Sunday, April 26, 2015

Book Publishing Secrets with Chris Karlsen, author of 'Silk'

Book Title:  Silk
Genre:  Suspense/thriller
PublisherBooks to Go Now
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published, Chris.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Author: From the time I was a teenager I rewrote scenes and story endings in my mind. After I retired, I decided to stop imagining and write my own stories. As a retired detective, I enjoy a good mystery. I'd written and had published 5 other books, historical romances and romantic thrillers. I thought it was time to try a suspense thriller that wasn't a romance.  I like to write in different time periods and had a detective protagonist in mind and chose Victorian London as the perfect setting for him.
Is this your first book?
Author: No. This is my sixth. This is book one of a new series though.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Author:  Books to Go Now is a small, indie publisher. I got tired of trying to break into the NY publishers. I knew the owner of Books to Go Now and knew I'd have a lot of input in getting my story out  and I trusted her with all aspects of the book.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Author:  The pros have been working with a publisher that was enormously patient with all my questions and who made good suggestions. I love working with the cover designer. She's done 5 of my 6 books. I have a certain vision for what I want with each and she understands my aesthetic. It's a lot of work but I like making the trailers for each. I have a PA that put the last two together with the soundtrack and stock images I sent her. She's another with a good understanding of what I am going for.
The cons have been trying to get noticed by NY agents and editors. It can get you down when you go to a conference and pitch your story to 30 agents and editors and 2/3 ask for a partial and then you never hear back. You don't even get a standard reject letter with many. Some you know haven't even read the first chapter. You email the manuscript and the reject comes within a day. A lot of times you're told they aren't interested in the storyline or genre or this and that. Part of you just has to wonder why they asked for the partial. Another con is when you pitch your story and the editor/agent listens and then totally ignores the pitch and asks if you can write a completely different story. For example: Many years ago I pitched my paranormal ghost romance. After I went through the whole pitch the editor blinked and asked if I could write a mermaid story, they didn't have any of those. I politely turned her down. 
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Author:  You need a tough skin. You will likely get rejected many times. You have to learn to deal with bad reviews. Everyone gets them even the biggest authors.  Readers will like and dislike the same story for a variety of reasons. Some of the bad reviews won't make sense to you and other readers simply don't like your plot or your characters or your style. Read reviews or don't, but resist letting the negative ones affect you too much.
Once you're published you must, must be ready to commit a great amount of time to promotion. There are hundreds of thousands of books out. You can't get noticed if you don't promote. I also feel the days of only going through NY and the big publishing houses are diminishing. I find a lot of self-pubbed and indie pubbed authors are doing very well. The small houses like mine are growing and becoming strong contenders in publishing.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Author:  Absolutely.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Author: Don't write a story in a genre that has no interest for you just because it's a popular genre. You have to love what you write or it will show in the story.
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Purchase on Amazon

SUMMARY
London-Fall, 1888
The city is in a panic as Jack the Ripper continues his murderous spree. While the Whitechapel police struggle to find him, Detective Inspector Rudyard Bloodstone and his partner are working feverishly to find their own serial killer. The British Museum's beautiful gardens have become a killing ground for young women strangled as they stroll through.
Their investigation has them brushing up against Viscount Everhard, a powerful member of the House of Lords, and a friend to Queen Victoria. When the circumstantial evidence points to him as a suspect, Rudyard must deal with the political blowback, and knows if they are going to go after the viscount, they'd better be right and have proof.
As the body count grows and the public clamor for the detectives to do more, inter-department rivalries complicate the already difficult case.





Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Book Publishing Secrets with Joel Fox, author of 'The Mark on Eve'

Name: Joel Fox
Book Title: The Mark on Eve
Genre: Paranormal suspense
Publisher: Bronze Circle Press
Link to Amazon
Author website
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Joel: Thank you for the opportunity to talk to you. This particular book comes out of a combination of my love for history and a desire to answer the Great Writer’s Question: What if? This book is actually drawn from a Cape Cod legend in which a woman in colonial New England was suspected of witchcraft in drawing her pirate lover’s ship into a storm and the ship sank in 1717. The pirate ship was real and it was discovered and salvaged in 1984.  I simply took some of the persons in the old legend and changed the story by asking: What if the woman was not a witch but was be-witched to live forever? It allowed me to explore how she would manage through different periods in American history. All the while suspense builds in the modern day story in which she tries to keep her secret while giving meaning to her long existence by helping a female governor run for president of the United States.
Is this your first book?
Joel: How to answer that question? I wrote a draft of this book a dozen years ago. However, I subsequently went on to publish two other books in a mystery series. I created a character, Zane Rigby, a senior FBI agent, who finds himself against his wishes assigned to Cases of Historical Significance in which he has to solve a puzzle from a president’s past history in order to unravel a modern day murder mystery. I have written two books in the series, Lincoln’s Hand and FDR’s Treasure. I went back to The Mark on Eve and completed it because I always liked the story and my wife said she thought it was different and her favorite.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Joel: I self-published this book. My first published book was with a small press. However, I felt the small press gave me few advantages whereas self- publication would give me more control.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Joel: As I noted above, I went from a small press to self-publication. While the small press gave me confidence that my writing was acceptable and gave hints on how to help market the book, most of the marketing work falls to the author. While the work falls to the author, the rewards are limited. My feeling was that if I were going to do the marketing work necessary to sell the book without very little help from the small press then I could continue the same work ethic but reap greater rewards. It seems to be working that way. Of course, with a small press, you more easily can get into distribution networks and you have a group of other writers, also members of the press, with whom you can team up with ideas on selling the book. But with no money for a marketing campaign from the press, you are basically on your own.
Another advantage to the small press is they will provide an editor and create a book cover. When you self-publish you have to create a cover, usually by hiring an appropriate artist. You should also hire a professional editor to look at your story and your writing. Especially with self-publishing you must be as professional as possible.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Joel: As we all know, the publishing industry is constantly changing. You have to do your best keeping up with the technological changes and the effects of those changes on the business. The major lesson I learned is that you have to be engaged in the business side of publishing. Authors must understand, unless they produce a major hit with a major publisher, they are the marketer-in-chief for their book. They must engage.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Joel: I don’t mean to cop-out with this answer but I would say, “It depends.” If you don’t mind taking risks and sailing out on a sea alone and are willing to do the work, self-publishing is a respectable avenue to take and one that can be more rewarding compared to some other publishing experiences. If you want the security and reputation of a recognizable house behind you, then an author should get an agent and attempt to go that route.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Joel: Publishing a work can be intimidating but first you need a work to publish. That means you have to write the work, finish it, and have a professional editor work with you. And the best way to move your writing along is to ask the Great Writer’s Question: What if?



Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Book Publishing Secrets with Graciela Limón, author of 'The Intriguing Life of Ximena Godoy'

Book Title: The Intriguing Life of Ximena Godoy
Genre: Historical Fiction/Hispanic
Publisher: Café Con Leche

Graciela Limón, born in Los Angeles, California, is the daughter of Mexican immigrants.  She attended public and Catholic schools in her hometown, and continued on to university after which she became a professor of Latina/o Literature.  Parallel to her teaching she has been an activist in Latina affairs, gender affairs and Trans Border issues.  Limón has published nine novels, including her latest work, The Intriguing Life of Ximena Godoy.

Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published, Graciela.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?

Graciela:  I’ve been an author for years, and the reasons for writing each of my novels has varied.  However, as I look back on that work I sense that at the heart of it all has been an intense desire to portray the inner condition of Latinas, which is my own background.  I never stop being intrigued by the vastness and complexity of that condition; very much like a large canvas on which appear different women in different times and spaces.  With my latest novel, it was my character Ximena Godoy’s own time and space that intrigued me.  It was also her unconventional and untraditional manner that captivated me, but above all, her complexity and unpredictability fascinated me beginning to end.

