An Interview with Gut Check Press Co-Founder Ted Kluck about “The Gut Check Guide to Publishing” in which Ted Plays the Roles of Both Stephen Altrogge and Ted Kluck

Stephen: Ted, how are you? It’s been a while. Are you enjoying your role on the wildly successful podcast (link here) that I created for you?

Ted: It’s not the same without you.

Stephen: In what sense?

Ted: In the sense that, since you’re no longer involved it is, by definition, not the same. Also in the complimentary way in which people usually say, “It’s not the same without you,” if that’s what you’re angling at. I will say this: Your voice is still in the intro, which is apparently very confusing for some of our Twitter following.

Stephen: What’s not confusing is your outstanding new book, The Gut Check Guide to Publishing: What Works, What Doesn’t, and Why to Do It Your Way. When you graciously reached out to me and explained that you were ready to use my 8,000-plus Twitter followers as a means of selling your new product, I couldn’t refuse an exclusive interview.

Ted: That’s sweet of you to say.

Stephen: Tell us a little bit about the book.

Ted: At 180 pages, this is the longest Gut Check title to date. I want people to know that they are getting a lot of paper for a very minimal twelve-buck investment. Also, at some point, Zach and I realized that we’re industry veterans, and wanted to archive all that we had learned along the way. Also, we wanted to make fun of a lot of things.

Stephen: Such as?

Ted: Certain editorial, um, personas.

Stephen: “…” (chuckles awkwardly and self-consciously, suggesting that perhaps his persona is lampooned (it isn’t))

Ted: Also the book has things like how to take a traditionally-published book from idea to bookshelf…how to deal with the whole spectrum of editorial personalities…how to market traditional and indie projects…how to survive meetings about book marketing (“How about bookmarks with your picture on them!” etc.)…and even how to decide whether to go indie or traditional. We’ll take you step-by-step through the indie publishing process and discuss the pros and cons of doing everything yourself.

Stephen: I liked the foreword by Chaz Marriot. Are there contributions from other Gut Check celebrities? Or do you create any other quasi-fictional personas for the purposes of joke-making?

Ted: Yes, both. Cliff Graham, @churchcurmudgeon, Erin Bartels and Frank Turk all chip in writing-related essays. And we created a persona called Smug Veteran Editor which is kind of a pastiche of a lot of different editorial personalities we’ve discovered over the years…but basically He/She is a character who can’t stop editing, even in mundane, day-to-day life.

Stephen: (Furrows brow, thoughtfully, points finger) Why you guys? Why Gut Check?

Ted: Believe it or not, we’ve had the company for over five years, so we’ve published a lot of Indie books. And between us, Zach and I have published 22 books (and counting) with traditional houses. We’ve been around the proverbial block, and had pretty much every experience – good, bad, and hilarious – that you can have in this business.

Stephen: Ted, thanks so much for your time. Where can people find the book.

Ted: We’ve got an exclusive deal with our favorite little neighborhood bookseller (buy local!), Amazon.com.

Stephen Altrogge

I'm a husband, dad, writer, & Mixed Martial Arts Salsa Dancing Champion. I created The Blazing Center. I've also written some books which people seem to like.