believe in my writing and to really get down to work.

    The best lessons I’ve picked up are trusting your intuition and treating your blog as a platform for something bigger—your product. With my purpose in mind, I’m taking baby steps to creating my first product. I’ve no idea if it’ll work, but at least I can give myself a pat on the back for finally breaking out of my shell.

    Can’t wait to read Love With a Chance of Drowning. I’m such a romantic that even the blurb gave me the butterflies. 🙂

  15. This is a great post! Loved it so much I spread the love around. I also shared a quote “If you regard your time on earth as a chance to observe, play, and experience, why would you ever waste your days doing something unsatisfying?”

    Also KNOW your purpose!! YES! It cuts through the confusion and chaos!

    Thanks so much for writing this post. I loved it.

This article's comments are closed.