Is this your first book?

Graciela: No.  I’ve published eight prior novels.

With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?

Graciela:   I’ve published this particular novel with Café Con Leche, a new imprint of Koehler Books Publisher.  I’m thrilled to say that my book was selected as the first of the works under this new imprint aimed at our Latina/o readership.  Why did I choose this method?  Well, it’s more that we chose one another.  It’s historical, meaningful, and I feel honored that my book was chosen as the lead title.

Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?

Graciela:  First of all, it’s never easy.  The road to publication of an author’s work is always filled with challenges, bumpy roads and a lot of hurt.  The many rejections hit hard.  The harsh, negative criticisms hurt, and needless to say, it’s hard not to lose heart.  This part of my publishing journey has been a contra.  However, when I look back and see that I have indeed traveled the road, that somehow my work has prevailed, I have no regrets, only joy.  And this is definitely a pro. 

What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?

Graciela:  The most important lesson that I’ve learned about my publishing journey is the need of always having faith in the worthiness of my work.  As you can imagine, there have been bleak moments, but I’ve learned that although just a speck in the huge canvas of literature, my work has been at least a small contribution.  It’s a matter of faith and confidence.  And what lesson have I drawn about the publishing industry as a whole?  I’ve learned that without the many men and women who have the courage to represent the literary talent of a generation, our world would indeed be empty and meaningless.

Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?

Graciela:  Yes!  It’s tough but productive.

What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?

Graciela:  Never lose confidence in the value of your work.  Reject the mean-spirited critic and rejections, and constantly renew your dedication to your God-given talent.  Always!



Friday, March 27, 2015

Book Publishing Secrets with Eleanor Parker Sapia, author of 'A Decent Woman'

Book Title A DECENT WOMAN
Genre:  Historical fiction
Publisher:  Booktrope Books
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Author: In 2000, after ten years of working as an exhibiting artist, I was given the book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, as a gift. A year later, I invited eight creative women friends to join me in a creativity group at my home. After facilitating four The Artist’s Way groups, my friends encouraged me to add writing to my creative life, and I agreed—it was time. But what would I write about?
Well, both my grandmothers were wonderful oral storytellers, and as a kid, I sat at their knees, hanging on their every word about stories of Puerto Rico and Poland. When my maternal grandmother turned ninety-years old, I wrote a tribute to her, and included all her wonderful stories. After my now ex-husband read the tribute, he asked me to write an outline of my grandmother’s life, and he said I had a story to write. I realized I hadn’t read any books about Caribbean midwives, so I decided to introduce my Puerto Rican grandmother’s midwife, Doña Ana, to the world in a story about the complex lives of women in male-dominated, colonial Puerto Rico.
Is this your first book?
Author: Yes, this is my debut novel, and I’m currently writing my second book.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Author:  When I completed my manuscript and had it edited, I joined CreateSpace and made an account for my novel, A DECENT WOMAN, thinking that I’d self-publish. But I couldn’t upload my manuscript; something kept telling me to wait a bit longer. After two years of querying agents and getting nowhere, I had no issue with going the self-publishing route, but I submitted to Booktrope, an Indie publishing company based in Seattle, Washington and six months later, I had a publishing contract. I’ve been with them a year and it has been great experience.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Author:  Booktrope authors form their publishing team from talented people within Booktrope—an editor, proofreader, cover designer, project manager, and a book manager. It took me a few months to get the perfect team together because of schedule conflicts with potential team members, but it worked out as it should. I call my team members—my dream team. Every person on the publishing team receives a certain percentage of books sales after the book is published, so it behooves every member of the team to work hard and to be professional. We work very well together, and I hope to work with my team again on my second book project.

