Natalie Bahm and Agent Sara Megibow On Self-Pubbing For a Good Cause

So, today I have a special treat for you guys. My agency-mate Natalie Bahm is here, along with our agent Sara Megibow to talk about the amazing project Natalie is launching this week.

Just to give you a bit of background, I met Natalie through blogging a few years ago. She is one of the nicest people you could meet (finally got to meet her in person this summer), and I totally credit her with having a hand in my own publishing journey. Because if you've ever read my "how I got my agent" story, you know I originally got to Sara through a client referral. Well, that client was Natalie. So I'm forever indebted to her. ;)

And now I'm more than thrilled to share her debut book with you guys. And here's the deal--she's giving all of the money she makes on this book to a family with a sick child. ALL of it. How amazing is that?

So read about her journey with Sara to self-pub this book and then go pre-order the book. Not only will you get a fantastic story, but you'll be lending a helping hand as well.

Now, over to Natalie and Sara...


Natalie Bahm


In two short days my very first book, The Secret Underground, will debut. Last spring I decided to self-publish it as a fundraiser for the family of sick baby named Jayden.  Only, I didn’t self-publish the normal way.  My agent, Sara Megibow, and agency, Nelson Literary, helped make it happen. It’s been a pretty unconventional journey and Sara and I wanted to share some of it with you.





There are lots of great reasons to self-publish. There are bad reasons too (like giving the middle finger to NewSara Megibow York or because an author doesn't want to wade through the rejection process). 

Natalie didn't ask me, "can I self publish this book?" Instead, she asked, "how do I create a book that can be used as a fundraiser for a charity that I believe in with all my heart?" Since raising money for Jayden was our number one goal, we had to make a career choice based on that end result. And, I am so proud of this team because that's exactly what is happening. With each purchase of The Secret Underground - whether in ebook format, print format or audio book, whether from amazon or Kobo or Nook or iBookstore -  Jayden's family receives money for their much-needed health care costs. What greater success is there? We're helping a baby and his family and self-publishing is allowing us to do that.



I honestly never imagined stepping into the self-publishing world.  I’m the kind of person who struggles to make decisions and gets really stressed over details.  And, as some of you know, self-publishing is all about the details. 

When I heard about how Jayden’s family was struggling, I knew I had to do something to help them. I talked to Sara about doing a book for Jayden and she and I discussed options. We decided that the only way we could get a book out quickly and send all of the profits to Jayden’s family was to self-publish. 

To be honest, the idea terrified me.  Luckily, I didn’t have to do it alone.



At Nelson Literary Agency, we pride ourselves on operating in an educated and holistic publishing environment. As an agency, we keep up to date on what's going on in publishing and communicate any and all opportunities to our clients as they present themselves. 

This is a fancy way of saying that two years ago it became very apparent some clients were interested in self-publishing as opposed to traditional publishing and some were interested in doing a bit of both. So, the agency set out to create a system in-house to offer these options to our clients. The idea is that each client can handcraft an author career - combining traditional publishing deals with self-publishing opportunities as they see fit (with agent advice and feedback). Just to be clear - clients can self-publish on their own without us if they want to - we don't own their rights as a publisher would.

In short, the NLA Digital Platform was created just for cases like Natalie's - to offer NLA authors more options for their books. Like I said above, the number one goal in creating The Secret Underground was to have a book that could operate as a fundraiser for charity. So, we really had to be creative when coming up with our business plan. I'm glad that my boss and our excellent staff paved the way so Natalie and I could really benefit from everything self-publishing has to offer.



There were several major benefits to having the agency’s support.  The biggest thing for me was I didn’t have to do anything alone.  Sara and the NLA Digital Liaison, Lori, helped with every single thing—from selecting editors and a cover artist, to formatting files for the different distributers, to developing a marketing plan.

Another perk was having access to things that aren’t available to most self-published writers—like having ARCs on NetGalley and getting the book distributed to booksellers (like Overdrive) who don’t usually work with self publishing authors.

But, I’ll be honest, even with all the help it was still A TON of work.  Now that it’s done though, I wouldn’t change a thing.  I know it will make a difference to Jayden’s family and in the end, that’s all that matters.


Thank you so much for letting us visit, Roni!


The eBook version of The Secret Underground is available for preorder through Amazon and iTunes.  On Friday you’ll be able to order it from most other online booksellers (including Kobo, Sony, B&N, Google, Overdrive, etc).


The print version will be available Friday on Amazon. 

The audiobook should be available shortly from Amazon, Audible, and iTunes.

For more information about Jayden visit

Click HERE for details about The Secret Underground


Twelve-year-old Ally is the only witness to a bank robbery in her small town. Unable to block out the memory of the robbers, a notorious gang known as the Gauze Men, Ally joins her little brother and a bunch of neighborhood boys digging a hole in her backyard.

Only the hole isn't just a hole - it's a massive set of tunnels snaking beneath the neighborhood and heading for an abandoned steel mill. Ally is old enough to know the danger, but she reasons spending time with sixth-grade heartthrob Paul is more fun than sitting at home with her worries. And dangerous it is - none of the kids' parents realize the tunnels exist, but the Gauze Men might.


You can visit Natalie and Sara on Twitter @NatalieBahm and @SaraMegibow

Here's a video to learn more about Jayden: 

Now, (Roni here again), everyone go forth and purchase! Buy for your family or friends if you're not into middle grade. It will be the best money you spend all week. And I'm sure his family thanks you.