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Meet Self-Published Author, Captain Karen Kahn

For today’s blog, we interview a very interesting, self-published author, Captain Karen Kahn, author of “Flight Guide for Success.” Check out what she has to say about providing guidance for pilots via her writing:

Tell us about your self-published book.

Having spent the last 30+ years at 30,000 feet with other people’s lives in my hands, I like to think I have mastered the art of confidence, determination, communication and professional and personal growth.

However, I have recently realized that the best use of experience is to provide guidance and advice for those entering the professional world. As a result, while counseling aspiring and employed pilots, I wrote "Flight Guide for Success: Tips and Tactics for the Aspiring Pilot" (available online at to help pilots synthesize their aspirations and skills into a manageable action plan that will empower them to secure ideal employment or climb the corporate ranks.

Today, I have broadened my message to share with everyone (not just aspiring pilots) how they too can become more confident and succeed in any professional or personal pursuit. Anyone who is interested can find my book available online.

Why did you decide to self-publish?

For authors like me, having a small, specific market is the reason for writing, not an obstacle to overcome in being published. That is why for me, self-publishing was the only option that made sense. I didn’t have a big enough audience to pitch to general publishers, and I didn’t want to compromise my writing for the sake of possibly attracting a book deal.

What was your biggest challenge to overcome in self-publishing your book and why?

Ironically, the down side of self-publishing is also the independence required. In my case, this included overseeing artwork development, printing and, of course, marketing. Still, I take comfort in how far I had come already at the time of publishing.

How did you overcome that challenge?

I joined the Independent Book Publishers Association (formerly Publishers Marketing Association) to enlist the help and experience of other, independently published authors in my quest. Luckily, I was able to rely on a network of connections to assist me in the publishing process. I ended up calling on my neighbor (who is an editor for “Reader’s Digest”) and another friend who helped with the layout of the book cover.

What has been the best part about self-publishing your book and why?

The content of my writing is very specific, so the best part about publishing my book was the freedom of writing on my own terms. When you publish yourself, no one tells you what to do. Not afraid to be specific, I wrote about what I knew best. After all, authors who know their audience write for them and not for a chance to be on a best-seller list.

What advice do you have for other writers who are self-publishing their book?

I found the inspiration to prepare a formal book after reading Dan Poynter’s The Self-Publishing Manual, and I encourage others who are interested in self-publishing to do the same.

I also recommend joining associations, such as the Independent Book Publishers Association, that can supply invaluable advice and experience from other independently published authors. In addition, don’t forget about family and friends; their opinions can provide powerful insight.

Fantastic advice Captain Kahn! Thanks for sharing your insights with the jexbo audience.

How about you? Do you need help marketing your self-published book? Send your questions to me, and check out the free information at