What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Author: When writer friends congratulated me on my publishing contract, and when I finished my manuscript and uploaded it for layout a month ago, many of those same friends said, “Now the real work begins.” I couldn’t imagine what they meant because I’d spent nearly five years researching and writing my novel! Now that A DECENT WOMAN is published, I understand what they were saying—book marketing and publicity is not for the faint of heart. It’s an every day, never-get-away-from-it process that an author cannot get away from, or should ignore. I’ve learned how important social media is to an author, and how important it is to build a platform early in one’s writing career. I blogged for seven years before I made the leap into writing full time, and I’m glad I did.
I’ve also learned how stubborn, tenacious, brave, and nuts I must be because despite the long and lonely hours at the keyboard, I still can’t imagine doing anything else.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Author: Yes, I whole heartedly recommend going the Indie publishing route. I’ve had a great experience with Booktrope, and I love working with my ultra-talented publishing Team.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Author: Read, read, and then read some more. I’m a huge advocate of writing in a daily journal, which for me has become a valuable tool and writing practice, so I highly recommend jotting down feelings, impressions, overheard dialogue, and thoughts. This exercise has helped me get in touch with myself, and the great thing about journaling is that it encourages us to access the deep, dark corners of ourselves. We don’t lie when we journal.
And as I’ve mentioned before, if you’re a budding writer, build your writer platform now. Join and engage in social media now; don’t wait for your book to be published.
Thanks so much for having me!
Eleanor Parker Sapia



Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Book Publishing Secrets with Anne K. Edwards, author of 'This and That – Collection of Light and Dark Tales'

Name:  Anne K. Edwards
Book Title:  This and That – Collection of Light and Dark Tales
Genre:  Various Genres
Publisher:  First Realm Publishing
Purchase book on Amazon
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Anne:  I have been writing for several years and have several books published. The collection of short stories began as a for-fun activity for myself. I love new ideas that wouldn’t work out as full books, but I will follow what story they offer to the conclusion.  It’s like following a new trail you’ve never walked before to see where it leads. I enjoy writing tales with old ideas and giving them new twists. So, between books or while I’m suffering writer’s block on a present project, I will write a short tale as a change of pace. It is a remarkable way to conquer writer’s block and refresh one’s mind.
Is this your first book?
Anne:  No, I have written several others in different genres and was given credit for helping write a nonfiction book on reviewing also.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Anne: Small Press. I chose this method because I prefer to work with a publisher instead of undertaking all the responsibility myself and I’ve always liked Internet publishing. In other words, when it comes to self-publishing, one might say I’m a bit reluctant to undertake the heavier duties it entails, like choosing the outlet for a finished work, editing, formatting of an ebook, looking for the right cover artist, and so on. Rather than make repeated mistakes in these areas, it is much better for me to rely on the experienced publisher and use their expertise.  However, on my single venture into self-publishing, I must thank a dear friend, Mayra Calvani, for her guidance and efforts to get it done. She saved me a lot of time and grief.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Anne:  There are few publishers that publish collections of short stories.  I was fortunate to find First Realm Publishing and got permission to submit my book to them. Luckily, they were interested even though the stories are not of the same genre, length and vary widely in subject matter.  For instance, there’s a tale about a pet chicken, one about the devil outsmarting himself, and a series of tales about a detective hired by Death to solve various problems he runs into. It wasn’t a complicated journey and the reward at the end is that the book is out in ebook form which I find very satisfying.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Anne:  I learned to keep looking when you have a book that needs a home. I found the publishing industry is alive and growing, looking for new, adventuresome writers whose creative gifts are seeking homes. Such a trip is a reward in itself and should be undertaken with a positive outlook.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Anne:  Yes. The small press offers a wonderful place for authors to learn about the world of publishing and to meet the readers. It gives us a place to hone our craft and make the next book better.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Anne:  Keep writing. Keep reading, Keep learning. Never give up.



