If Publishers Say ‘No’ to You, Do You Care Enough to Publish Anyway?

If Publishers Say ‘No’ to You, Do You Care Enough to Publish Anyway?

March 9, 2023

I’ve been following the publishing journey of Sarah Martin, the self-published author of the recently released book, ‘Dear Psychosis: A Story of Hope and Love Through a Family’s Journey of Mental Health’.

You can hear Sarah and Alice talk about the book with ABC presenter Hilary Harper in the segment Sarah saw a disturbing message from a stranger, but it wasn’t a scam – ABC Radio National. Hilary called Dear Psychosis ‘A really brave book’. And it is.

(UPDATE: Sarah was also interviewed about the book by Waleed on The Project TV Mon 20 March 2023 – a fantastic achievement for a self’-published book).

Professor Gordon Parker AO, founder of the Black Dog Institute said of Dear Psychosis ‘…a hair-raising but uplifting account of when a loved one moves from day-to-day sanity to being psychotic, the rare kindness of strangers, strategies for moving through the crisis, and how resilience generally requires exposure to flame.”

Sarah and I first crossed paths back in August when I was a guest presenter (speaking about self-publishing, book marketing and author business) on book coach Kelly Irving’s Expert Author Academy.

You can tell someone is approaching their book project seriously when they soak up every resource available to them and Sarah went on to buy Look-It’s Your Book! and the workbook companion too.

Self-publishing isn’t for writers who just want to write for the heck of it, it’s too much hard work. But, for writers who MUST write. Who are COMPELLED to share a particular story or world. Who are DETERMINED to share an experience because it just won’t leave them alone and they feel they have something to give – this is the type of author who can have success and fulfilment as an indie author.

Recently, Sarah stared directly into camera and shared this powerful message on social media:

When I started writing Dear Psychosis and then finished it, I pitched it to four publishers. Two of which wanted to read the book, which was absolutely awesome, and two of which didn’t.

So, the two that read the book, one of them said that they’d really enjoyed it, but because I was ‘no one’, they couldn’t see a future with the book.

The reason why I was ‘no one’ in their eyes, was because I had no Instagram following, no Facebook following, no LinkedIn following.

But I’m just out there to say I am ‘someone’ and I have a story and I have a brilliant story and it’s a true story.

It’s not a self-help book. It’s a story about our family and our journey with mental illness.

So, thank you everybody who has joined us in breaking the silence about mental illness.

We really appreciate it. We really love that you are doing it with us.

We are all someone and I celebrate that with you today.

Such a powerful statement. Powerful, like her book.

Sarah is out and out passionate about her family, her topic, and raising awareness of and the conversation around mental health, psychosis, bipolar and depression. She has done a fantastic job with this book.

Dear Psychosis is a compelling, eye-opening, thoughtful ride from start to finish. The structure of the book, including flashbacks mixed with Sarah’s narration and key contributions from daughter Alice and ‘nearly doctor’ Jesse (Sarah’s son and Alice’s brother) mirrors and enhances the chaos of the journey to Turkey to bring Alice home and the family’s experience on the road to recovery.

I learned so much from this book and am inspired by the loyalty and love of family and friends, and the huge care provided by Houssain and the Syrian crew. I’m especially in awe of Alice’s resilience and pure generosity in sharing her story with the world to help others. Not only was it a great read, I feel like I will be a much better and more informed ally when having conversations about mental health in the future. And that has been Sarah’s aim for the book all along.

Sarah told me Look-It’s Your Book! made self-publishing a whole lot less stressful and that ‘knowledge is power’. Well, the power in this instance is all Sarah’s and she shares it honestly and compellingly through her book, Dear Psychosis.

Sarah and Alice being interviewed by ABC Radio National


Dear Psychosis book cover
Absolutely love being able to help authors on their writing and publishing journey. It’s such an honour.