Friday, March 20, 2015

Book Publishing Secrets with Irene S. Roth, Author of 'Seasons of Empowerment for Adolescent Girls'

Book Title: Seasons of Empowerment for Adolescent Girls
Genre: Nonfiction Adolescent
Publisher: Halo Publishing
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?

Author: I decided to write this book because I had a passion to help teen girls become more empowered than they are currently. The culture and media feeds them negative messages about themselves all day and night and encourages them to be anything but who they were truly meant to be.  I believe that this is a tragedy and I hope that this book remedies this difficulty for teen girls after they read my book.
Is this your first book?
Author: No it isn’t.  This is my tenth book.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Author: I Indie published this book. I just wanted to have the book out so that adolescents can read it. And already I have a large readership through my community.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Author:  I really enjoyed my published journey. Halo Publishing makes it very easy to publish your book. They are there for the author every step of the way and it is painless.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Author:  I learned how good it feels to have a book that you are passionate about out there for the public. Although I have published 9 other books, I was absolutely thrilled when this book came out because I felt that I would be helping adolescent girls to be their best.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Author:  Yes, I certainly would!J
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Author: Never give up on your dream of being a writer—and keep writing every day.



ABOUT THE BOOK

In this book, Ms. Roth argues that there are four seasons of empowerment for adolescent girls. Sadly no adolescent girl can simply wake up one day, snap her fingers, and be empowered to tackle the world and all the forces that exist inside and outside. Becoming empowered to be who we are can be truly difficult. This book consists of a step-by-step guide to help adolescent girls achieve self-improvement. 

Purchase at Amazon



Thursday, February 26, 2015

Book Publishing Secrets with Nicole Weaver, author of 'Not All Americans Are Racist'

Nicole weaver is an award-winning author. Her first trilingual book Marie and Her Friend the Sea Turtle was published in 2009. Her love for languages and other cultures resulted in publishing the award-winning book, My Sister Is My Best Friend which was published in 2011 by Guardian Angel Publishing and has won numerous awards.
My Brother Is My Best Friend, published by Guardian Angel Publishing, January 2014, earned the 2014 Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval, and the 2014 Children’s Literary Classics Gold Award. The book also earned a bronze medal in 2014 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards.
About the book:
In Not All Americans Are Racist, Nicole Weaver recounts her experiences with racial discrimination and the non-racist white individuals who made it possible for her to attend and finish college. As an immigrant from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, she is thankful for the opportunities America has offered her.
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Nicole:  I have written mostly trilingual children’s picture books. After the killings of Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner, I was inspired to write my first nonfiction book about my own experiences with racism.
Is this your first book?
Nicole: No, but this is my first nonfiction book.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Nicole: I self-published, because I believe this topic is too important to wait to publish. Going with a traditional publisher could take years.  The United States is going through hard times with racial issues right now; I am convinced my well-balanced book can be an inspiration to both the young and old.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Nicole:  I self-published my first children’s trilingual book, I would definitely not go that road again, because it is very expensive.  However, it is much easier to self-publish other genre.  I will continue to self-publish nonfiction books because it is much easier.  It is wise to write on topics that are current because it will garner a lot of interest.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Nicole: Be very aware of con artists.  Do your research and always hire someone that has a good reputation and perhaps recommendations from friends.  Many people are looking to make a small fortune off the backs of eager writers.  I have been burned badly when it came to getting my book professionally edited, so my advice only hires someone that a friend recommends. I feel very lucky to have found a great individual who is very good at the craft of editing.  I also have a great individual that does a great job formatting my book. Lastly, you also need a book cover designer.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Nicole: Yes, I would! Just be sure to hire someone you can trust.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Nicole: Write about things you are passionate about.  Make time to write every day.  Even though I teach high school, I make time to write at least one to two hours each day.  Writing daily helps me avoid writer’s block.  I used to only write during vacation, but it would take me too long to overcome writer’s block.  Writing can be very therapeutic too.  I use it as a form of stress release. Some people grab a glass of wine to relax.  I grab my laptop.